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What are you working on/playing between grades


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#1 ABN

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 15:44

Now that my grade 3 piano exam is done I'm keen to get on with some new repertoire and play just for fun for a while before I start considering moving on to grade 4.
We, that is my teacher and I discussed this over the weekend and aswell as keeping on top of scales I will be spending some time working on/playing Beethoven moonlight sonata 1st movement, I've enjoyed listening to this for as long as I can remember and now feel confident enough to have a serious go at playing it.
What tune or tunes are any of you considering learning/playing for fun inbetween grades ?
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#2 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 15:57

Hope your grade 3 went well, ABN.  What pieces did you play?

 

I feel I need a long break 'til my next exam (probably grade 5 rather grade 4) to seriously try to improve the sight reading, aural and general musicianship side of things.

 

If anyone can suggest pieces and other resources for the above then I'd be grateful.


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#3 ABN

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 16:07

Hope your grade 3 went well, ABN. What pieces did you play?

Thankyou Ligneo Fistula, I think it went ok, but not as good as I would have liked, I made a couple of slips during my pieces that normally wouldn't happen and I feel I messed up some of the aural but I guess I'll know for sure in a couple of weeks
The pieces I settled on were
A piece Giga
B piece Hallelujah
C piece Blues in the attic

I was very undecided about the A piece but I'm glad I settled on Giga as it really grew on me so I enjoyed playing that the most.
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#4 ABN

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 16:21

If anyone can suggest pieces and other resources for the above then I'd be grateful.

Two pieces which I would consider to be around grade 3 'ish that I've found quite enjoyable to learn are The lonely man and A fairytale of New York
Both scores downloaded from musescore.com
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#5 Saxwarbler

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 09:46

I had an unavoidable change of teacher after grade 3 but my new lady 'got' me immediately. I said that although I had passed with a Merit, I still didn't feel like a grade 3-4 pianist. She sussed out a lack of confidence and immediately put me on to Burgmuller's Arabesque as well as teaching me a little more of Farewell to Stromness and transcribing part of a Satriani guitar solo (although those last two still have a looong way to go). My latest project is JS Bach's Solfeggio in C as a precursor to JCF Bach's Solfeggio in D, which we'll be starting this week as the first step on my road to grade 4 (LCM). I'm planning on taking a nice, steady run in to grade 4 with a mix of exam and non-exam material so that, if anything, I'll be more than just 'ready' when the time comes. If that takes longer than a year then so be it.

I have to say, in six short months, my new teacher's taught me so much, not the least the process of working out the chords of a piece away from the piano and then playing them in block form in order to understand its general tone and feeling. When I start a new piece, if it's in a key I'm not overly familiar with, she has me doing exercises to match, not just the usual scales and arpeggios, but transposition and interval practice as well. She also emails me regularly with links to performances of the pieces I'm playing.


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#6 thara96

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 05:52

I've been looking for a new music teacher. I also have been doing music theory lessons too. I recently started a new office job so I've been busy. What about you guys? 


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#7 ABN

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:10

Currently patiently waiting for my exam results.
Learning Beethoven moonlight sonata 1st movement
Studying for grade 5 theory
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#8 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 08:28

I've ordered the ABRSM Encore book for grades 3 & 4 (piano) so will work through that for the forseeable future, as well as trying to improve my sight reading and aural (including trying to learn sight singing!).


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#9 helen_flute

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 20:34

Good luck for your results, ABN.

I’m not really between grades, as having passed G8 in March but suffering terribly with nerves, I have no intention of going on to do a diploma, which I had originally considered. I’m still having lessons though, and I’m currently working on a few things.

Firstly, some technique, mostly working on strengthening my right hand ring finger and pinkie, and developing a more relaxed embouchure. I’m also working on taking the plugs out of the keys of my flute, so I can transition from playing from closed to open holes.

In terms of pieces, I’m getting to grips with Honegger’s Danse de la Chèvre, which one of my teacher’s favourite pieces. We’re breaking it down and using it as a means of working on various different aspects of my playing, because it has so many challenges, staccato played pianissimo in the low register, for example.

I would really somehow like to feel more confident in my playing. I definitely don’t feel like a G8 standard player, even though my certificate says otherwise, I’m not entirely sure how to manage this though, and it’s somethign I’ve always struggled with.
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#10 hennylemon

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 13:27

What a good question, ABN. I tend to have little side projects (other pieces) that I'm learning any one time during and between exam prep, but usually not perfecting them to the same level with exam rep . With my piano, I gravitate towards film music arrangements and my most used piano book is the Lord of the Rings Easy Piano one (arr. Dan Coates). I'm very interested in accompaniment, and have bought a couple of second-hand Grade 1 cello books to learn some easy-ish accompaniments. I'm hoping to get together with a cellist to practise playing as a duo. I have experience of singing to piano accompaniment of course, but I'd love to explore the other side of the coin. I bet it would do miracles to my counting. I'm obsessed with the Tchaikovsky Children's album, and I'm learning the first piece, 'Morning Prayer', from it. I noticed it's in the current G4 syllabus, too, which is a lucky coincidence.

 

As far as my singing goes, I sing in a choir so learning rep for our performances takes quite a bit of time and energy from learning solo songs. I'm not aiming for a singing exam right now (as I need to do my theory...) but I am learning songs, some of which I have chosen and some of which my teacher has recommended. Even when I'm not studying for an exam, the aim is that I'm learning fairly varied rep, including different time periods and languages. For example, at the moment I'm learning Se tu m'ami (16th or 17th century Italian), Claire de lune by Faure (romantic), an aria from the Hansel & Gretel opera (19th century German) and Summertime (20th century English(/American). This is actually more than I usually tend to learn in one go but I think that I have also developed more effective learning skills, too.


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#11 hennylemon

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 08:48

Hope your grade 3 went well, ABN.  What pieces did you play?

 

I feel I need a long break 'til my next exam (probably grade 5 rather grade 4) to seriously try to improve the sight reading, aural and general musicianship side of things.

 

If anyone can suggest pieces and other resources for the above then I'd be grateful.

 

 

I had an unavoidable change of teacher after grade 3 but my new lady 'got' me immediately. I said that although I had passed with a Merit, I still didn't feel like a grade 3-4 pianist. She sussed out a lack of confidence and immediately put me on to Burgmuller's Arabesque as well as teaching me a little more of Farewell to Stromness and transcribing part of a Satriani guitar solo (although those last two still have a looong way to go). My latest project is JS Bach's Solfeggio in C as a precursor to JCF Bach's Solfeggio in D, which we'll be starting this week as the first step on my road to grade 4 (LCM). I'm planning on taking a nice, steady run in to grade 4 with a mix of exam and non-exam material so that, if anything, I'll be more than just 'ready' when the time comes. If that takes longer than a year then so be it.

I have to say, in six short months, my new teacher's taught me so much, not the least the process of working out the chords of a piece away from the piano and then playing them in block form in order to understand its general tone and feeling. When I start a new piece, if it's in a key I'm not overly familiar with, she has me doing exercises to match, not just the usual scales and arpeggios, but transposition and interval practice as well. She also emails me regularly with links to performances of the pieces I'm playing.

 

I'm sensing a theme here that I also identify with. Now that I've done my G3 exam, I discussed next learning goals with my teacher yesterday. We agreed that this would be a good time to consolidate the acquired skills and discover different music. Like I said in my post above, I'm exploring accompanying but will of course continue to learn solo pieces, too, one of which is JCF Bach's Solfeggio in D. I have had a go at it but haven't properly focused on learning it yet. I think this stage we're in is quite rewarding actually, because there seems to be so much gorgeous, original piano music (vs arrangements). I really love both the LCM and ABRSM grade 4 books; they are of good value as anthologies just for the sake of it, rather than 'just' as exam material.  

 

Edit. Like LF, I'm also planning to really focus on my aural. I will sign up to the e-maestro website to get working on G4 material, I think...(even though technically speaking I should pass G5 aural but I failed it in my practical last year. wacko.png )


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#12 Saxwarbler

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 11:14

... JCF Bach's Solfeggio in D.

My teacher started me off with JS Bach's Solfeggio/Prelude in C as preparation for this. It's actually been useful for that in a number of ways. I'm learning to read ahead on the page, which is easier because pretty much every bar consists of two identical phrases. Also, it doesn't appear to 'go anywhere' when you first tackle it, but as you get to know it you can hear the tensions and resolutions. Sometimes the right hand will remain constant from bar to bar as the left hand changes and vice versa. Learning those tensions and resolutions helps me to remember where the changes are coming. Interesting, too, to see the difference between father and son. There's also the added advantage that it's very tuneful, your family doesn't moan about it and it sounds very impressive to the non-musician.


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#13 vron

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 11:56

ye .definite theme going on.

I took my grade 3 piano exam last summer and passed it just short of a merit but certainly didn't feel a grade 3 player. I also jumped in far too early really. I learnt my pieces and a few others but nowhere enough grade 3 pieces before taking the exam so that in fact I spent 6 months afterwards learning most of the other grade 3 pieces set. After that I felt much better so I have learnt my lesson and I am not taking grade 4 this year although I am starting now to learn some grade 4 level pieces. I want to feel much more in control and confident before I take another exam ( last years was my very first music exam of any sort and I didn't really know what to expect and I was a nervous wreck)

I really need to work on some aspects such as dynamics as well.
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