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Grade exams - treble recorder


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#1 HannahM

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 12:38

I've started learning the recorder, having got part way through the Grade 4 Piano, but did not complete that grade.

 

My preference at the moment is for the treble recorder. However, when I do a search to find out about the rubrics and pieces for the graded exams, I'm rather confused.

 

With the piano, there was one book you could buy that had 9 pieces over 3 sections, and you had to choose a total of three (one from each section). These books had the year dates on them, so you knew you were getting the current one.

 

I can't seem to find an equivalent for treble recorder. Can anyone point me in the right direction? 

 

Also, has anyone tried other exam boards other than ABRSM? 

 

Any other advice for an adult beginner on treble recorder would be appreciated.


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#2 JoannaB

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 14:34

The books with all the grade pieces are only published for certain instruments. Piano, violin and now cello up to grade 5. I am not sure if there are any others.

I would find the syllabus on the exam board website and either pick the book with the most pieces at that grade to start with or go through the list and listen to recordings of each piece and find what interests you the most. I usually find students end up with 3 pieces from 3 different books in the end.
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#3 Dotty old crotchet

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 16:00

AFAIK none of the exam boards publish a book for recorders. The closest thing is perhaps Time Pieces for Treble Recorder vols 1 (grade 1-3) and 2 (grade 4 and 5) which have several ABRSM exam pieces in them. As they have transcriptions of classical and romantic works, as well as more 'recordery' stuff they may not be your cup of tea, but I quite like vol 1 (not ready for vol 2 yet!).

Do join us on the Recorder Thread here, if you want to talk about anything and everything to do with recorders.

Jacqui
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#4 anonnymouse

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 16:06

 

Also, has anyone tried other exam boards other than ABRSM? 

 

Any other advice for an adult beginner on treble recorder would be appreciated.

Hi Hannah,

 

I know quite a lot about the Trinity exam syllabus.  In fact I'm taking Grade 6 at the end of this month.  It's been a long, hard slog and I'm not sure I'll get much further without a specialist teacher, which is almost impossible to organise where we live. 

 

Whether you choose ABRSM or Trinity as a beginner will depend on how you feel about learning scales and reproducing them under exams conditions.  With Trinity from Grades 1 to 5 you get a choice during the exam between playing scales or playing a selection of short technical pieces (choice of 2 out of 3) designed to test your mastery of certain technical aspects of the instrument, like articulation.  From Grade 6 onwards you can't avoid the scales.  I'm getting a bit jittery about them as we speak because I haven't had to do them for ages.  That's how I ended up on the forum today.  Thought I might learn something.  Oh well, another half an hour's practice before tea time  :)

 

Also, from memory I think there are differences between the exam boards when it comes to taking an exam on just the descant or just the treble or both.  For my Trinity Grade 6, for example,  I've prepared 2 descant pieces sandwiched around one treble piece, and treble scales and sightreading.  You can tell from that that it's actually quite a demanding exam.  You  won't need to worry about that just yet, though, so relax.

 

I wish you every success, Hannah.  I'm all for more players taking recorder exams.  I came up against quite a lot of blank looks when I started asking experienced recorder players in my area whether they could help me prepare for exams.  It's been hard work but I haven't regretted at all.

 

ANM


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#5 Dotty old crotchet

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Posted 10 June 2022 - 17:29

Trinity Recorder Anthologies are also nice books containing some exam pieces. They contain music for treble and descant though, so not necessarily good value if you are wanting to stick to treble.
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#6 HannahM

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:30

The books with all the grade pieces are only published for certain instruments. Piano, violin and now cello up to grade 5. I am not sure if there are any others.

I would find the syllabus on the exam board website and either pick the book with the most pieces at that grade to start with or go through the list and listen to recordings of each piece and find what interests you the most. I usually find students end up with 3 pieces from 3 different books in the end.

 

Thanks for clarifying. It's always strange when you start something new.


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#7 HannahM

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:32

AFAIK none of the exam boards publish a book for recorders. The closest thing is perhaps Time Pieces for Treble Recorder vols 1 (grade 1-3) and 2 (grade 4 and 5) which have several ABRSM exam pieces in them. As they have transcriptions of classical and romantic works, as well as more 'recordery' stuff they may not be your cup of tea, but I quite like vol 1 (not ready for vol 2 yet!).

Do join us on the Recorder Thread here, if you want to talk about anything and everything to do with recorders.

Jacqui

Thanks, Jacqui, I'll come over and join you. I had seen the Time Pieces books, but wasn't sure what they were, or whether they related to the exams.


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#8 HannahM

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:42

 

 

Also, has anyone tried other exam boards other than ABRSM? 

 

Any other advice for an adult beginner on treble recorder would be appreciated.

Hi Hannah,

 

I know quite a lot about the Trinity exam syllabus.  In fact I'm taking Grade 6 at the end of this month.  It's been a long, hard slog and I'm not sure I'll get much further without a specialist teacher, which is almost impossible to organise where we live. 

 

Whether you choose ABRSM or Trinity as a beginner will depend on how you feel about learning scales and reproducing them under exams conditions.  With Trinity from Grades 1 to 5 you get a choice during the exam between playing scales or playing a selection of short technical pieces (choice of 2 out of 3) designed to test your mastery of certain technical aspects of the instrument, like articulation.  From Grade 6 onwards you can't avoid the scales.  I'm getting a bit jittery about them as we speak because I haven't had to do them for ages.  That's how I ended up on the forum today.  Thought I might learn something.  Oh well, another half an hour's practice before tea time  :)

 

Also, from memory I think there are differences between the exam boards when it comes to taking an exam on just the descant or just the treble or both.  For my Trinity Grade 6, for example,  I've prepared 2 descant pieces sandwiched around one treble piece, and treble scales and sightreading.  You can tell from that that it's actually quite a demanding exam.  You  won't need to worry about that just yet, though, so relax.

 

I wish you every success, Hannah.  I'm all for more players taking recorder exams.  I came up against quite a lot of blank looks when I started asking experienced recorder players in my area whether they could help me prepare for exams.  It's been hard work but I haven't regretted at all.

 

ANM

 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience. I've just recently got an online teacher, so you might want to consider that. We do lessons on Zoom.

 

I quite enjoy scales, and don't play the descant. I imagine that at some point once I've got to grips with the treble I'll try the descant, and presumably it will be a little easier as I'll already know about breathing, how to stop notes squeaking etc!

 

It sounds as though you've come a long way. Have you done it all without a teacher? Do you play with other recorder players?


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#9 anonnymouse

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Posted 26 June 2022 - 19:56

 

 

 

Also, has anyone tried other exam boards other than ABRSM? 

 

Any other advice for an adult beginner on treble recorder would be appreciated.

Hi Hannah,

 

I know quite a lot about the Trinity exam syllabus.  In fact I'm taking Grade 6 at the end of this month.  It's been a long, hard slog and I'm not sure I'll get much further without a specialist teacher, which is almost impossible to organise where we live. 

 

Whether you choose ABRSM or Trinity as a beginner will depend on how you feel about learning scales and reproducing them under exams conditions.  With Trinity from Grades 1 to 5 you get a choice during the exam between playing scales or playing a selection of short technical pieces (choice of 2 out of 3) designed to test your mastery of certain technical aspects of the instrument, like articulation.  From Grade 6 onwards you can't avoid the scales.  I'm getting a bit jittery about them as we speak because I haven't had to do them for ages.  That's how I ended up on the forum today.  Thought I might learn something.  Oh well, another half an hour's practice before tea time  :)

 

Also, from memory I think there are differences between the exam boards when it comes to taking an exam on just the descant or just the treble or both.  For my Trinity Grade 6, for example,  I've prepared 2 descant pieces sandwiched around one treble piece, and treble scales and sightreading.  You can tell from that that it's actually quite a demanding exam.  You  won't need to worry about that just yet, though, so relax.

 

I wish you every success, Hannah.  I'm all for more players taking recorder exams.  I came up against quite a lot of blank looks when I started asking experienced recorder players in my area whether they could help me prepare for exams.  It's been hard work but I haven't regretted at all.

 

ANM

 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience. I've just recently got an online teacher, so you might want to consider that. We do lessons on Zoom.

 

I quite enjoy scales, and don't play the descant. I imagine that at some point once I've got to grips with the treble I'll try the descant, and presumably it will be a little easier as I'll already know about breathing, how to stop notes squeaking etc!

 

It sounds as though you've come a long way. Have you done it all without a teacher? Do you play with other recorder players?

 

 

 

 

 

Also, has anyone tried other exam boards other than ABRSM? 

 

Any other advice for an adult beginner on treble recorder would be appreciated.

Hi Hannah,

 

I know quite a lot about the Trinity exam syllabus.  In fact I'm taking Grade 6 at the end of this month.  It's been a long, hard slog and I'm not sure I'll get much further without a specialist teacher, which is almost impossible to organise where we live. 

 

Whether you choose ABRSM or Trinity as a beginner will depend on how you feel about learning scales and reproducing them under exams conditions.  With Trinity from Grades 1 to 5 you get a choice during the exam between playing scales or playing a selection of short technical pieces (choice of 2 out of 3) designed to test your mastery of certain technical aspects of the instrument, like articulation.  From Grade 6 onwards you can't avoid the scales.  I'm getting a bit jittery about them as we speak because I haven't had to do them for ages.  That's how I ended up on the forum today.  Thought I might learn something.  Oh well, another half an hour's practice before tea time  :)

 

Also, from memory I think there are differences between the exam boards when it comes to taking an exam on just the descant or just the treble or both.  For my Trinity Grade 6, for example,  I've prepared 2 descant pieces sandwiched around one treble piece, and treble scales and sightreading.  You can tell from that that it's actually quite a demanding exam.  You  won't need to worry about that just yet, though, so relax.

 

I wish you every success, Hannah.  I'm all for more players taking recorder exams.  I came up against quite a lot of blank looks when I started asking experienced recorder players in my area whether they could help me prepare for exams.  It's been hard work but I haven't regretted at all.

 

ANM

 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience. I've just recently got an online teacher, so you might want to consider that. We do lessons on Zoom.

 

I quite enjoy scales, and don't play the descant. I imagine that at some point once I've got to grips with the treble I'll try the descant, and presumably it will be a little easier as I'll already know about breathing, how to stop notes squeaking etc!

 

It sounds as though you've come a long way. Have you done it all without a teacher? Do you play with other recorder players?

 

Hello again Hannah,

 

Well, I passed Trinity Grade 6 with a merit!  The Trinity results are available the same day as the exam, btw, that's how I know, so I'm a happy bunny today  :D   I would not have been able to achieve this alone.  I've had about 40 lessons over about 6 years, 12 with specialist teachers.  The latter involved travelling which added to the cost, but they were worth it.  Lessons with specialist teachers helped me to produce a a more polished tone, alternative fingering, too.  That becomes more important the further you go.  The non-specialist teacher taught me performance skills and helped me to build self-confidence.  

 

I do hope your Zoom lessons go well.  A tip for the exam:  I knew I wouldn't get a high mark for scales in the exam so I did extra practice for the sightreading and aural tests.  It paid off. 

 

I have played with other recorder players at the Society of Recorder Players (SRP) meetings in the past.  Haven't been for a while, though.  It's just the cost, that's all.  It's a simple, economical instrument but can end up being very expensive to learn to play well.


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#10 Wai Kit Leung

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Posted 28 June 2022 - 09:16

I've started learning the recorder, having got part way through the Grade 4 Piano, but did not complete that grade.

 

My preference at the moment is for the treble recorder. However, when I do a search to find out about the rubrics and pieces for the graded exams, I'm rather confused.

 

With the piano, there was one book you could buy that had 9 pieces over 3 sections, and you had to choose a total of three (one from each section). These books had the year dates on them, so you knew you were getting the current one.

 

I can't seem to find an equivalent for treble recorder. Can anyone point me in the right direction? 

 

Also, has anyone tried other exam boards other than ABRSM? 

 

Any other advice for an adult beginner on treble recorder would be appreciated.

 

ABSM only publishes exam books for certain instruments.  Treble recorder is not one of those.  You will have to purchase the exam pieces individually.


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#11 Norway

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Posted 26 July 2022 - 08:53

Bumping down the spam.


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