Greetings, all. This is my first post in the Diplomas forum. I'm a music teacher, and I'm hoping to do some diplomas to improve my skills and gain some additional qualifications. (But here in Texas, most potential students/parents have never heard of music exams, so I don't know how much the qualification part will help me.)
I am taking my Grade 8 next Friday (a week and one day, yikes) but I'm not very worried about it. I have worked my tail off and I feel as prepared for this exam as I ever have been for any other exam in my life. I may not get distinction, but I should at least pass comfortably.
I am very fortunate to have a retired conservatory professor living in the neighborhood, just a short walk from my house. She has been advising and coaching me as I advance as a player and a teacher. Her daughter is the Trinity representative, but since I have been working with ABRSM (taking exams myself and submitting students) she advised me to stick with that board. She suggested that I take the new ARSM exam (which she and I both see as something in the ballpark of Trinity's Advanced Certificate), so I have been putting together a prospective program on the side, playing some of these pieces as warmups before my serious G8 practice, or when I get sick and tired of the G8 pieces.
Here is my proposed ARSM program. I would appreciate any constructive feedback you might have.
- J. S. Bach - Prelude and Fugue in F minor from WTC I, BWV 857 (I love this prelude and fugue)
- Beethoven - Sonata in E, Op.14 no.1 (a nice sonata, not Beethoven's finest but neither is it overplayed and I already some of it)
- Chopin - Mazurka in C# minor, Op.50 no.3 (not my favourite Chopin, but it's really growing on me - some nice counterpoint)
- Debussy - Bruyères
I figure that gives me a nice balance in time period, mood, and tonality. I also like that the Baroque piece is lyrical whereas the Romantic piece is dance-like! The Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin are all from the syllabus; the Debussy is Own Choice.
Question: what do you folks think about the level of difficulty of the Bruyères? Is it difficult enough for ARSM? The ARSM syllabus states that "up to 10 minutes of music can be own-choice repertoire (of Grade 8 standard or above)." It was on the AMEB Grade 8 syllabus some time ago, so I figured I could justify it that way if the need arose. It's certainly not one of Debussy's more difficult pieces (even among the preludes) but the challenge is mostly in the interpretation.
Again, any constructive feedback would be appreciated.