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Grade 8 Aural

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#1 chasing



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Posted 10 October 2018 - 11:27

holy guacamole, exam is a month away and i feel mediocre-ish so far. things have come quite a long way since september now that i have had more spare time to practice and get more familiar with the scales and arpeggios. but there is that 'nonstop buzzing in your head' type of thing which in this case for me is: aural! i've been cramming in the exam content only early august - yep, AUGUST. we just got into october didn't we? i feel like that the exam content stuck onto me from the start very quickly but the aural tests did not, unfortunately. i am aiming for a distinction but feel like the aural is dragging me down onto a merit! thsi aural thing is stressing me than the rest of the exam content combined...


i find it extremely hard to sight sing, with some of the factors being not knowing the interval between a note (especially singing down) accurately enough and also not being able to keep in time simultaneously.


does anyone have any tips on sight singing or on how to improve awareness with it? highly appreciate it smile.png

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#2 gemmasue



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Posted 10 October 2018 - 18:38

I have exactly same issue! I’m planning on doing my grade 8 flute in spring. I know I can do the pieces, the scales are getting there and sight reading is my strong point. But, aural.... HATE it!

For grade 7, I actually passed the section for the first time ever and the examiner even wrote I almost got the sight singing right. My issue is mainly with the singing back a tune- I can’t remember it. By the time they get to the end of the tube, I’ve forgotten how it started! I’m like Dory from Finding Nemo (if you know who I mean!)!

The way I look at it though is that it’s a tiny percentage of the exam mark. With grade 7, I think I must I’ve decided to just go for it. You’re more likely to get points for trying then not doing anything. I think I improved my working on singing with my teacher, she has taught me to to just have a go and, you never know, you might get it right! I, also, used the abrsm books. I actually got the teacher books by mistake and found them really helpful.
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#3 agricola



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Posted 11 October 2018 - 12:54

Two books I would recommend are An Introduction to Sight Singing by A Forbes Milne which is based on the position of notes in the scale, so starts with tonic-dominant then mediant and so on; or for a more scalic approach ABRSM Sight-singing Tests for the singing exams which start with adjacent notes and very simple rhythms and have piano accompaniments.  You would probably only need to use the Grades 1-5 book. 


Of course there are plenty of resourdes on-line also but as far as I know no-one has invented a magic bullet for learning to sight-sing, it will take time and effort to improve.  So if you just want to get a distinction rather than to improve your aural I would concentrate on picking up marks elsewhere in the syllabus.

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#4 Splog



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Posted 11 October 2018 - 14:49

Two books I would recommend, in addition to the above suggestions. One is Sight-sing any melody instantly, by Mark Phillps. The other is Songs for Singing and Musicianship Training by David and Yuko Vinden.


The first one helps you learn to pitch the individual notes of the scale. (Uses numbers.) The second contains a graded set of songs in solfa and stick notation, as well as in staff notation, starting with the simplest intervals and gradually working up to the full scale.


Have you considered finding a singing teacher? The suggestions to use the ABRSM sight-singing books is a good one. And a teacher would help with this, and also with the melodic repetition.


Or a Kodály teacher? (We don't call it a magic bullet, as it takes time and careful study, but we do call it magic laugh.png)

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