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Harp grade 4


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#1 HarpyMum

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 15:55

Hi there
I was just wondering if anyone is about to take grade 4 harp? I am new to this forum, I am 13 and , I have been playing for 2 yrs 4 months, I always get worried about the Aural part of the exam,
I would love to hear from you
Emily-Lou
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#2 Collyermum

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 18:07

Hi Emily-Lou

Sounds like you are doing great! I am hoping to take grade 4 as my first exam in about a year. What pieces are you doing? I am planning on doing Scarborough Fair and the Bach prelude in C and and Alberti Study.

I haven't started working on the aural yet, sorry. They have changed it so much since I last did it for my flute exams that I'm sure it will be all different, and my singing exams were Trinity which is different again. But it isn't my favourite thing either! At least it has the least marks allocated of anything. I haven't looked at the sight reading either yet - I'm not sure about coping with that on the harp yet! I can read it ok but placing might be a major challenge on the go!

All the best, do let me know what you are playing and what harp you are using. I have a Triplett Signature lever harp with 36 strings at the moment. I might get a pedal harp one day.

Katherine.
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#3 Shaolin_monkey

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 00:49

I'm doing Grade 4 - my exam is on April 1st.

I am doing the Prelude, O'er the Sea to Ske and Pozzoli no. 14.

The first one is fine - I've been playing that on and off for about three years, and love it, which comes across in my playing.

The second is ok, but the middle bit where it changes to G harmonic minor sometimes throws me a bit.

The Pozzoli is the bane of my life, and as soon as the exam is done I will never look at that study ever again. The descending scales in that piece are all fine, but every time I get to the bits inbetween I lose rhythm and cadence.

As for scales etc, th first inversions occasionally throw me (my left hand hits the wrong string sometimes), but otherwise should be fine.

The aural stuff I'm ok with, both the tapping rhythm and singing along.

Only a fortnight to fine tune everything!
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#4 rachelviolin

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 14:40

This is Rachelviolin's daughter posting:

Hia Emily, smile.gif
I am also Emily!!! I have been playing the harp for about 1 year and 5 months. I have a pilgrims progress pedal harp (lots of P's)!!!! I am 11 and am going to take my grade 4 harp on the 22nd of march (or there abouts)
I am going to play Prelude, Over the Sea to Skye and Etude 14. I hate aural and sight reading. I cant be of much help in that area, sorrry. My teacher says just try your best (do alot of practice) and you will be fine!!
Emily biggrin.gif
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#5 rachelviolin

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 17:50

This is rachelviolin's daughter again:

Hia,
I did my grade 4 exam this morning. It was quite nerve racking at first but i got used to it. This was my first ever exam so I wasn't really sure what was coming. The person who took it was really nice though she asked me so many scales. 4 minor and 4 major and then 2 arpeggios for each one. the aural was really hard beacase she gave me a really long piece in singing back from memory and the one where you have to describe it and stuff like that. The sight reading was all right but it was so long. Have you done any other exams? If so how many? Sorry if i put you off the aural!! Its not that bad really.
Emily. smile.gif
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#6 HarpyMum

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:38

Hi
I have my grade 4 today and I am doing O'er the sea to sky, sonnatina in C and Prelude no1 study
Keep fingers crossed will let you know how I get on, if anyone has just taken grade 4,let me know how you got on!
Emily-lou harp.gif
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#7 HarpyMum

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 15:10

I just did my grade 4 today. I also had a really nice examiner but in the aural test where you have to sing back to them- it was really long eek.gif . I basically gave up with it. Apart from that it was great! I have done 4 other ABRSM grades, 1, 2 and 3 on the harp and grade 2 piano.
Emilylou

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#8 Shaolin_monkey

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:31

I had my grade 4 on Friday and it was disastrous.

I did Pozzoli 14, Prelude and Over the sea to Skye.

I ground to a halt in the middle of Pozzoli when my fingers got tangled up on a descending scale - fail.

The Prelude, which I know like the back of my hand, and which I've been playing for nearly two years, was almost as bad. In the latter half I got my pedals mixed up, and it took 16 bars for me to figure out what I was doing wrong. By that time I'd played them all in the wrong key, and was so busy figuring out my feet the tempo slowed to a crawl and my left hand missed a ton of easy bass clef notes. I should have been able to play that blindfolded.

I gave up then, and mentally threw my hands in the air. That turned out to be the only good thing I did for the whole exam, as Overthe Sea to Skye was very competent, even if it lacked a bit of colour. The fact I had mentally given up seemed to put me in a more relaxed lassez faire attitude, and so was able to play.

It didn't end there though. I messed up my pedals for at least one of my scales, gave the wrong tempo when asked, tapped a dreadful rhythm to what he played me, and got my fortes and pianos the wrong way around when describing the piece he played.

I just fell apart in front of the examiner. I know I can play them all - I'd even done a nice recording session in a studio run by a friend of mine the wednesday before, and got some beautiful recordings of the pieces. I just can't play anything well in an exam situation - I find it too stressful. It is bizarre - written exams are a cinch, presentations and public speaking are no issue at all, but put me in front of an examiner when playing the harp, and it all goes to pot.

I am very very frustrated at myself, and that a year and a half of seriously hard graft has gone down the tubes in one 15 minute exam. I suppose I can resit it later in the year, but before I do I really need to figure out why I find it so nerve wracking.

Any ideas anyone?
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#9 Collyermum

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 16:24

Sorry Shaolin Monkey, no ideas, but just to say, my commiserations that it didn't go as well as you had hoped, but just remember that you are only remembering the bad bits, and they give you marks for the good bits too! And at least you know you can play it all well, in a recording studio no less (which makes me fall apart as well as an examiner or even my teacher...) so you have a handle on nerves in some situations and are therefore doing well - better than me anyway, I, also, can manage them in some situations (singing exams are ok but not flute for example) - haven't tried harp yet, so I know what you mean. I can do written exams but not play in front of my teacher or other people very well. I can speak in public without undue nerves (some but not effecting me) but not play an instrument, but I can sing solo. Nerves are bizarre! You are not the only one.

Best of luck, no bright ideas, just wanted to say you will have done better than you think, and you are not the only one with these nerves that pop up in some situations but not others!



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#10 Shaolin_monkey

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 22:40

Thanks for your kind words Collyermum, I really appreciate it. Over the last few days I've come to terms with it. If I fail I get the chance to have another go at it, and perform at a standard I will be more pleased with. If I scrape a pass it's onwards and upwards.

As I mentioned, a friend of mine recorded me playing two of my grade 4 pieces last week, and I've finally got around to putting them on Youtube.

Prelude


Over the Sea to Skye


They're quiet, so you might want to turn the volume up a bit.

I have taken heart knowing that, while you can hear some obvious mistakes, I can definitely play the pieces.

Let me know what you think.


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#11 Arundodonuts

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 22:59

QUOTE(Shaolin_monkey @ Apr 6 2011, 11:40 PM) View Post

Thanks for your kind words Collyermum, I really appreciate it. Over the last few days I've come to terms with it. If I fail I get the chance to have another go at it, and perform at a standard I will be more pleased with. If I scrape a pass it's onwards and upwards.

As I mentioned, a friend of mine recorded me playing two of my grade 4 pieces last week, and I've finally got around to putting them on Youtube.

Prelude


Over the Sea to Skye


They're quiet, so you might want to turn the volume up a bit.

I have taken heart knowing that, while you can hear some obvious mistakes, I can definitely play the pieces.

Let me know what you think.

Well I thought they were both wonderful. Very musical performances.

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#12 Collyermum

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 16:14

Wow! I think you should be very happy with those performances. I am feeling like there is further to go to Grade 4 than I thought. sad.gif You are very accomplished. Why does the harp have to be so hard at the lower grades, I remember taking grade 4 on the flute after 2 years of playing and it was so EASY! Harp is so NOT, but you make it sound beautiful! Well done, that was really lovely, please leave them on Youtube for me to keep listening to as I work towards Grade 4, its the first exam I want to take on the harp and I've already bought the lever harp version of the Prelude to learn, but you play it so effortlessly...

So, yes, don't worry about the exam result, you definately CAN PLAY those pieces!


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#13 Shaolin_monkey

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 13:18

Thanks for the kind words all.

As it turns out, I got a merit! Only just though - 120 marks, overall. My tutor thinks the examiner must have taken into account I almost passed out from nerves.

23/30 for the Pozzoli, 26/30 for the Prelude, 28/30 for Over the Sea to Skye. I lost alot of marks on the aural, but can't remember the exact score.

I am quite startled by the result. I seriously thought it was a fail. If I can just get my nerves under control, my aim is for a distinction at grade 5!

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#14 Halka

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 17:16

Well done!

I'm not a harpist, but I really enjoyed your Youtube performances. Your harp and daughters (presume they're yours) are beautiful too!
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#15 Collyermum

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 14:54

Well done! Your examiner must have been able to see that you can play them, too! Congratulations! Well deserved, I'd say, based on your Youtube videos!
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