Jump to content


Photo

FRSM re-sit


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 sheilakimberley

sheilakimberley

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Member: 892909
    Joined: 24-January 15

Posted 28 December 2017 - 20:48

Hello

My son is considering re-sitting the FRSM cello exam this summer. There were a number of issues arising from last summer's exam, and one we feel he could do with some guidance on, that of the written submission. It is obviously more of a thesis than the LRSM notes requirements and a jump up that he is unsure exactly how ro write in the required style.

He has done the research and follwed the guideines but this clearly was not to the examiner's liking last time. As a private candidate he does not come with the support of a Conservatoire or university department or tutor and I think this is much of the problem with what he has written. He is always well researched and knowledgeable but it's the formulaic style that has probably stumped him.

 

What we really need is a little guidance for writing the notes at this level in the required style and I wonder if anyone could help or suggest where to look please?

 

 


  • 0

#2 jjosiejo

jjosiejo

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 33 posts
  • Member: 897296
    Joined: 11-February 17

Posted 28 December 2017 - 21:09

What was the topic? Was it the format or the content that they found fault with? On the Diploma reading list, there are a couple of style guide references if I remember correctly, one might have been called "Writing about music" or similar - has he read those? My understanding is that they are looking for Masters level writing - when I did my MPhil, aside from the content, the crucial elements were good structure and flow from one point to the next, logical progression of the argument, clear consistent and comprehensive references and footnotes. It should have a clear introduction and conclusion, avoid repetition and waffle. I am sure you know this already, but it is always worth restating... I have also heard from others that it is expected that the topic is relevant to/contributes to the recital programme in some way.

Assuming I passed my LRSM a couple of weeks ago, I'll be moving onto the FRSM next, I'll be interested to hear how he gets on. Did he pass the recital section?
  • 0

#3 sheilakimberley

sheilakimberley

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Member: 892909
    Joined: 24-January 15

Posted 28 December 2017 - 21:17

He was marked down heavily in all sections and we disputed the examiner's comments etc, nothing made sense compared to his Distinction at LRSM.

From what we have seen the written submission is quite different at FTCL and that 'recipe' is difficult to unpick from the guidelines. His written skills are excellent and his style is clear but there is a definite hoop to jump. The points you make about logical progression etc are not a problem, he realised juts before the exam that some points he had made he no longer agreed with by the time of the exam and this may have cornered him in the interview, rather than say he no longer held those views he struggled on to defend them.


  • 0

#4 GMc

GMc

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1033 posts
  • Member: 322722
    Joined: 27-September 11

Posted 29 December 2017 - 01:00

I would personally not want to resit without considerable input from an experienced teacher who is used to the format and has had good results.  Surely there is a con somewhere within striking distance with a prof there that he could tap into for advice?  


  • 0

#5 Wai Kit Leung

Wai Kit Leung

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 512 posts
  • Member: 160
    Joined: 20-November 03

Posted 29 December 2017 - 02:18

I took and passed both LRSM and FRSM. The gulf in expectation on the written submission over the LRSM programme was indeed immense. I received 20/25 for my LRSM programme notes/viva voce and only managed a 13/25 for the FRSM a year later. I suppose I could score higher today, with 14 years of additional knowledge and insight. If you could send me a photo of the mark sheet, I will see if there is anything I can help your son with.
  • 0

#6 sheilakimberley

sheilakimberley

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Member: 892909
    Joined: 24-January 15

Posted 29 December 2017 - 10:50

Thank you for both of those helpful comments. I will try and track down some more professional advice from our nearest Conservatoire.


  • 0

#7 Wai Kit Leung

Wai Kit Leung

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 512 posts
  • Member: 160
    Joined: 20-November 03

Posted 29 December 2017 - 15:34

He was marked down heavily in all sections and we disputed the examiner's comments etc, nothing made sense compared to his Distinction at LRSM.
From what we have seen the written submission is quite different at FTCL and that 'recipe' is difficult to unpick from the guidelines. His written skills are excellent and his style is clear but there is a definite hoop to jump. The points you make about logical progression etc are not a problem, he realised juts before the exam that some points he had made he no longer agreed with by the time of the exam and this may have cornered him in the interview, rather than say he no longer held those views he struggled on to defend them.


To put things in perspective: my arguments were rock-solid and I did not fail to answer any question in full, yet I only received a 13/25. It seems like ABRSM is setting the bar very high for FRSM.
  • 0

#8 sheilakimberley

sheilakimberley

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Member: 892909
    Joined: 24-January 15

Posted 29 December 2017 - 18:04

I do agree Wai, he got 39/40 for the Viva at LRSM so the marks he got for FRSM were rather a shock.

 

I've been comparing the requirements for Trinity and also LCM and he has read the guidelines for LCM notes and says they are easy to understand and follow, he would be fine following those rules. But the indication regarding the pieces is that they are a bit higher than ABRSM (some LTCL pieces appear in FRSM) and they do say they are looking for full professional performace standard, they do labour this point. They expect candidates to play between 50 and 55 minutes.

 

He sat Trinity FTCL at the end of November, we are pretty sure he faied as he was not given the opportunity to warm up on arrival on a bitterly cold day. He was a few minutes late arriving with the accompanist, as was the second examiner who was happy for him to have the time to prepare, but the first examiner was not and so his performance was below par. We now feel it would have been fairer to just cancel the exam as he was late (Birmingham roadworks x 3) as it is so unprofessional to expect a performer to walk on stage cold.Their play time is between 42 and 48 minutes.

 

We have always sat with ABRSM until this last November and have kind of got accustomed to it's style albeit rather stuffy at times. The play time is 45 -55 minutes and if only we could get the right guidance for the notes I feel sure he would do well.

 

Will continue asking around and thank you again.


  • 0

#9 Wai Kit Leung

Wai Kit Leung

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 512 posts
  • Member: 160
    Joined: 20-November 03

Posted 31 December 2017 - 10:37

I never had any experience with Trinity until recently, when I took an ATCL on a secondary instrument.  The experience was horrific.  Personally I wouldn't put any faith on them giving your son a meaningful assessment on his FTCL performance. 

 

 

I do agree Wai, he got 39/40 for the Viva at LRSM so the marks he got for FRSM were rather a shock.

 

I've been comparing the requirements for Trinity and also LCM and he has read the guidelines for LCM notes and says they are easy to understand and follow, he would be fine following those rules. But the indication regarding the pieces is that they are a bit higher than ABRSM (some LTCL pieces appear in FRSM) and they do say they are looking for full professional performace standard, they do labour this point. They expect candidates to play between 50 and 55 minutes.

 

He sat Trinity FTCL at the end of November, we are pretty sure he faied as he was not given the opportunity to warm up on arrival on a bitterly cold day. He was a few minutes late arriving with the accompanist, as was the second examiner who was happy for him to have the time to prepare, but the first examiner was not and so his performance was below par. We now feel it would have been fairer to just cancel the exam as he was late (Birmingham roadworks x 3) as it is so unprofessional to expect a performer to walk on stage cold.Their play time is between 42 and 48 minutes.

 

We have always sat with ABRSM until this last November and have kind of got accustomed to it's style albeit rather stuffy at times. The play time is 45 -55 minutes and if only we could get the right guidance for the notes I feel sure he would do well.

 

Will continue asking around and thank you again.


  • 0

#10 The Land

The Land

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Member: 894690
    Joined: 30-October 15

Posted 31 December 2017 - 12:46

Hi Sheila,

 

I think you're right - to me it looks like FRSM "written submission" might more accurately be termed "masters thesis" - albeit a fairly short one and focused on the repertoire you are playing.

 

Do you have a copy of "Music in Words" which is the ABRSM's own book on how to research and present this kind of stuff? And how much research did he do? This strikes me as the kind of level where you are expected to have read widely into academic journals dealing with the subject, not just books (let alone websites or Grove) so effort is probably measured in days spent in the library. It's also apparent you're meant to have listened to every significant interpretation of the pieces you're talking about. 

 

Not easy, but then it is the same level as a Masters' that most people would only earn after 4 years of full-time study....


  • 0

#11 sheilakimberley

sheilakimberley

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Member: 892909
    Joined: 24-January 15

Posted 01 January 2018 - 12:14

Thanks Wai, maybe we'll think again about Trinity re-sit. I haven't given all the details of what happened that day, it is very tempting but no-one would benefit from it.

 

Maybe back to ABRSM.


  • 0

#12 sheilakimberley

sheilakimberley

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Member: 892909
    Joined: 24-January 15

Posted 01 January 2018 - 12:20

Thanks too The Land,

 

I think he could have used a bit more assistance/guidance in knowing what to do for the notes. He reads quite literally as he is autistic and got frustrated with the guidnace offered by ABRSM. Given that he has two LRSM's (singing and cello), and LTCL (Theory)  I know that he is up to degree level understanding and knowledge, it's just that last year's worth of investigation he needs. 

He didn't find any of ABRSM guidance helpful and we haven't yet found someone who can do what a Conservatoire like Royal Northern do with their students, that is the rub.


  • 0

#13 Wai Kit Leung

Wai Kit Leung

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 512 posts
  • Member: 160
    Joined: 20-November 03

Posted 01 January 2018 - 12:21

Dear Sheila,

I think many people will benefit from you sharing your full experience - they can potentially be spared from an unpleasant experience of their own.

If I share my own experience with them, it will be the equivalent of a nuke going off. I am going to do it, just thinking when and in what manner.

Thanks Wai, maybe we'll think again about Trinity re-sit. I haven't given all the details of what happened that day, it is very tempting but no-one would benefit from it.

Maybe back to ABRSM.


  • 0

#14 sheilakimberley

sheilakimberley

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Member: 892909
    Joined: 24-January 15

Posted 01 January 2018 - 13:51

I feel it is sufficient to say that one examiner wouldn't permit him to have a warm up (it was a freezing cold day), whilst the second examiner (who arrived late like my son, they even rode in the same lift together) was happy for him to have a warm up.

I maintain that it would have been following the rules more closely to have cancelled the exam on the spot (a bit difficult when one of the examiners himself was late). It is just so unprofessional to expect a soloist to play from cold, in a concert it would just start late with apologies to the audience.

 

Moving forward, the one thing we have always said would most help him would be to have sight of a 'good' set of notes and a 'poor' set, this for Diploma, LRSM and especially FRSM. He isn't interested in copying, he has enough ideas of his own, but to see the depth and style required.

If anyone is prepared to allow us sight of their recent successful notes that might be enough for him to understand the requirement.

 

As an aside, we have looked at LCM requirement for their MAster's level Diploma and their requirement is spelt out so clearly he immediately knew what he would need to do.


  • 0

#15 The Land

The Land

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Member: 894690
    Joined: 30-October 15

Posted 01 January 2018 - 20:39

I feel it is sufficient to say that one examiner wouldn't permit him to have a warm up (it was a freezing cold day), whilst the second examiner (who arrived late like my son, they even rode in the same lift together) was happy for him to have a warm up.

I maintain that it would have been following the rules more closely to have cancelled the exam on the spot (a bit difficult when one of the examiners himself was late). It is just so unprofessional to expect a soloist to play from cold, in a concert it would just start late with apologies to the audience.

 

Moving forward, the one thing we have always said would most help him would be to have sight of a 'good' set of notes and a 'poor' set, this for Diploma, LRSM and especially FRSM. He isn't interested in copying, he has enough ideas of his own, but to see the depth and style required.

If anyone is prepared to allow us sight of their recent successful notes that might be enough for him to understand the requirement.

 

As an aside, we have looked at LCM requirement for their MAster's level Diploma and their requirement is spelt out so clearly he immediately knew what he would need to do.

 

Hmmmm - I can quite imagine examiners saying "now or never" if the candidate is late, but if the examiners aren't there either, that seems a bit off! 

?And yes, it would be helpful to see sample notes/submissions!

 

Good luck with everything, sounds like a big challenge for your son and you. (Did he pass the recital, out of interest?) 


  • 0