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Anyone thinking about Autumn term exams?


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#16 Norway

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 08:22

@gav1988 - Marcello E minor Sonata Allegro, Shostakovich Gadfly, James Macmillan Sabre Dance - really love these pieces but will wait for the syllabus to change before grade 6 as am not so keen on those. Or swap boards. Or do some orchestral/ ensemble playing and consolidate for a bit. smile.png


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#17 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 09:15

Grade 2 piano (ABRSM) for me (don't laugh!). Still not decided on my B piece, either Song (Reinecke) or Waltz (Smetana).

 

Good luck everyone!!


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#18 hennylemon

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 09:27

Grade 2 piano (ABRSM) for me (don't laugh!). Still not decided on my B piece, either Song (Reinecke) or Waltz (Smetana).

 

Good luck everyone!!

 

I'm also learning Grade 2 piano, not laughing at all! I don't think I'll be taking the exam but I follow the syllabus nevertheless. How are you finding it? I feel like the technical requirements are a big step up from grade 1. My scales are fine when played hands separately, but hands together my left hand wants to do a different fingering than you're supposed to. I always land on the right finger so I didn't notice I had it wrong until my teacher pointed it out. Now I'm trying to correct it and it's much harder to unlearn and re-learn! 


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#19 ejw21

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 14:03

 

Maybe next year... planning Grade 7 piano (LCM Leisure Play). I have bought the book, deadline summer 2020 but winter 2019 is a possible if I think I'll be ready.

 

I hadn't heard about 'Leisure Play' until now. Just did a bit of googling - looks like an interesting alternative! What made you choose that? 

 

It will be about 20 years since my last formal piano exam... It means I don't have to do scales etc (though I am having a good go at learning them anyway). I might do a 'regular' grade 8 if I get to pass Leisure Play grade 8. Sort of easing myself in.


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#20 Saxwarbler

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 21:20

My piano teacher has given me the go-ahead to enter for LCM grade 3 in November. Bach Prelude in C, Khachaturian's Little Song and a jaunty little tango from the anthology.

It's the Bach that's doing my head in. On the face of it, it's really simple but I have one or two mental/psychological blocks on it that need to be overcome. My teacher's given me some practice tips on it today that I'll be putting into practice over the next couple of weeks.

Going for scales and arpeggios rather than the study (who needs another piece to learn?!) and they're mostly sound.


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#21 gav_1988

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 02:18

Grade 2 piano (ABRSM) for me (don't laugh!). Still not decided on my B piece, either Song (Reinecke) or Waltz (Smetana).

 

Good luck everyone!!

 

I remember your post last year about how you felt your grade 1 exam went. Hope the eventual result has served as a boost in prepping your grade 2 :) good luck! 


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#22 gav_1988

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 02:25

 

 

Maybe next year... planning Grade 7 piano (LCM Leisure Play). I have bought the book, deadline summer 2020 but winter 2019 is a possible if I think I'll be ready.

 

I hadn't heard about 'Leisure Play' until now. Just did a bit of googling - looks like an interesting alternative! What made you choose that? 

 

It will be about 20 years since my last formal piano exam... It means I don't have to do scales etc (though I am having a good go at learning them anyway). I might do a 'regular' grade 8 if I get to pass Leisure Play grade 8. Sort of easing myself in.

 

 

Yeah, not having to do scales on the piano would suit me down to the ground! I still remember the examiner writing on my grade 5 mark sheet (17 years ago!) that 'most scales seemed familiar' - got through by the skin of my teeth! I would love to do the rest of my piano grades one day though. I think the requirement for grade 5 ABRSM is that you have to know all of them over 3 octaves (with a choice on which minor scale you do) - I think my fingers would be in knots haha. 

Besides, playing extra pieces sound like much more fun! 


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#23 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 15:55

I'm also learning Grade 2 piano, not laughing at all! I don't think I'll be taking the exam but I follow the syllabus nevertheless. How are you finding it? I feel like the technical requirements are a big step up from grade 1. My scales are fine when played hands separately, but hands together my left hand wants to do a different fingering than you're supposed to. I always land on the right finger so I didn't notice I had it wrong until my teacher pointed it out. Now I'm trying to correct it and it's much harder to unlearn and re-learn!

Hi hennylemon. Welcome to the Forums and sharing your journey. Which syllabus are you learning, 2017–18 or 2019–20? What's your reasoning behind not taking the exam? Do you think you'll take any piano exams in the future? What other music/studies are you using apart from the syllabus pieces?

Oh dear, what a bummer re HT scales! I'm sure you'll re-learn them in time.

I don't feel there's a huge step up from grade 1. I've written elsewhere on the Forums how shocked that my hands-together scales appear to have, well, come together, as I remember them being impossible when I tried piano as a teenager. Like you I struggled with asymmetric crossing of thumbs, but somehow things worked when I spent ages slowly practising G major (as a teenager I think my teacher set C major as the HT scale and I couldn't get it to work at all) with dotted rhythms, as triplets and staccato as well as legato. My main issue with scales now is trying to guarantee a good degree of evenness whenever I play any scale – my grade 1 examiner noted unevenness for my Am LH scale. Please, let us know how you get on and what suggestions/exercises your teacher recommends.

Regarding the pieces, I don't feel they are massively more difficult than grade 1 – some of the latter I found very tricky. Are there any specific issues that you are facing with your playing of the grade 2 pieces? As with my scales, I have a refractory issue: accuracy. I can play the same piece ten times and will make mistakes at different points, never the same ones! Annoying, but I continue to work on them daily.
 

I remember your post last year about how you felt your grade 1 exam went. Hope the eventual result has served as a boost in prepping your grade 2 smile.png good luck!

Yes, what a nightmare! And thank you so much for your kind words for the grade 2. I would want also to take the opportunity to reiterate my thanks to those really kind people on the Forum who wrote positive messages at the time. I was extremely nervous, yet the examiner was very unfriendly. I made what I thought were huge glaring errors in my A and C pieces (basically messed up and missed out a number of bars!) and scales/broken chords. I came out of the exam extremely upset and disappointed. I don't have a teacher who could have perhaps attenuated my negativity based on their experience, so when I assessed my performance against the marking criteria I was genuinely convinced I had scraped only a pass – how on earth can you miss out a whole chunk of piece and still score well? – but in the end I managed a distinction.


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#24 hennylemon

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 14:42

 

I'm also learning Grade 2 piano, not laughing at all! I don't think I'll be taking the exam but I follow the syllabus nevertheless. How are you finding it? I feel like the technical requirements are a big step up from grade 1. My scales are fine when played hands separately, but hands together my left hand wants to do a different fingering than you're supposed to. I always land on the right finger so I didn't notice I had it wrong until my teacher pointed it out. Now I'm trying to correct it and it's much harder to unlearn and re-learn!

Hi hennylemon. Welcome to the Forums and sharing your journey. Which syllabus are you learning, 2017–18 or 2019–20? What's your reasoning behind not taking the exam? Do you think you'll take any piano exams in the future? What other music/studies are you using apart from the syllabus pieces?

Oh dear, what a bummer re HT scales! I'm sure you'll re-learn them in time.

I don't feel there's a huge step up from grade 1. I've written elsewhere on the Forums how shocked that my hands-together scales appear to have, well, come together, as I remember them being impossible when I tried piano as a teenager. Like you I struggled with asymmetric crossing of thumbs, but somehow things worked when I spent ages slowly practising G major (as a teenager I think my teacher set C major as the HT scale and I couldn't get it to work at all) with dotted rhythms, as triplets and staccato as well as legato. My main issue with scales now is trying to guarantee a good degree of evenness whenever I play any scale – my grade 1 examiner noted unevenness for my Am LH scale. Please, let us know how you get on and what suggestions/exercises your teacher recommends.

Regarding the pieces, I don't feel they are massively more difficult than grade 1 – some of the latter I found very tricky. Are there any specific issues that you are facing with your playing of the grade 2 pieces? As with my scales, I have a refractory issue: accuracy. I can play the same piece ten times and will make mistakes at different points, never the same ones! Annoying, but I continue to work on them daily.
 

 

I'm learning the 17/18 syllabus. I obtained the books before realising that a new syllabus was about to be released but I suppose it doesn't matter as the technical requirements are the same (correct me if I'm wrong!).  I've been learning Allegretto (this came together pretty fast, but the crushed notes need much more refinement), the Waltz by Smetana (just about started learning it - some bits are a bit awkward hands together, I'm sure everyone who's tried this one knows which bits I mean!) and The Cat. The Cat is so almost there but there are two bars where I keep doing the rhythm wrong and I'm trying to re-learn those. I feel like I have the opposite problem to you - I'm quite consistent at repeating the same mistakes over and over when I've learned something wrong! I need to work on some small sections in isolation over and over again to rectify these mistakes. 

 

I would like to, and will, take piano exams in the future. My teacher just felt that I could skip Grade 2 as there's not that big of a difference between Grade 1 and 2 pieces. We've agreed that I'll do a mock exam with her to ensure that I'm secure Grade 2 standard though before moving any further. Other than the syllabus, I'm working through the Paul Harris sight-reading book (G2), Czerny exercises and some pieces from the 'Very easy piano' series when I want to just learn a fun, familiar tune. What about you (and anyone else), do have any other material or must-have resources you'd recommend? 


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#25 Saxwarbler

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 19:20

It will be about 20 years since my last formal piano exam... It means I don't have to do scales etc (though I am having a good go at learning them anyway). I might do a 'regular' grade 8 if I get to pass Leisure Play grade 8. Sort of easing myself in.

There is the option of playing a study instead of scales and arpeggios. I've gone for the latter because the three pieces I'm playing have taken enough work as it is and I quite like learning scales. You still have to do aurals and sight reading though.
I'm toying with looking at the Leisure Play after grade 5 - if I ever get that far.


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#26 Sylvette

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:22

I am definitely going to do LCM G8 Musical Theatre in November.  I can sing the songs, the choreography is almost done, I just need to find and learn the libretto and mug up on the background information for the viva!


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#27 hennylemon

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:28

I am definitely going to do LCM G8 Musical Theatre in November.  I can sing the songs, the choreography is almost done, I just need to find and learn the libretto and mug up on the background information for the viva!

 

That's awesome! What songs will you do? I'm quite intrigued by the new ABRSM musical theatre syllabus. I'm looking forward to learning more about it. 


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#28 Sylvette

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:48

I'm doing:

 

When You're Good to Mama from Chicago

Mein Herr from Cabaret

The Masochism Tango (Tom Lehrer) and 

Woman from the Pirate Queen

 

The libretto extract is Mama Morton's speech welcoming the women to the prison from Chicago, which leads into the song.

There is also an acting sight read and a viva (worth 20% of the mark), which covers the background to the musicals, including plot, characterisation and biographical information about the composers and librettists, plus elements such as how the programme was put together, any difficulties in preparation and how they were overcome, reflection on one's own performance, etc.


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#29 helen_flute

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 18:21

I don't know the fourth of your songs, but the others are some of my favourites from musical theatre. Great choices.


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#30 gav_1988

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Posted 21 August 2018 - 01:26

I'm doing:

 

When You're Good to Mama from Chicago

Mein Herr from Cabaret

The Masochism Tango (Tom Lehrer) and 

Woman from the Pirate Queen

 

The libretto extract is Mama Morton's speech welcoming the women to the prison from Chicago, which leads into the song.

There is also an acting sight read and a viva (worth 20% of the mark), which covers the background to the musicals, including plot, characterisation and biographical information about the composers and librettists, plus elements such as how the programme was put together, any difficulties in preparation and how they were overcome, reflection on one's own performance, etc.

 

I absolutely love that you're singing a Tom Lehrer song in your exam. I once tried to learn his Periodic Table version of Modern Major General. Not sure how well that would go down in an exam situation though, haha! 


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