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Autumn 2019 Exams

musical instruments grade exams abrsm

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#16 Gran'piano

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 12:59

 - I have an amazing ability to go completely blank and not be able to work out what comes next.

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Join the club. One of our daughters has the same problem too. The other, like Mr.G'P, is 'normal nervous'.


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#17 vron

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 13:01

I am in that club too.

Taking grade 3 piano last summer I was a nervous wreck. I made so many mistakes and stopped and had to take a few deep breaths to be able to continue but still passed so I am sure you can do it Misterioso
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#18 EllieD

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 08:24

I'm in the club too. Really hoping I can be brave enough to do Grade 7 piano and then Grade 8, but can I really put myself through the anxiety, which wouldn't just be for the exam, it would be all the time for 2/3 weeks or even more before it .... I would hate not to do an exam just because of this "disability" but it is a very real issue. Sympathies to all those similarly afflicted.


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#19 hennylemon

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 11:27

I'm in the club too. Really hoping I can be brave enough to do Grade 7 piano and then Grade 8, but can I really put myself through the anxiety, which wouldn't just be for the exam, it would be all the time for 2/3 weeks or even more before it .... I would hate not to do an exam just because of this "disability" but it is a very real issue. Sympathies to all those similarly afflicted.

 

My sympathies to everyone as well who suffers with debilitating anxiety. I have been there, and what worked best was psychological therapy (CBT), which you can get for free on the NHS. It's hard, but it really worked for me. Now, I didn't have the therapy for performance anxiety specifically, but the same principles still apply, and people with performance anxiety are likely to be anxious about other things too.  I know there's no 'one-size-fits-all' with these things, some people really don't like CBT at all, but if that is an option, I really do recommend people to at least give it a go. Putting in the hard work is easier than living with anxiety! Of course I still have anxiety but it doesn't stop me from doing the things I want. I'm happy to chat via e.g. private messages if anyone wants more information. :) Even though I had therapy before I started my singing & piano, I don't think I would be able to sit exams if I hadn't done that work before - in fact, I don't think I would have started learning music at all if I still was as anxious as I used to be. 

 

Going back to autumn exams, I had a lesson on Sunday and suggested to my teacher that I should just sign up to take theory exam in November and I'll then just make sure I'll be ready for it. She agreed, so at least I've made a clear commitment now. 


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#20 Misterioso

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:41

 

My sympathies to everyone as well who suffers with debilitating anxiety. I have been there, and what worked best was psychological therapy (CBT), which you can get for free on the NHS. It's hard, but it really worked for me. Now, I didn't have the therapy for performance anxiety specifically, but the same principles still apply, and people with performance anxiety are likely to be anxious about other things too.  

 

 

 

 

I've had an extensive course of CBT, but still the problem remains! The only time I've felt almost calm about taking an exam was my Grade 5 flute several eons ago, after I had had a hypnotherapy session targeting performance anxiety specifically. I would do it again if the resource was available locally. 


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#21 ejw21

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 15:15

Submitted my booking LCM Grade 7 leisure play today. The date schedule is just about 20 years exactly since I last sat a practical exam. 


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#22 gav_1988

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 22:23

Submitted my booking LCM Grade 7 leisure play today. The date schedule is just about 20 years exactly since I last sat a practical exam. 

Exciting!  It's a strange feeling going back to music exams after such a long break. Very definitely worth it though. When I did my Grade 4 sax, it was in the same room as all my piano grades as a kid - it was even the same piano. All a bit surreal, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to, and much more than I did doing them as a kid. All the best! 


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#23 ejw21

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 11:48

gav_1988, that must have been very weird! I've moved house many many times in 20 years so there are no awkward memories associated with this exam centre. Hoorah!


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#24 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 14:38

Anyone else taking a theory exam in November?  I'm registered for G6.  I've been working through practice problems and past papers.  I think I'm pretty much ready, but I'm going to keep up the pressure until the exam.

 

My student who was considering a theory exam decided to take the bull by the horns and asked me to sign her up for G5!  We've been working hard to get her ready.  She's been working G4 practice exams, and is consistently scoring at distinction level.  Next week we'll start revising for G5 and I'll keep her doing practice problems and past papers.  Teaching her for G5 is also good review for me as I prepare for G6.

 

We're registered and our entries show up in the online system.  Alea iacta est.  Thankfully neither of us will be the only adult in the room!

 

Scaredycat and hennylemon, did either of you decide to take a theory exam?

 

Anyone else?


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#25 De Sisti

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 20:31

Hoping to take my grade 4 double bass (and to do a course at Benslow Music).


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#26 thara96

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 08:19

Anyone else taking a theory exam in November?  I'm registered for G6.  I've been working through practice problems and past papers.  I think I'm pretty much ready, but I'm going to keep up the pressure until the exam.

 

My student who was considering a theory exam decided to take the bull by the horns and asked me to sign her up for G5!  We've been working hard to get her ready.  She's been working G4 practice exams, and is consistently scoring at distinction level.  Next week we'll start revising for G5 and I'll keep her doing practice problems and past papers.  Teaching her for G5 is also good review for me as I prepare for G6.

 

We're registered and our entries show up in the online system.  Alea iacta est.  Thankfully neither of us will be the only adult in the room!

 

Scaredycat and hennylemon, did either of you decide to take a theory exam?

 

Anyone else?

 

Anyone else taking a theory exam in November?  I'm registered for G6.  I've been working through practice problems and past papers.  I think I'm pretty much ready, but I'm going to keep up the pressure until the exam.

 

My student who was considering a theory exam decided to take the bull by the horns and asked me to sign her up for G5!  We've been working hard to get her ready.  She's been working G4 practice exams, and is consistently scoring at distinction level.  Next week we'll start revising for G5 and I'll keep her doing practice problems and past papers.  Teaching her for G5 is also good review for me as I prepare for G6.

 

We're registered and our entries show up in the online system.  Alea iacta est.  Thankfully neither of us will be the only adult in the room!

 

Scaredycat and hennylemon, did either of you decide to take a theory exam?

 

Anyone else?

Good luck! I'm hoping to take my first Grade One MT exam next year. 


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#27 hennylemon

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 13:22

Anyone else taking a theory exam in November?  I'm registered for G6.  I've been working through practice problems and past papers.  I think I'm pretty much ready, but I'm going to keep up the pressure until the exam.

 

My student who was considering a theory exam decided to take the bull by the horns and asked me to sign her up for G5!  We've been working hard to get her ready.  She's been working G4 practice exams, and is consistently scoring at distinction level.  Next week we'll start revising for G5 and I'll keep her doing practice problems and past papers.  Teaching her for G5 is also good review for me as I prepare for G6.

 

We're registered and our entries show up in the online system.  Alea iacta est.  Thankfully neither of us will be the only adult in the room!

 

Scaredycat and hennylemon, did either of you decide to take a theory exam?

 

Anyone else?

 

 

Well done for persuading your student to go for the music theory exam! I will also (finally) take it this autumn. I ditched the ABRSM workbooks and have been using Dorothy Dingle's Pass Grade 5 Theory workbook (https://www.amazon.c...s/dp/0955395100). It adopts a thematic approach (if that's the right term) instead of a grade-by-grade approach, which I prefer. I find the exercises and explanations very clear and I like having everything I need in one book instead of give separate ones. Having said that, I have also been doing the ABRSM past exam papers. The thing that always trips me up is beaming. I find that part of theory less logical than others. I'm sure it's not true in reality, but I probably have some kind of a fundamental misunderstanding of it. Keys, scales, transposing etc. I feel quite confident about. 

 

Good luck thara96 with your G1 theory!


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#28 poggyman

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 16:34

After taking my Grade 4 piano back in 1982, I had strated to prepare for Grade 5 when my piano teacher upped sticks and emigrated to Tenerife. I never found a replacement teacher and then emigrated to France towards the end of the eighties. I continued to play the piano but after the recent purchase of a beautiful Yamaha half grand piano I realise that I have no techique and have decided to retake my ABRSM exams. Luckily I have found a wonderful teacher and have put myself forward to take Grade 5 piano in November/December this year. But I had forgotten how hard all the scales are, especially now the contrary motion ones: this is made worse for me as I had learnt the minor scales in the melodic form and the contrary motion minor scales are harmonic. I think I'm OK on the pieces: well I was up until today when it seems like I am making stupid mistakes. I let my head play games and almost talk myself into mistakes. I am dreading the exam because of nerves and do question why I am putting myself through this. But then Teacher says that I am a joy to teach and that I am easily Grade 7 standard (is she mad?): those remarks encourage me and I am already learning the Grade 6 pieces way ahead of time for next year. I don't know: just a low patch at the moment and a bit of self-doubt. Ho hum.


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#29 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 12:56

Welcome, poggyman.  Congratulations on finding a wonderful teacher - it's a marvelous thing when student and teacher fit well together.

 

I think we all have those low patches and struggle with self-doubt.   I went through one early this year as I was preparing for Grade 8 piano.  I got so low as to even try to sell my beloved concert grand.  (I'm glad it didn't sell!)

 

You might want to take a break for a day or two, and then come back to it fresh.  And if your teacher is saying great things about your playing, then you should take courage from that.

 

Regarding scales, I feel your pain.  I struggled and struggled with scales and arpeggios - I practiced scales and arpeggios for 45 minutes a day for several months in my run up to Grade 8.  (But I scored 20 out of 21 on the exam, so it was worth it?  I think...)

 

Good luck with your exam prep.  To misquote the great Hercule Poirot, "my sympathy is with all who take the music exams."


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#30 poggyman

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 14:24

Thank you Dr. Rogers for your kind and helpful remarks.

 

I had thought about taking a break away for a couple of days, certainly from scales! I will play a bit still though but on bits and pieces I enjoy - that way the hands stay mobile. I do use "Dozen-a-day" books, currently Book number 3 and this keeps up the flexibility without the pressure of playing a piece perfectly.

 

Memory at my age of 74 years is also not as sharp as it once was although still good. I try to memorise the pieces so as to be able to better interpret them but maybe I am pushing myself too hard in this respect as I wish to please. Anyway, onwwards and upwards as they say and just keep in mind the Merit i got all those years ago for my Grade 4.


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