My teacher has told me to play a piece at 60 Bpm using quavers what does this mean. He states the actual speed is 110 however ABRSM states 80. I am struggling to understand please advise

The piece is Sonatina in A minor by Benda. 2/4 time signature and shows crotchet =96

2 Answers 2


Your teacher could have meant two different things::

  • practice at quarter (crochet) = 60, but set the metronome for the eighths (quavers) at 120 BPM
  • set the metronome to 60 BPM and practice at eighth (quaver) = 60 BPM

You should ask your teacher which one they intended, although I would assume they mean the first one. The second one would be extremely slow.

For the different tempo indications. It looks like the composer (or an editor) thinks the piece should be played at Q=96, ABRSM thinks it should be Q=80 and your teacher thinks it should be faster Q=110. Classical pieces can often be played at different tempi. You have to make whichever tempo you end up using work musically


It's all confusing - your teacher should have made it all crystal clear to you, and if it's for an exam, what ABRSM states is what they believe is best for that performance. there are no bonus marks for playing a piece faster! Although there's always room for interpretation, particularly at the higher grades, and that will inevitably include tempo, which for this sort of piece, needs to be pretty regular from beginning to end.

If the metronome is set at 60 (one per second), for each quaver, then in 2/4 time, there will be 4 clicks per bar.Most of the versions I've heard are played at around 110 - 130bpm, thus two clicks ber bar, making the four semis and two quavers (the motif) last for one second (ish). So there's some confusion. Seems like you think teacher wants it at about half speed! Maybe for learning, it's not a bad thing. I'd suggest setting the metronome at 90 - 100, and use it to count 2 in a bar - if yours has a ping as well, each bar will be 'ping, click'.

At the recommended 80bpm, it seems rather slow for a grade IV piece. -Or, at double, way too quick! However, at any time when you don't understand what the teacher wants, it's your right to have it made clear, and their responsibility to know that you do understand clearly.

  • 1
    It's all confusing, and this doesn't seem to have made it any clearer
    – PiedPiper
    Jul 13, 2019 at 11:11
  • @PiedPiper - could you specifically tell me which confuses?
    – Tim
    Jul 13, 2019 at 11:27
  • All of it. You’re saying use 90-100 for crochets? But why? That doesn’t seem to reconcile with anything the asker has been told or read so far. Jul 13, 2019 at 13:55
  • @ToddWilcox - the criticism is taken. Please tender a more palatable answer.
    – Tim
    Jul 13, 2019 at 19:25
  • I don’t think I can do better than the other answer. Jul 13, 2019 at 21:28

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