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DipABRSM in Instrumental Teaching (Piano)

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#1 rejoice

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 04:08

I will be sitting for the DipABRSM exam in teaching during the coming mid-year session. My instrument will be piano. Am wondering if anyone here has taken this exam before and could share with me your experience? :) Like what sort of questions will the examiner ask?

 

Will there be any aural or singing in the exam?

 

Will the examiner ask follow-up questions after my performance of the quick study piece?

 

The syllabus requires that each copy of the written submission be securely bound. How should I bind it? Staple? In A4 book form?

 

I would greatly appreciate any penny-worth of thought, any tips or explanation of what would be expected during the examination.  :unsure:

 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to reply!  :)

 

 


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#2 Hedgehog

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 22:52

Hi rejoice

 

I expect other people will be along soon to give you some of their thoughts.

 

There isn't any aural or singing in the exam, and the examiner didn't ask me any follow-up questions after the QS piece.  The syllabus doesn't indicate that there are any questions after the QS, so I think it's a stand-alone item.

 

When I submitted my written work, I wondered about the binding too - it's a bit vague.  However, I stapled each one down the long side with several staples and then put it in a light-weight plastic folder with a kind of clip thing along the long edge to cover over my staples.

 

In some ways I think the exam reflects the examiner.  Some people reckon they had a more welcoming examiner who invited them to talk about their work and approach to teaching.  My examiner was rather more "old-fashioned" and the exam ran along rigid lines, with specific questions, which I sometimes found a challenge to answer since I didn't necessarily teach in the way/using the words that the examiner asked me.  I was asked about playing staccato, and pedalling I think, and asked to play a section of each of the pieces I had chosen from lists A, B and C.  Then I was asked a few questions about each piece.

 

It is worth reading the syllabus very carefully.  For example, when you are looking at the QS during the 5 minutes, the second examiner will be watching you to make sure that you approach it in an organised way - and this is reflected (if I remember correctly) in the marking system.

 

Good luck with the exam. :)


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#3 rejoice

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 06:07

Hi Hedgehog, thank you very much for your reply! Sorry for this super late reply  :blush:

 

I ended up sending the written submission to the printing shop. They punched holes along the edging and use a kind of long plastic clip to clam it.

 

Hoping for a good examiner! Can't seem to find much about him online. :P


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#4 Clari_notts

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 21:35

some things to bear in mind from what I remember of mine:

 

1) You don't get to perform your ABC choices, only excerpts as defined by the examiner and will usually be the bits with some technical aspects that becomes the basis of the discussion on how to teach it!

2) Staccato, phrasing, rubato and breathing all came up - although the latter wont apply to piano!

3) QS is stand alone but your prep time is being marked - be on guard and don't waste the time.

4) With Viva is primarily about whether you can teach up to grade 6 level and can coherently and enthusiastically communicate the content. Its OK not to have answers to everything i was asked about jazz and replied it was a CPD focus for me - got away with it too!

5) Take everything with you - you need to show that your resources are comprehensive and complete covering all aspects of the syllabus including, scales,sight reading, aural and theory. This isn't just about teaching pieces but producing well rounded musicians!  

6) Submission was bound in a high quality plastic cover with side clasps - it was also a source of discussion in the viva so be prepared to defend your methods and views!  

 

Good luck with it! 


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#5 rejoice

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 06:17

some things to bear in mind from what I remember of mine:

 

1) You don't get to perform your ABC choices, only excerpts as defined by the examiner and will usually be the bits with some technical aspects that becomes the basis of the discussion on how to teach it!

2) Staccato, phrasing, rubato and breathing all came up - although the latter wont apply to piano!

3) QS is stand alone but your prep time is being marked - be on guard and don't waste the time.

4) With Viva is primarily about whether you can teach up to grade 6 level and can coherently and enthusiastically communicate the content. Its OK not to have answers to everything i was asked about jazz and replied it was a CPD focus for me - got away with it too!

5) Take everything with you - you need to show that your resources are comprehensive and complete covering all aspects of the syllabus including, scales,sight reading, aural and theory. This isn't just about teaching pieces but producing well rounded musicians!  

6) Submission was bound in a high quality plastic cover with side clasps - it was also a source of discussion in the viva so be prepared to defend your methods and views!  

 

Good luck with it! 

 

Hello Clari_notts, thank you for your reply!

 

Does the candidate select the order of pieces to discuss or is it decided by the examiner?

 

Can the candidate select the order of the exam components: QS, Viva voce, discussion of written submission?

 

Is it true that the viva is determined mainly by the selection of repertoire and method books you bring to the exam?

 

I'm not too confident about teaching jazz as my music education has been mainly in the classical genre. What is CPD? Did the examiner make any comments about this in the remarks sheet? 

 

If few/no jazz books are brought to the exam, do you think it would matter? I would be bringing theory, aural, SR, etc materials, but I'm not sure if I'd need to demonstrate the ability to teach jazz pieces and technique.

 

Did you bring a copy of your written submission to the exam or did the examiner have a copy of it with him during the exam?

 

Did the examiner spend much time looking at the range of materials you brought? I'm thinking of supplying him with a booklist of the materials I'm bringing in. Should I?

 

Thank you very much for your help! :)


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#6 katyjay

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 07:37

Hi Rejoice

 

Order of pieces and stuff like that, it's up to you to guide the discussion the direction you want it to go, otherwise the examiner will do so.

 

Exam battle order - you are entitled to choose between QS and Viva (which will include your submission discussion). 

 

Obviously what you take into the exam will guide your discussions, but as long as you know what's out there in terms of repertoire and tutor books for your instrument, you don't have to bring the whole lot in!  That would be physically impossible for a singer, for example.  I think I only took 4 or 5 books into my singing dip, and that was plenty - I still got a distinction.

 

CPD is continuing professonal development.  You're not expected to know everything about every genre of music in this exam.  Being aware that you don't know much about something is ok, especially if you make it clear that you're open to learning more.

 

Yes, bring a copy of your written submission.  It will refresh your memory for the details in it, and that will help you answer the examiner's queries.


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#7 rejoice

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 13:26

Hi Rejoice

 

Order of pieces and stuff like that, it's up to you to guide the discussion the direction you want it to go, otherwise the examiner will do so.

 

Exam battle order - you are entitled to choose between QS and Viva (which will include your submission discussion). 

 

Obviously what you take into the exam will guide your discussions, but as long as you know what's out there in terms of repertoire and tutor books for your instrument, you don't have to bring the whole lot in!  That would be physically impossible for a singer, for example.  I think I only took 4 or 5 books into my singing dip, and that was plenty - I still got a distinction.

 

CPD is continuing professonal development.  You're not expected to know everything about every genre of music in this exam.  Being aware that you don't know much about something is ok, especially if you make it clear that you're open to learning more.

 

Yes, bring a copy of your written submission.  It will refresh your memory for the details in it, and that will help you answer the examiner's queries.

 

Thank you so much for your reply! *sighs in relief* :P
 

Did the examiner ask you to sing any of the pieces from the 4-5 books that you brought? I wrote to ABRSM and it sounds like I may be required to perform and demonstrate from the books I'm bringing. But I'm doubting that would be the case...


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#8 katyjay

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 14:29

No, the only things I had to sing/play in both dips were the g6 pieces.

But for the singing one I had to discuss some of the contents of the books I brought.

I didn't have that for the recorder one, though. I don't think they did anything other than glance at the materials I had with me.
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#9 rejoice

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 07:55

No, the only things I had to sing/play in both dips were the g6 pieces.

But for the singing one I had to discuss some of the contents of the books I brought.

I didn't have that for the recorder one, though. I don't think they did anything other than glance at the materials I had with me.

 

Were you asked questions like: "If a grade X student Y of age Z wishes to learn a classical piece, what are some pieces you would assign?"

 

Or "Student Y has difficulty with challenge Q. What exercise would you assign to help him overcome this difficulty / master the technique?"

 

Thanks for your feedback!


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#10 Dreamaurora

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 08:39

No, the only things I had to sing/play in both dips were the g6 pieces.
But for the singing one I had to discuss some of the contents of the books I brought.
I didn't have that for the recorder one, though. I don't think they did anything other than glance at the materials I had with me.

 
Were you asked questions like: "If a grade X student Y of age Z wishes to learn a classical piece, what are some pieces you would assign?"
 
Or "Student Y has difficulty with challenge Q. What exercise would you assign to help him overcome this difficulty / master the technique?"
 
Thanks for your feedback!

Do a search for my thread on my Dipabrsm teaching experience. There I tried to recall all the questions and answers in my exam. Hope that can help answer your questions.
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#11 katyjay

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 11:05

Hi Rejoice

No, neither time was I asked which piece to assign.

I was asked about exercises to develop technique in the singing dip, but not in the recorder one.
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#12 Hedgehog

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 12:10

I was asked what difficulties did I think occurred in one of the pieces that I had studied.


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#13 richchord

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:43

 I chose C2 Wise Bud.   How to answer count "Swing Rhythm" if the examiner ask ?


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#14 katyjay

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:54

Answer it just like like you would tell a pupil encountering swing for the first time.
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#15 Seer_Green

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:42

I won't answer specific points as katyjay has done an excellent job of that, but just to say, people are often far more worried about the Viva Voce than is necessary. Above all, it focuses on aspects of teaching, so how would you work on X, Y or Z with a pupil. Remember to relate everything back to actual teaching practice - for example, people often worry about being asked about the history of their instrument - remember that again, this is in the context of teaching, so how does the development of your instrument affect how you approach teaching, for example, aspects of interpretation, stylistic awareness etc. (that said, no one has ever told me this question has come up!)


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