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Piano scales - not sure what to do about this.

piano scales new syllabus

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#31 maggiemay

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 16:53

I don't see a problem. There are no accidentals so if you can do one of the two arpeggios or one of the two broken chords, the other is easy. I think most of my students would learn them very quickly.

Yes, very likely, and mine too, probably. But I’ve never had a problem with the (soon-to-be) old grade 2 br chord pattern - even the youngest candidates have seemed to manage. Conversely, I have always been rather glad to leave the grade one pattern behind.

More generally, I’d like to have seen a bit more joined-up thinking from the board in these changes. The ‘staggered’ idea of doing scales hands separately at first and then together for the next grade is a fair example of this, and seems to be welcomed. Some of the other changes appear a bit arbitrary. I’m hoping they may make sense when we actually start using them - we’ll see.
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#32 jpiano

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 17:44

Not a problem as such - just fiddly. Maybe two of each is not so bad.

But I can think of better ways to use learning time. By all means experience and play as many patterns as possible. But memorise them to be tested? I’m not convinced.

Yes, that's what I objected to most in the suggested changes. AB have often repeated the wise mantra that a syllabus is not the same thing as a curriculum, and some of the rather numerous and fiddly requirements for g4 upwards seemed to me to imply that if something isn't tested then it won't be taught. I don't have a problem with the lower grades but I hope they've at least tweaked the higher ones-or I can see my Trinity entries increasing.


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#33 becster

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 20:25

Good spot on new requirements - must admit I am slightly surprised that after all the fuss in the consultation that we haven't been told, by email say, that changes have been implemented...
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#34 fatar760

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 01:26

It was the same with the windies.  New scales kick in now although we can still run the overlap on the tunes from the previous syllabus.  I don't think we knew what the new scale requirements were prior to the syllabus coming out in July - can't remember but it certainly made me defer a few who just wouldn't learn the scales as the new ones are so ridiculously dumbed-down they require about a third of the time/effort.

Don't get me started.

Utterly-Disillusioned-Demoralised-Bag x

 

Yup.

 

Thanks Llewydh. As others have said - well spotted!

No surprises I guess really. ... I’m doing fewer and fewer exams these days, (just two last term, and one was a Trinity first try.)

Am not at all encouraged by various recent - and obviously pending - changes by AB.

 

Yup.

 

Depressed. It looks as if we are going to be continually asked to pay more and more  for less and less.

 

Yup. 

 

 

I've been saying for years how easier the exams are getting and was shot down for it here back then!

 

I couldn't believe when I saw how the pricing had risen though. From memory it was about £55 to sit Grade 3 and £92 to sit Grade 8!! This has risen quite sharply over the last few years and I can't understand why anyone would want to pay it just to get a certificate. 

 

Even though the pricing is about the same - I've been much more impressed with LCM's presentation of exam rep and would be much more likely to submit a student though them than the ABRSM now. 


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#35 aje

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 16:47

I have a student who would take Grade 4 this year, but as it is GCSE year she’s going to skip forward and plan for Grade 5 next year - but which point the new scales will be in place, unfortunately (if the “proposals” come to pass…)

 

I think it best to continue teaching her on the basis that she should know every major and minor scale and arpeggio, regardless of examination requirements.

 

However, if the proposals are implemented, at a later point I will need to teach her a bunch of prescriptive alternatives that ABRSM seem keen to add (for NO obvious reason!).

 

As they say though, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. ABRSM have a huge market share, and yet this desire to change - for change’s sake? I think what most teachers and candidates might like is for a syllabus that is streamlined, and very clear. Instead, they are proposing something that is VERY muddled indeed, even more prescriptive, and - for those who teach scales cumulatively - actually requires EVEN MORE scales to be learnt by including brand new patterns that most teachers aren’t even currently familiar with. Very worrying.


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#36 Aquarelle

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 18:07

 I think what most teachers and candidates might like is for a syllabus that is streamlined, and very clear. Instead, they are proposing something that is VERY muddled indeed, even more prescriptive, and - for those who teach scales cumulatively - actually requires EVEN MORE scales to be learnt by including brand new patterns that most teachers aren’t even currently familiar with. Very worrying.

I think you are right. But it seems that the people running the AB have simply forgotten or chosen to ignore those of us down at the grass roots.  I teach 33 pupils per week and they range at the  from young beginners through the grades to Grade 5. I suspect the people making these complicated changes only teach a small number of gifted students in the higher grades and have no idea what it is like trying to keep track of everyone over a wider range of level and ability. I really don't want to have to sit down with lists of scales and how each one has to be played. It's a waste of mental energy for me and the pupil. I am all for teaching all the tonalitiesby the time we get to Grade 5 and thereafter concentrating on a smaller number of scales and arpeggios  with some new technical difficulties added in. This seems to me to be a good base for reading and understanding music and then going on to improve technique for the high flyers.


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