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Practical Musicianship Take Up?

Exams Practical Musicianship

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#16 Banjogirl

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 22:26

Though it entirely depends on the institution. Some are so eager/desperate for applicants that they will accept almost anything, but that's not necessarily the place you would want to go!


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#17 Jo0425

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 09:52

I'm sorry to go off topic (as this thread is about Practical Musicianship exams).  I would feel bad if I was inadvertently misleading parents about UCAS points being useful.  Would there be a list of universities/ courses which use/ don't use these points for me to pass on also?  
 
(I don't think UCAS points etc existed when I was at school.)  

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#18 allegretto

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 11:29

I've not come across a definitive list yet (it tells you on individual university course information pages) but the UCAS site itself says that only a third of courses use the points tariff https://www.ucas.com...e-tariff-points
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#19 linda.ff

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 13:16

Does anyone remember the old General Musicianship exams? I'm not sure whether they were directly superseded by the PM, or whether there was a time in between GM stopping and PM starting.

 

My first ever exam was LCM General Musicianship grade 4, wjen I was 10, and probably only about grade 1+ on the piano - yet I played perfect and plagal cadences up to two sharps or flats and took simple music dictation for it, plus all the other requirements, and got 96%. I did grades 5-7 with ABRSM (there was no grade 8). I don't know if it was as poorly subscribed to as the PM today, as I had thought everyone did it. But it was extremely keyboard oriented as far as I can tell (I did enter two boys for it at about grade 3, many years later, and it was quite clear that the examiner had no idea what to do, as she was apparently checking carefully through the syllabus all the way through the exam. And she failed them both :( ) This was presumably in the last throes of General Musicianship. All I can say is that it stood me in very good stead for my future studies and career. (I took the g7 in the same session as both g7 piano and grade 8 singing. The piano exam came last, and having got full marks for aural in the singing and done well in the even more stringent aural tests for the GM, when it came to the aural part of the piano exam, the examiner just said "let's skip that, it would be silly" and wrote in a full mark :o :D )

 

I was also able to use my grade 6 GM as part of my prerequisite for A-level, which I took twice, first in the year before my O-levels, as it required an obligatory grade 6 practical which I hadn't reached first time round. GM, as far as I remember, wasn't an alternative to theory, but a practical exam like all the playing and singing grades. Does it cost more than the equivalent grade in playing, then?

 

I think the PM is a good option, but not, I agree, with the paltry support it has. I entered both my children for it when it first came out, at grade 2, very much as a testing of the water, and I think they both got merits, but we were extremely uncertain as to what was really required of them.

 

So, ABRSM, let's have a big promotion for it - lots more supporting material, including CDs and videos, and more training for the examiners. Good instrumentalists and singers we do need, of course, but I feel in many cases there's an element of tunnel vision if you're confined to solo poerforming.


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#20 Crock

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 20:21

Does anyone remember the old General Musicianship exams? I'm not sure whether they were directly superseded by the PM, or whether there was a time in between GM stopping and PM starting.

 

My first ever exam was LCM General Musicianship grade 4, wjen I was 10, and probably only about grade 1+ on the piano - yet I played perfect and plagal cadences up to two sharps or flats and took simple music dictation for it, plus all the other requirements, and got 96%. I did grades 5-7 with ABRSM (there was no grade 8). I don't know if it was as poorly subscribed to as the PM today, as I had thought everyone did it. But it was extremely keyboard oriented as far as I can tell (I did enter two boys for it at about grade 3, many years later, and it was quite clear that the examiner had no idea what to do, as she was apparently checking carefully through the syllabus all the way through the exam. And she failed them both :( ) This was presumably in the last throes of General Musicianship. All I can say is that it stood me in very good stead for my future studies and career. (I took the g7 in the same session as both g7 piano and grade 8 singing. The piano exam came last, and having got full marks for aural in the singing and done well in the even more stringent aural tests for the GM, when it came to the aural part of the piano exam, the examiner just said "let's skip that, it would be silly" and wrote in a full mark :o :D )

 

I was also able to use my grade 6 GM as part of my prerequisite for A-level, which I took twice, first in the year before my O-levels, as it required an obligatory grade 6 practical which I hadn't reached first time round. GM, as far as I remember, wasn't an alternative to theory, but a practical exam like all the playing and singing grades. Does it cost more than the equivalent grade in playing, then?

 

I think the PM is a good option, but not, I agree, with the paltry support it has. I entered both my children for it when it first came out, at grade 2, very much as a testing of the water, and I think they both got merits, but we were extremely uncertain as to what was really required of them.

 

So, ABRSM, let's have a big promotion for it - lots more supporting material, including CDs and videos, and more training for the examiners. Good instrumentalists and singers we do need, of course, but I feel in many cases there's an element of tunnel vision if you're confined to solo poerforming.

Because I never throw anything away, I have an old ABRSM syllabus book from 1976.  It has the details of grades 4-7 (these were the only grades available) in General Musicianship. They are indeed very keyboard focused.


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#21 willobie

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 20:43

 

Does anyone remember the old General Musicianship exams? I'm not sure whether they were directly superseded by the PM, or whether there was a time in between GM stopping and PM starting.

 

My first ever exam was LCM General Musicianship grade 4, wjen I was 10, and probably only about grade 1+ on the piano - yet I played perfect and plagal cadences up to two sharps or flats and took simple music dictation for it, plus all the other requirements, and got 96%. I did grades 5-7 with ABRSM (there was no grade 8). I don't know if it was as poorly subscribed to as the PM today, as I had thought everyone did it. But it was extremely keyboard oriented as far as I can tell (I did enter two boys for it at about grade 3, many years later, and it was quite clear that the examiner had no idea what to do, as she was apparently checking carefully through the syllabus all the way through the exam. And she failed them both :( ) This was presumably in the last throes of General Musicianship. All I can say is that it stood me in very good stead for my future studies and career. (I took the g7 in the same session as both g7 piano and grade 8 singing. The piano exam came last, and having got full marks for aural in the singing and done well in the even more stringent aural tests for the GM, when it came to the aural part of the piano exam, the examiner just said "let's skip that, it would be silly" and wrote in a full mark :o :D )

 

I was also able to use my grade 6 GM as part of my prerequisite for A-level, which I took twice, first in the year before my O-levels, as it required an obligatory grade 6 practical which I hadn't reached first time round. GM, as far as I remember, wasn't an alternative to theory, but a practical exam like all the playing and singing grades. Does it cost more than the equivalent grade in playing, then?

 

I think the PM is a good option, but not, I agree, with the paltry support it has. I entered both my children for it when it first came out, at grade 2, very much as a testing of the water, and I think they both got merits, but we were extremely uncertain as to what was really required of them.

 

So, ABRSM, let's have a big promotion for it - lots more supporting material, including CDs and videos, and more training for the examiners. Good instrumentalists and singers we do need, of course, but I feel in many cases there's an element of tunnel vision if you're confined to solo poerforming.

Because I never throw anything away, I have an old ABRSM syllabus book from 1976.  It has the details of grades 4-7 (these were the only grades available) in General Musicianship. They are indeed very keyboard focused.

 

I did Grades 4-6 when I was at school - I did it entirely on my own and armed with Grade 2 piano.  The things you do in your youth!
 

:lol:


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#22 earplugs

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 21:14

My son took grade 5 PM instead of theory.  He reached grade 5 violin quite young and was really struggling with theory papers.  Not the actual musical theory - keys, sharps flats intervals etc but the writing out of music neatly.  He has always been a very untidy writer and at the age he was could not be persuaded to take neat music notation seriously.  Then a teacher at his school offered to teach a few PM lessons in break times. H went along and loved it.  The harmonisation and improvisation seemed to capture his imagination.

 

I think it is true that it is not that clear how hard the tests will be and how to practise whereas with theory it is all very structured with lots of old exam papers. I think it is a better option for some pupils though and may be more useful for teaching general musical awareness.


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#23 jpiano

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 22:39

Yes, I agree that PM translates better into actual knowledge they will use and retain afterwards.  I do find that quite a bit of the grade 5 theory knowledge goes the way of much examined knowledge in being rapidly forgotten afterwards. The other thing with PM is that they have to think quickly and respond-this I think can be a more useful musical skill than the ability to complete a 2 hour exam paper.


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#24 RoseRodent

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 08:51

The other thing with PM is that they have to think quickly and respond-this I think can be a more useful musical skill than the ability to complete a 2 hour exam paper.


Particularly as 2 hours seems to be an inordinate amount of time for the exam. If you are using a language in which you are fluent and aren't severely dyslexic, I rather feel that if that paper took you 2 hours could you realistically be said to know it at all? Makes me think about a pupil who will get his key signatures eventually, after much internal struggle and up to 8 wrong answers which he self corrects (D major...no A major, not it's not it's minor, C minor? No that's flats...E minor, that's it, E minor) which is fine for the theory paper but practically not that useful.
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#25 jpiano

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 21:41

 

The other thing with PM is that they have to think quickly and respond-this I think can be a more useful musical skill than the ability to complete a 2 hour exam paper.


Particularly as 2 hours seems to be an inordinate amount of time for the exam. If you are using a language in which you are fluent and aren't severely dyslexic, I rather feel that if that paper took you 2 hours could you realistically be said to know it at all? Makes me think about a pupil who will get his key signatures eventually, after much internal struggle and up to 8 wrong answers which he self corrects (D major...no A major, not it's not it's minor, C minor? No that's flats...E minor, that's it, E minor) which is fine for the theory paper but practically not that useful.

 

That's an interesting point. I do advise mine to take the 2 hours or a good amount of it and to take their time and check and double check. My favourite story is one of my adult pupils was the last man left sitting there (mind you there were a lot of younger ones there who I think were doing early grades-we've a local teacher who puts a lot of them in for these), anyway he felt a bit guilty keeping the nice invigilator waiting so he started to get up and she asked him if he was sure he didn't want to double check it (don't think she was being sarky but helpful!!) and he went back and sure enough found a silly mistake!

 

I agree it would be possible to pass with a less than fluent knowledge and this I think goes back to the difference between education to pass exams and education that shows true understanding in and fluency in a subject-and this is where the think- on -one's- feet PM exam wins hands down (sorry about all those hand and feet metaphors!)


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