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News: Full statement provided to the Telegraph

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#1 EdGJ


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Posted 13 August 2017 - 06:00

Here is the full statement we provided to the Telegraph in response to questions about Grade 5 Theory.

View the full article
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#2 Digby



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Posted 13 August 2017 - 11:17

Interesting, What prompted this did they run an article?

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#3 hummingbird



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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:38

I've just read the article : http://www.telegraph...ms-introducing/


There's a musical chasm between me and Julian Lloyd Webber, but nevertheless I do find his comments rather odd.  Will a dumbed-down G5 theory exam really mean that conservatoires risk not being able to take British students?  It seems a bit sensationalist to me. 


And is G8 really the pinnacle of achievement in order to get into a British conversatoire?  I thought conservatoires mostly expected a far higher standard than a simple G8 these days, and by the time you get to that stage, I would have thought G5 theory was more than a bit irrelevant.


The Telegraph's quiz is not only ridiculous (as if getting 5 correct answers about performance terms means you would pass the G5 theory exam, which is what the quiz purports) but also one of the Telegraph's answers is incorrect.  They've got the answer to the meaning of "mit Ausdruck" as being "with force".  Tut, anyone would think the Telegraph had dumbed down ;)


Multiple-choice questions from any exam board seem dumbed down to me, but regrettably it's the way exams have gone.  Having done all the grades up to G5, I don't feel as if the music writing was of any benefit, other than perhaps as a foundation for the higher grades but not many students go on to the higher grades anyway.

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#4 jpiano



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Posted 13 August 2017 - 17:09

My first thought was exactly the same as polkadot-as I understand it, especially for instruments like piano, a standard beyond grade 8 would be common. Really disliked the article, and unless Lloyd Webber's words were heavily edited or taken out of context by a lazy journalist, I found them surprising given his role as principal of Birmingham Conservatoire.Thinking about the removal of the composition element from g5 theory, the more I consider it the more I think it probably makes sense.  I find it so far removed from the reality of composition which children will have encountered at school and it doesn't make connections, I  feel, with other parts of their learning of music (you could say that for other elements of the exam too but the composition I found took a disproportionate amount of time). Plus (sorry ABRSM but I think this is true), whilst I do enter a great many students for ABRSM exams which have many positive elements, so, too, do other exam boards  and I really find this notion of it somehow being the 'gold standard' of exam boards misleading reading. It would be good if, say, Trinity would come up with a reply to the article too. I also couldn't quite believe LW's remarks about grade 8 being the 'pinnacle' of achievment-a music college will be looking for so much more in terms of an applicant's involvement and passion for music.

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#5 elemimele



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Posted 13 August 2017 - 22:09

what a load of rubbish! I sincerely hope this is just bad reporting. 

(1) although I have greatest respect for ABRSM, I really don't think that their grade 5 theory exam dictates the level of talent in UK music students. If the test is dumbed-down it just means that more people pass it; of those who pass, the ones who have the greater talent will move on to other exams, other achievements, and still be just as good.

(2) ABRSM do, of course, offer their exams abroad. So dumbing-down of ABRSM exams, were it able to nobble home students, would also nobble foreign students. Julian Lloyd Webber could just as well argue that conservatoires will no longer be able to recruit students from the far East.


I have no idea what happens in conservatoires, but the main drive for universities to increase the proportion of foreign students is that they get more cash that way. 

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#6 BadStrad



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Posted 14 August 2017 - 00:23

And is G8 really the pinnacle of achievement in order to get into a British conversatoire? 

In short, no. The Royal Academy and I suspect other British conservertoires, do not require applicants to have passed any music exams. They would be much more interested in where hou've performed, whk you've studied with etc. Of course an exam board is unlikely to mention that. :)

As for the article being the AB's response to questions... It says jack all that hasn't already been said. It's a rubbish response.
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