Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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Qcam2010
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Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 09 Nov 2010, 03:55

Hi there - I'm new to this forum :D

I'm due to sit my grade 1 piano exam on Thursday and am feeling a little nervous now :oops:

Has anyone got any tips that might help a 30 something Male calm his nerves for the big day :mrgreen:

My teacher is expecting me to do well and I hope to - just think because I've sat this type of exam before I don't really know what to expect. My teacher has talked me through it so I kind of know what to expect. Just don't know how I'll feel on the day I guess.

Any tips greatly received :lol:

Thanks

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 10 Nov 2010, 03:17

Thanks, I hope you're right :D

I'll let you know how it goes!

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 10 Nov 2010, 16:12

Thanks again. I know exactly what you mean about that sense of achievement once you CAN do a particular thing that you struggled with previously.

I can sense your passion for the piano so I don't really need to say this but I will - keep at it, you will get there.

I don't know how old you are, but I was 31 when I started and I thought I maybe too old to learn. But I'm glad I tried and kept at it.

Butterflies are working overtime now :x lol

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 11 Nov 2010, 15:29

Well that could have (and should have!!) gone better :evil: :evil:

I had plenty of time to practice on the piano before hand and yet I STILL fluffed it.

I praticed the 2 scales I thought I'd be asked to play D major and F major. Played them both fine in the practice session.

F major right hand - fingering just went to pot but I recovered and I don't think it sounded too bad :?

D major left hand and A minor left hand fine.

Broken cords and contrary motion scale fine.

All 3 pieces had slip ups, despite being played fine in the practice.

Sight reading. The Bb was screaming at me, and I noted it. Did I play it? NO :x

Aural - Least said the better.

All in all I haven't a clue if I passed. Time will tell.

The examiner was formal but pleasant.

I await news of a pass/fail.

Off to practice this weeks piece - A Christmas carol to cheer me up :mrgreen:

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Gill the Piano » 11 Nov 2010, 19:05

The examiner knows the difference between 'I haven't practised' and 'I'm so frit I might throw up all over the keyboard'! You'll be fine!
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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Blodwen » 11 Nov 2010, 20:19

QCam, Im sure you did great! Bet you cant wait for the results now. I think they should be able to tell you there and then whether or not you passed, like they do in a driving test! I hate being kept in suspense! Ill keep my fingers crossed for you, you'll have to let us know when you get the results!
Ill let you know how mine goes next Friday!

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 11 Nov 2010, 20:33

Gillthepiano - this might sound like an excuse, but the piano I practised and played on was, to me, awful. The keys on my piano are really heavy and I like it and am used to it. The keys on the piano I played on were so light, you only had to look at them and they played a note. Struggled to get the dynamics when playing quieter and softly. But hey ho, nothing I can do now except hope I passed! :D


Blodwen - Thanks again and yea I agree a yes or no after the exam would be better! Maybe half the "fun" is waiting for the results? lol. Good luck for next week hope you do better than I did. Be sure to let us know.

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 12 Nov 2010, 07:24

I shall let you know when I get the results. :D

I loved playing Ode To Joy although don't think the neighbors enjoyed it so muh lol. I have a Barratt & Robinson upright piano. Lovely piano even tho I say so meself lol. The piano I played at the exam was a Yamaha grand piano. I don't like the tone of Yamaha pianos. Sound too bright for my liking.

Looking forward now to Grade 2 - I know, glutton for punishment :wink:

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Gill the Piano » 12 Nov 2010, 19:40

Your Barratt and Robinson is probably 30-odd years old. The Yam will almost certainly have been new(er). A grand will usually feel heavier than an upright (the hammers have to be propelled vertically up to the string, as opposed to just forwards as on an upright), and the younger it is the stronger the resistance to the finger will be as all the springs are new and boingy (technical term!). However, the touch will be immediate and responsive - bit like comparing the accelerator on a Morris Minor and an Aston Martin. Your B&R has had 30+ years' service and the springs and felts will have lost their resistance, leading to more effort being required to get the requisite touch. The examiner will be aware of the disparity between most teachers'/candidates' pianos and the exam piano (which HAS to be of a certain quality in an exam centre, or they aren't allowed to have exams there). Don't panic!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 12 Nov 2010, 21:46

My lovely piano is dated 1971 - and a dream to play. I love the fact it needs more of an effort to play, probably as I'm used to it and wouldn't want it any other way. I don't know how to put a pic on here (?) - I think I'll be able to relax a bit more once I get the result so I can compare my performance to the mark attained. Not that it matters much anyway as I shall still carry on and do the rest of the grades.

I know they said between 4-6 weeks but is it this long or do people get them sooner? (impatient I know :P )

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Colin Nicholson » 13 Nov 2010, 11:01

Good luck with your results - should be about 2 - 3 weeks.
If you register on-line, giving your applicant number & a password, they issue the results a few days earlier.

For things like "Exam nerves" - everyone is different. When I was a kid, I used to enter in for music festivals, and I even competed in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool in the Theatre!! Very nerve racking, but eventually you get used to it. Exams then became a doddle!

My advice is to try and play to a small audience as much as possible - friends, neighbours, other pupils, and ask your piano teacher to do various mock piano exams - I have a form drafted up similar to the AB one, and it gives my pupils an idea of their standard. Examiners mainly listen out for tempo control, dynamic contrasts aswell as a balanced performance, the odd slip won't matter, but if several - they might knock off a mark or 2.

Good luck
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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 13 Nov 2010, 14:43

Colin Nicholson wrote:Good luck with your results - should be about 2 - 3 weeks.
If you register on-line, giving your applicant number & a password, they issue the results a few days earlier.

For things like "Exam nerves" - everyone is different. When I was a kid, I used to enter in for music festivals, and I even competed in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool in the Theatre!! Very nerve racking, but eventually you get used to it. Exams then became a doddle!

My advice is to try and play to a small audience as much as possible - friends, neighbours, other pupils, and ask your piano teacher to do various mock piano exams - I have a form drafted up similar to the AB one, and it gives my pupils an idea of their standard. Examiners mainly listen out for tempo control, dynamic contrasts aswell as a balanced performance, the odd slip won't matter, but if several - they might knock off a mark or 2.

Good luck

Thanks Colin. 2-3 weeks is far better than 4-6, especially if I pass lol.

I did have a few mock exams, but it's not the same when it's done by your own teacher who you play to week after week. I think I shall ask my teacher to see if she arranges all her students to get together and play. Might help with the nerves.

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Gill the Piano » 13 Nov 2010, 18:26

I would add that the more pianos you can play your pieces on, the better. Nobody you know with a piano should be safe!:)
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 13 Nov 2010, 19:49

Gill - I don't know anyone else that HAS a piano - other than at the community centre that has half the keys that don't play and those that do, you wish they didn't cos it's so out of tune.

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Gill the Piano » 14 Nov 2010, 00:01

Pitiful! Cultivate some new friends...rich ones with shiny new huuuuuuuge grands....:D
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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 14 Nov 2010, 02:37

I'll search Facebook right away :wink:

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Gill the Piano » 14 Nov 2010, 17:05

Start a group: 'SeriouslyRichPianoOwnersNearQCam'sHouse'...
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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 14 Nov 2010, 22:56

I think a trawl round some music shops to have a play on the pretence of buying a new piano may be in order :D

I'm very good at playing the indecisive person, "I just can't make up my mind I think I'll come back and try again and again and again..." then, "I think I'll stick with the piano I already have" :twisted:

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 25 Nov 2010, 12:30

Erm, I just had a phone call from my teacher to let me know...

I PASSED WITH DISTINCTION :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D


I've never had a distinction in me life :lol: :lol:

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 25 Nov 2010, 12:53

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Last edited by Qcam2010 on 25 Nov 2010, 12:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 25 Nov 2010, 12:53

Thanks Dave.

138/150

I can't remember the breakdown of it all, but I do remember her saying that my worst piece Gavot, was my highest marked piece 29/30.

Lesson next week so I'll pick me cert up and find out the rest.

That has really brightened up my day :D

Off to mention it to a few people :wink:

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 25 Nov 2010, 17:14

Dave, Q is fine - I don't use my real name online at all. To satisfy your wife (if that's the corret word to use???) I am Male.

PianoLove - That's the problem with doing so well at the start, you can only really go down if not stay at the same level lol. Means I have to work twice as hard to maintain a distinction lol.

I am so happy, especially as I remember me seemingly doing so badly. :piano;

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Gill the Piano » 25 Nov 2010, 18:56

Qcam2010 wrote:Erm, I just had a phone call from my teacher to let me know...

I PASSED WITH DISTINCTION :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D


I've never had a distinction in me life :lol: :lol:
yes you beauty!!!!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 25 Nov 2010, 20:12

Gill the Piano wrote:
Qcam2010 wrote:Erm, I just had a phone call from my teacher to let me know...

I PASSED WITH DISTINCTION :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D


I've never had a distinction in me life :lol: :lol:
yes you beauty!!!!

Hahaa Thanks Gill - been on cloud nine all day :P :P

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 26 Nov 2010, 23:18

Pianolove - keep at it, and before you even realise it'll come. How often do you practice? Do you do one long session or a few shorter sessions? I've been doing 2 half hour sessions a day so far. Seems to have paid off so will probably stick to it. Do you have a teacher?

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Blodwen » 26 Nov 2010, 23:36

Wow well done QCam!! you must be elated!! Im so chuffed for you xxx

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 26 Nov 2010, 23:55

Thanks Blodwen. To be honest, I was over the moon and shocked!

Pressure is on to keep up the standard for Grade 2 :D

You should get your results any day now. Bet you can't waitxx

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Blodwen » 27 Nov 2010, 09:23

Cant wait is an understatement lol! As Dave Brum said it's like having an itch I cant scratch grrr! Well its 8 days today since my exam so hopefully wont have to wait too long!! how long did yours take? about 2 weeks was it?

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 27 Nov 2010, 10:14

Haha love that expression, having an itch you can't scratch :P :P

My results were exactly 14 days. I still haven't actually seen my certificate yet tho - and it's looking more likely I won't see it next week either because of this stupid white stuff falling from the sky :evil: :evil:

I'm just glad the result doesn't get worse the longer you take to touch the certificate lol

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Gill the Piano » 27 Nov 2010, 17:30

PianoLove wrote:. I still need to write the letters above the notes on the music sheets though- I'm a long way off sight reading without that. But that will surely come with time.
Not if you keep writing the notes in it won't!! Come on, wean yourself off...otherwise it's like saying you can ride your bike when you still have your stabilisers on! :mrgreen:
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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 27 Nov 2010, 20:22

Take Gill's advice - it really does make you think about the notes if you don't have them written in front of you. Before you know it, (and it really does happen sooner than you think) you'll automatically know the notes. Go on, rub out those notes and play... DARE ya :P :P

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 27 Nov 2010, 20:33

:shock:

Erm the one after C is D :wink:

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 27 Nov 2010, 20:38

:oops:

oh I do apologise lol - you had me a bit worried for a minute then :mrgreen:

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 27 Nov 2010, 20:51

I daren't argue with your :piano; it's bigger than me :D

It does get a bit frustrating, I know I do when I can't do something. But that feeling you get when you CAN do it is great. I'm pretty stubborn so I don't like to be beaten. I WILL do it, eventually lol.

Did you see that little kid in the paper, grade 8 on the piano AND violin? That's when I get frustrated and wish I'd started when I was younger.

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 27 Nov 2010, 23:04

I think at the end of the day Dave, it's gotta be a case of, if we want it bad enough, we will do it and get there.

There are loads of videos on YouTube of young kids playing - the really young ones, 5,6 year olds are really impressive. Can imagine the parents forcing the kids to sit at the piano, making them play for hours on end. Almost in a way living their lives through the kids. Some of them are really talented though.

There are also loads of talented adults on there - there is a guy from France on there and he is self taught and is absolutely fantastic. One day, I'm going to play like him :P

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Gill the Piano » 28 Nov 2010, 15:30

I tune for some parents who, when I ask if sproggo is enjoying the lessons, say 'No, but I want him to learn as I always wish I had.' Makes me livid. I can't bear it when children are forced to learn.
So you adult beginners are saving some poor brat from having to live your lives for them!
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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 28 Nov 2010, 16:03

Gill the Piano wrote:I tune for some parents who, when I ask if sproggo is enjoying the lessons, say 'No, but I want him to learn as I always wish I had.' Makes me livid. I can't bear it when children are forced to learn.
So you adult beginners are saving some poor brat from having to live your lives for them!

Ah that's ok then :D :D :D

I remember reading online somewhere once, about a girl that was forced to play the piano, got her grade 8 before she left school. When she left home, she hated the piano so much she's never played since. To me, that's not what music is about, it's supposed to be enjoyable... (my neighbors will learn to like it :) )

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 28 Nov 2010, 16:28

Dave, we have something in common! (other than the piano) I too loathe football. Always have, always will! I never had to play sports at school - I would say luckily but on balance I feel pretty unlucky as I was quite ill as a child so missed alot of school and when I did attend I was wrapped in cotton wool.

Also, if the teacher is supportive (my nan had a teacher that used to whack her hands with the ruler if she dared to play a wrong note!) but the child doesn't want to play, I can't see how the child can do well. Force the child and as with anything, they will rebel. There were about a dozen in my year at school that had lessons and could play the piano, 1 played the trumpet and 3 the violin. Oh and one used to play the drums. I don't know of any kids today that have that inclination to want to learn to play. It's all Xbox 360 or Wii or texting on a mobile phone. I'm sure there must be some musical kids somewhere but I don't think as many. When we were at school we had a school band and used to compete against other schools. The school I attended no longer has a band as there weren't enough children good enough to play in it. Shame really.

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 28 Nov 2010, 20:21

There's hope for us yet then! :P

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 29 Nov 2010, 05:46

Pianolove, I have come to hate scales. I know they are important and I do practice them. But I just think arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh what's the point :shock:
Do you play your scales hands together? This is a good way of getting used to playing using both hands.

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Colin Nicholson » 29 Nov 2010, 09:29

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A ... -4&h=0d12a

Is this what you mean Gill? !!!
Not sure if this will link to the forum, but the video "The Music Teacher & The Parent" can be found on Youtube. The teacher's nightmare! Been there, got the t-shirt (and now the video!!)
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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Colin Nicholson » 29 Nov 2010, 09:35

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A ... -4&h=0d12a

Try this!! The Music Teacher & The Parent video - a classic!!
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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Blodwen » 29 Nov 2010, 14:57

Although I learned a little piano when I was younger I wish my parents had pushed me a little to practice and stick with it! My biggest regret is not learning properly when I was younger! I think when I have kids I will try not to be overly pushy but I think I will be actively encouraging them to learn an instrument!

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 29 Nov 2010, 18:15

Well I got my loverly shiny new certificate today :D :D :D

Also was told that I'm being entered for Grade 2 in Feb/Mar 2011!

Pressure pressure pressure. Can I make it TWO distinctions :lol:

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Gill the Piano » 29 Nov 2010, 18:41

Of COURSE you can, Q. You've set the bar high...! :D
Every child should be given the chance to play the piano. However, if they hate it, they shouldn't be MADE to play. Left to themselves they may come back to it later, as many of my customers have.
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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 29 Nov 2010, 18:55

Thanks for the vote of confidence Gill. Would be nice to repeat my performance and get a distinction, but I'd be equally happy with a pass... yea right! lol.

This is a breakdown of marks in the Grade 1.
B1 - 29
C3 - 26
A1 - 29

Scales - 20

Sight reading - 17 (checked key signature, but still forgot to play the Bb!)

Aural - 17

Total 138/150 :P :D

I would write the comments but I cannot read the examiners writing, think he used to be a Dr! :mrgreen:

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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Gill the Piano » 08 Dec 2010, 17:42

I think the crap writing is a requirement for examiners...I played for a brat's clarinet exam on Tuesday and forty+ years of music exams has left me with unparalleled powers when it comes to reading upside down, but even I was beaten by his writing....it looked more like an ECG. :roll:
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Re: Grade 1 Exam Thursday

Post by Qcam2010 » 08 Dec 2010, 23:06

Haha, if they'd hooked me up to an ECG machine on the day, I'm sure it wouldn't have said "distinction" :D can't stop saying it lol

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