Greetings, everyone. I saw a spring exam thread but none for summer, so I figured I would start one and hopefully get to know some folks.
Who all is planning to take exams this summer?
I'm taking my ABRSM Grade 8 Piano in late May. (Here in the Republic of Texas, we have two ABRSM exam sessions, late May and late November. There is one Trinity session, also late May.)
I've been working on the following three pieces from the 2017-2018 syllabus (we get a full year of syllabus overlap here):
- Bach - Prelude and Fugue in D minor from WTC II, BWV 875
- Beethoven - Rondo/Allegro comodo, third movement from Sonata in E, Op. 14 No. 1
- Brahms - Intermezzo in A minor, Op. 76 No. 7
I've about got all three pieces where I want them. One of my colleagues is a retired conservatory professor, and she has helped me whip them into shape. The Bach is probably my strongest, with Brahms close behind, and the Beethoven being my weakest.
Aural is a mixed bag for me. Cadences are good, modulations are good, description of music is good, but sight singing is meh and singing back the lower voice is the pits. Also, I can numerically identify the chords at a cadence point, but I'm not too confident about identifying inversions.
I'm not worried about sight reading; I've always been a strong reader. My idea of fun is opening the WTC to a random page and sight reading a prelude and fugue, or similarly for a volume of Beethoven sonatas. My approach to reading is apparently terribly behind the times (notes, not intervals) but it works well for me.
Scales and arpeggios are coming along. I spend 45 min to one hour on just scales and apreggios every day. I would not advise that in general, and I am going to cut way back on technical work after the Grade 8 exam. I'm focusing on fluency and musicality rather than tempo.
The sheer amount of scales and arpeggios at this level makes me strongly conflicted about ever entering a student for ABRSM Grade 8. I have one student doing the Associated Board exams; she'll be taking Grade 2 the same day that I take my Grade 8. We may switch her to Trinity at some point along the way, unless ABRSM reduces the scale burden in the next syllabus.
I'd like to earn at least a Merit, but I will be content if I pass. I don't think I have a path to Distinction on this one, but I'm going to try my darndest.
So, anyone else planning to take exams this summer? What instruments? What pieces? What are your strong points, and what are you working hard on?
Good luck to everyone!