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#16 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 12:46

I'll be interested in your experiences of ARSM, Dr Rogers, perhaps that will help me make my mind up!

 

I'll be taking it in May of 2020, if all goes according to plan, so I have eight more months.  I took Grade 8 in May of 2019.  The Professor and I originally set a timetable of one year for ARSM, and then another two years for DipABRSM, but she's thinking we can bring that in a bit.

 

It turns out that a year was probably longer than I really needed for ARSM.  Now I'm at the point where the programme is really coming together, and I still have eight months to go before the exam!  We only get two practical sessions per year in the Republic of Texas - May and November.  It's too late to register for the November session, so I'm stuck with next May.

 

But there's a bright side to this: I should have that programme down nearly flawlessly!

 

She suggested that I start working on one of the pieces for the DipABRSM to prevent boredom while I polish up the ARSM programme.  I've started on the Bach Toccata in E minor, BWV 914.  I just poke at it a little bit every day, but I've made some progress.  It has four movements: an easy prelude, a tricky fugato, a moderate fantasia, and a difficult fugue.  I've been nailing down the fingerings in all the movements, but focusing my efforts on the fugato and fugue.  I've made a lot of progress on the fugato (fingering is the difficulty there) but that fugue is a real butt-kicker.  But I adore that fugue, so I feel it's worth every minute of slow, hands-separate practice.

 

The Beethoven sonata I'm doing for DipABRSM (Op. 14 No. 2) is easier than the one I'm doing for ARSM (Op. 14 No. 1) so the Professor and I aren't too worried about it.  The Chopin Nocturne will be tricky, and I'm dreading all the woodshedding that ill be needed for my Debussy Prelude (La puerta del vino)...

 

Hopefully I'll be able to do the DipABRSM in a year and a half after the ARSM.


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#17 mature clarinetist

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 17:13

That does put my break rather into perspective, mature clarinetist!

 

I broached the subject of another exam with my teacher last night for the first time, and he laughed out loud and said he had predicted this would happen, after having sworn off exams immediately following my G8. We discussed the pros and cons, and what my motivation was, as similarly, I'm never going to be a professional, although I do like something to keep me focussed.

 

I had originally thought ARSM, but I do enjoy the research aspect of things, so the viva voce would be OK. The quick study on the other hand...

 

Having said that, my teacher and I have decided to keep playing stuff from the repertoire list and not decide yet. So definitely still swithering.

 

I'll be interested in your experiences of ARSM, Dr Rogers, perhaps that will help me make my mind up!

 

I can't say I like sight reading, but the standard is about Grade 6 and I did okay in previous exams.  Always do better with harder rhythm and easier key signature than the other way round.  Just like you I am working on stuff from the repertoire list until I reach the point when I have to decide to go for it or not.  


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#18 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 17:24

Just like you I am working on stuff from the repertoire list until I reach the point when I have to decide to go for it or not.  

 

 

I think that's a very good approach.  Don't pressure yourself, but if you find yourself feeling confident with the pieces then you can decided to go for it.  I intend to adopt that strategy for LRSM (if and when I get there - big talk for someone still working on ARSM).


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#19 corenfa

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 20:38

My teacher and I have the agreement that if she does not think I will pass, I won't enter for the exam. It worked with the ATCL as I felt very much on exam day that I could do it and if I didn't pass it would have been unexpected. So I have to be playing at the right level most of the time, in order to even enter. Don't know if this is silly but it works for me, and that's all that counts.
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#20 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 13:00

My teacher and I have the agreement that if she does not think I will pass, I won't enter for the exam. It worked with the ATCL as I felt very much on exam day that I could do it and if I didn't pass it would have been unexpected. So I have to be playing at the right level most of the time, in order to even enter. Don't know if this is silly but it works for me, and that's all that counts.

 

Not silly at all!  On the contrary, I think that's a very sane policy.  I have the same policy with my students (and myself, for that matter).  I will not enter anyone for an exam unless I am completely certain that they will pass.


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#21 helen_flute

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 18:21

I agree, that's a very sensible approach. That's exactly what my teacher and I did with my G8. I'd originally planned to sit it in autumn last year, but work was really busy and I didn't have time to practice enough. We agreed that being borderline pass standard wasn't enough, so I delayed it until the spring, and achieved a firm pass.

 

If I do go for a diploma, we'll do the same thing for sure. There are so many reasons to not rush into it until you feel ready and confidently playing at the right level.


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#22 corenfa

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 19:13

The entire point of the exam was to give me something to work towards to get my playing up to that level, so I suppose I'd be taking it for the right reasons- to just confirm that I am at that level. 

 

If I take it next year, it'll be 7 years in the making. I only took the ATCL because I was bored of working on my LTCL programme. I'm doing things totally the wrong way round, I know. But hopefully I'll get there even if it was a bit of a twisty path. 


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#23 helen_flute

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 08:46

My teacher and I have had a look through the repertoire list for DipABRSM and chosen the pieces I’ll be working on over the next few months from that list (Vivaldi Concerto in F Major, Hindemith Sonata and Debussy Syrinx). We’re going to see how that goes, and maybe think about aiming for winter 2020 if I do go for it. I’m enjoying the pieces so far, especially the Hindemith, which is much more fun and lighthearted than I expected. And the Vivaldi is wonderfully flamboyant.

He’s also reintroduced sight reading into my lessons, and we’re doing more technical exercises again, so I think even a vague plan to possibly do a diploma will be good for my playing. These are things that so easily fall by the wayside for me when I’m less focussed.
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