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Autumn, 2020 Exam Thread


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#1 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 15:01

Greetings, all.  In the past we have had session-specific threads for us all to report our progress.  I haven't seen one for Autumn, 2020, so I figured I'd start one.

 

Is anyone else planning on taking an exam in this Autumn session?  Theory or practical, in-person or remotely assessed?  Anyone doing a diploma?

 

I'll start with myself and my fiancée.  I have registered for Grade 7 Music Theory.  It will be held in-person at a new venue here in Central Texas.  The new venue will facilitate the necessary social distancing.  Luckily for me, the new venue is pretty close to my new home.  I have worked six years of past papers.  I have also been studying Bach's chorale harmonizations, which has been a very productive endeavour.  I'm feeling pretty confident on Grade 7 Theory.

 

Back in the spring, I had registered for ARSM in piano.  The May exam session here in Texas was then cancelled due to the virus scare.  That gave me a few months to further polish my programme.  I have already made my recording for remote assessment; I am just waiting for online registration to become available here in the States.  I was prepared to make several recordings and pick the best, but I was actually very happy with my first recording.

 

Now I am working towards two DipABRSM diplomas, in piano performance and piano teaching.

 

My fiancée is polishing up her Grade 4 progamme, preparing to record it for remote assessment in the next few months.  Her playing is absolutely beautiful, and she selected a wonderful Bach minuet (from the French Suite in C minor, BWV 813) for her own-choice piece.  Again, we're waiting for the online registration to open up for us here in the States.

 

So, what are you all working on now?


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#2 ejw21

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 15:28

I purchased the Trinity Grade 8 piano book last month (extended version). Have been under a LOT of stress recently so I'm not officially going for the exam (attempting to give myself a break but that's easier said than done), but I shortlisted about 8 pieces on the list that I like and want to learn. Teacher happy with this as well. If I decide I want to do the exam in the next few years, then OK, and I'll have a broad choice from which to select 3. 


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#3 maggiemay

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 20:14

I had a teenage student who was preparing to do Trinity grade 8 at the start of this year - sadly it didn’t happen, for reasons you can guess - and he has now departed for university.

Interestingly he’d done all the previous 7 grades with AB, and had opted to swap to Trinity for the last one. 

We were both enjoying the pieces very much, and they were well on the way. 

An excellent idea to explore a good range of the pieces. Wishing you much enjoyment with your choice ! 


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#4 hennylemon

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 10:09

I've decided to give the remotely assessed performance exams a go (grade 4 piano). I've been experimenting with the recording process itself which has been by far the hardest part, especially to capture the full instrument in my small flat! I made a few recordings yesterday and sent them to my teacher to get some feedback on the different set up options. I'm eager to submit a recording as I'm sick of my pieces, frankly! They all are lovely pieces of music, but I really want to move onto other things now. 


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#5 wendym

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 12:52

I’ve signed up for grade 4 cello...could be more ready than I am but with the right stimulus (ie exam date) I know the right kind of practice will kick in and it’ll be fine. I’m not going down the recorded route as strings recording is too disheartening and I quite liked playing almost directly into the face of my examiner last time - she had lots of extremely lovely things to say about my tone that a recording will completely miss. Yes, I know there is a risk the face to face exam will be cancelled but if it is, there’s always next year, or the next. Just like the idea of having something personal to work towards as the days shorten and winter approaches...
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#6 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 13:44

I've decided to give the remotely assessed performance exams a go (grade 4 piano). I've been experimenting with the recording process itself which has been by far the hardest part, especially to capture the full instrument in my small flat! I made a few recordings yesterday and sent them to my teacher to get some feedback on the different set up options. I'm eager to submit a recording as I'm sick of my pieces, frankly! They all are lovely pieces of music, but I really want to move onto other things now. 

Which pieces have you chosen?  My fiancée's pieces (from the 2019-2020 syllabus) are:

 

  • Bach - Minuet from French Suite in C minor, BWV 813 (own choice)
  • Haydn - Finale: Presto (3rd movt from Sonata in A, Hob. XVI:26)
  • Grieg - Arietta (from Lyric Pieces, Op 12 No 1)
  • Gillock - Holiday in Paris

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#7 Saxwarbler

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 18:41

I've just booked my grade 4 piano exam with LCM for 13th December. I'm learning JCF Bach's Solfeggio in D, Lewis Brown's Senorita and Mike Cornick's Two Part Invention.

I had told myself that I'd look at upgrading my digital piano at grade 5, but I've just found out that I can put a deferred pension into payment so hopefully I'll be able to upgrade earlier than I thought. I think of it as a pre-reward.


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#8 hennylemon

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 06:10

 

I've decided to give the remotely assessed performance exams a go (grade 4 piano). I've been experimenting with the recording process itself which has been by far the hardest part, especially to capture the full instrument in my small flat! I made a few recordings yesterday and sent them to my teacher to get some feedback on the different set up options. I'm eager to submit a recording as I'm sick of my pieces, frankly! They all are lovely pieces of music, but I really want to move onto other things now. 

Which pieces have you chosen?  My fiancée's pieces (from the 2019-2020 syllabus) are:

 

  • Bach - Minuet from French Suite in C minor, BWV 813 (own choice)
  • Haydn - Finale: Presto (3rd movt from Sonata in A, Hob. XVI:26)
  • Grieg - Arietta (from Lyric Pieces, Op 12 No 1)
  • Gillock - Holiday in Paris

 

 

Great programme! I've chosen the Bach also, as well as the Bagatelle in C (Beethoven), Chanson de Matin (Elgar) and A Kwela for Caitlin. All the best to your fiancée with her exam!


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#9 Gillybobs

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 15:00

Sounds like you've all been busy this year getting ready for exams.  I've booked to do grade 5 music theory and have worked through past papers and have amassed a large amount of books :-) I am worried about doing the exam online as so much of the work is done transcribing music and multiple choice often throws me.  Was hoping to do some practice questions in the online format but it seems to have disappeared from the ABRSM website... (updated - found it! https://forums.abrsm.org...nline-theory/)

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#10 ejw21

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 10:57

Good luck everyone. Saxwarbler, I like the idea of a 'pre-reward'!! 


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#11 hennylemon

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 07:31

I got my results a couple of days ago. I got a distinction (yay) with mark distribution that resembled those of my previous piano exams. I was quite intrigued by this because some people in a couple of piano groups I follow on Facebook shared feedback that they as a teacher or as a student considered unreasonable. Based on this one experience, for me this exam medium is a good alternative when face-to-face practicals aren't available. 


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#12 wendym

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 09:19

Wow, well done Hennylemon!!   :)


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#13 wendym

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 10:02

I've got my cello gr 4 next Wednesday and at this point in our neck of the woods, the practical exams are still going ahead so am somewhat nervously looking forward to that - don't think I could have managed doing a cello recorded performance exam - I'm rubbish when the "record" button kicks in - but also I'd be afraid my phone screen or the microphone would crack as soon I started playing forte!  Especially in these times of zoom everywhere and limited human contact, I am so looking forward to the thrill of playing to a real human being - even if they are an examiner!   And an added bonus is that my accompanist and I are in a sort of childcare support bubble anyway, so I'm definitely bringing her along to play with me! (now to knuckle down to some last-week practice...)


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#14 hennylemon

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 10:24

Wow, well done Hennylemon!!   :)

 

Thank you! :) Best of luck with your live exam! I can certainly understand the preference for performing to a live audience, even if just one person. 


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#15 wendym

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 14:03

Oh I am going to perform to the spiders up in the corners of the room too, and to anyone walking past outside the windows of the building, the covid-cleaning-staff outside in the corridor waiting to rush in and clean the room after me, in fact to anyone within hearing distance of my lovely cello  :D

 

How this year has changed things - used to be in the past where I'd be terrified to make any tiny sound - now so starved of opportunity to play for and with others, I'll grab any and every opportunity, even if it is an examiner!   :rofl:


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