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19

I'll quote Wikipedia for some background on the ABRSM: The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) is an examinations board and registered charity based in London, United Kingdom, which provides examinations in music at centres around over the world. The ABRSM is one of three examination boards accredited by Ofqual to award graded exams and ...


7

Well, it's always sensible to attempt a piano piece. It's not like attempting to skydive without sufficient training to make it successfully to the ground, after all. That said, after looking at the repertoire requirements for the top ABRSM grade, grade 8, you would have to be well beyond this stuff to be able to play the Emperor with any degree of ...


7

For ABRSM, the syllabus lays out these rules quite clearly. Minor scales in the lower grades may be played harmonic or melodic or natural minor by the candidate's choice (do check carefully as you take higher grades when this changes!) Pieces are normally played without repeats. The syllabus will say if a given piece on it should be played with repeats, so ...


7

Violin E-string squeaking is something that happens to the best of violinists. It's a natural problem because the E-string is so thin. Try changing the angle of the bow as you hit the string, the weight and/or the speed. All of these factors will contribute. However, if your E-string squeaks while playing it's not a big deal. The judges should know that this ...


7

These double-stop sixths will have the tonic of the scale up top, with the third of the scale on the bottom. In the book you found, those double-stop sixths are actually in the key of E♭ major; E♭ (scale-degree 1) is on top and G (scale-degree 3) is on the bottom. If you want sixths in the key of G major, you'll have G on top and B on the bottom. The scale ...


6

A quick phone call revealed that you can take the theory exams in German, if you request it at the time of entry. English and German will appear for the questions, but I suspect it's standard German rather than any Swiss/German.


6

ABRSM grades are mainly for people who are first learning an instrument, and they're mainly to track progress and give students something to work towards, rather than as a qualification. Because students are tested on playing at sight, scales, and understanding of rhythm, not just technique on a prepared piece, they're a good way to get them to practise ...


6

Sight Reading / Singing and Aural skills really are things your teacher should be doing with you. I know sometimes teachers don't have the time or the patience to these things themselves but I still think it is poor for a teacher not to be doing these things with you. You don't consider your pupils like the mince going through a sausage stuffer. You need to ...


6

This is an old chestnut! 6/8 is compound time, so called because it's a sort of mixture. It can be counted in a slower two, or a faster six. ONE--TWO-- , or ONE two three FOUR five six. So, it's easy to get confused. It's more correctly called duple (double) rather than triple time, because it's made up of two dotted crotchets in each bar, but if it ...


5

It isn't really that useful to think of the sightreading tests for a graded music exam in comparison to the performance pieces for graded music exams. This is because: the sightreading tests are much shorter, more like exercises than actual pieces. the sightreading tests are designed simply to test your ability to read notation and perform it at sight; ...


5

The examiner will play you a short (~10 seconds) line of music. You need to 'clap back' the rhythm he just played - so in the terms you used above, 'memorizing', not 'clapping the strong beat'. This is based on my own exams which were 5-10 years ago now, but I doubt it will have changed. From the specification on ABRSM's website: To clap the rhythm of ...


5

The guidelines say "All da capo and dal segno indications should be observed but all other repeats (including first-time bars) should be omitted unless they are very brief (i.e. of a few bars) or unless the syllabus specifies otherwise." ABRSM para 15(h)


4

The problem with adults is they have a lot of other stuff on their plates. Kids are in a great position, with relatively few draws on their time, in reality, and probably some financier there as well. Go for it. There will always be other things to pull you away from having some practice time, but force these things into the background. If you have the ...


4

As a rough guide, many children start playing an instrument at about the age of 7. Most students take about a year to pass each grade, with more enthusiastic pupils reaching grade three after just a couple of years. Many sadly give up after only a few grades. For those that push on to the higher grades, these often coincide with having to sit important ...


3

Not a complete answer, but this might help: You can find a pdf document here on the abrsm website, which gives full details of the exams, and lists the pieces you need to play to pass at each of the grades 1-8. It is not possible to take the practical exams online - you have to turn up up at an exam centre and play the pieces in front of an examiner. ...


3

Your age should not be the problem. What can be a problem is the realities of adult life. If you have a job and a demanding family life then it is probably going to be hard to find several hours a day to practice your instrument. There is nothing about your age that makes it impossible, just the higher demands on a person time that seems to come from being ...


3

It is inadvisable to lump together pieces of music with other pieces merely because they are on an exam syllabus together. Music isn't grades. Some music is used to test one's progress in learning fingerings in small exams called grades. The piano solo part to Beethoven's piano concerto no 5 is not defined by its grade standard and cannot be played by ...


3

The ABRSM theory example books are available, so there's no need to find a teacher, but, as Neil Meyer says, get one, at least for a few pointers. As a grade VIII player, you'll have a good idea of most of the theory, even if you're not aware of it, and could probably go in at grade III level initially. So in answer to the actual question, start by ...


3

With the regime of ABRSM, it's necessary to pass grade V theory before taking VI, VII and VIII practical, on any instrument, but the other way round isn't a problem. You can take whatever you like, theory-wise. Not all exam boards have this stipulation in place. However, like with so many other theoretical things, it would tend to make more sense if there ...


3

I imagine it's what a lot of folk do. I certainly did - take grade V theory as a passport to practical VI+. It's obvious that knowledge of the previous grades' content will be more than a bit important though. It may well be dependent on the board used. In U.K. all of the exam boards require a grade V theory pass before continuing with practical above grade ...


2

UK grade exams go from grade 1 to grade 8. They don't give general music qualifications because what they test is very narrow and because there is no time limit on how long anyone has to learn the pieces for the exam. Grade exams are therefore only qualifications in relation to one another because they can't be compared to any other music qualifications ...


2

There's a degree of truth in the idea that you have to start young to achieve full mastery of instruments such as violin or piano. But that's about concert soloist level. Grade 8 is no mean achivement, but it IS achievable by anyone with aptitude who is prepared to put in the work. And - and this is why so many adults make excellent initial progress then ...


2

Consider the age group of your student teaching a 6 year old who lives across the road It's true that everyone learns differently, but generally you can anticipate your student's ability to learn and progress based on their age. The older the student, the more variance there is in this estimate. At 6 years old, I can tell you from much experience, the ...


2

Similar system applies in Australia, called the AMEB, or Australian Music Examinations Board. I'm an amateur player, attend a once-a-school-term chamber music play-in for fun, and members are put into trios, quartets, etc, with similarly graded players. Not all have done exams so don't have a paper grade, but the chamber music society has developed its own ...


2

I'm a music theory teacher who specialises in training students for the ABRSM exams. If you want to take the exams, then it's a good idea to begin at grade 1, even though it will be quite easy. I frequently take on students who want to take grade 5 (or higher) and have large gaps in their knowledge - things like how to beam notes correctly into groups, for ...


2

Was your teacher playing from an ABRSM publication of sample tests? I doubt they'd throw you a curve ball in a Grade 2 exam! But if they do, and you clap 'fast 6' to a tune in 6/8, I'm sure the examiner would be kind. You might be excused for confusing one bar of 6/8 with two of 3/4. But be clear that 6/8 is described as 'compound duple', 2 beats to ...


2

You can do that. It is not required of you to do grades from initial level up to grade 8 level, but in most cases it would be beneficial to you to do all the grades to equip yourself for the next grade. I have done grades 1 & 2 theory, years ago. I can't remember which grade I stopped at but I am continuing from next year with grades 4,5 and then 6 and ...


2

That is tough. I am not sure if advice from a guitarist will carry over to piano but... I try to maintain a diverse repertoire on two instruments. The approach depends on whether you are learning these pieces from scratch and working them up to performance level or just ironing out glitches but already know them. And, how much time you have to get them ...


2

At dip. level, you and your teacher should be addressing this. It's a personal thing, and while one may say practise all four simultaneously, another may say do one for a week/fortnight, then another, and so on. We all work differently, so it's impossible to give good advice that'll work for you. With the exam maybe 12 months away, I'd be learning a big ...


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