Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

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Dave68

Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by Dave68 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:02 pm

Hi,
I'm in the process of deciding on pieces to learn for my grade 8 - I'm looking at trinity and abrsm board syllabuses. I can't decide which pieces to learn. I don't necessarily want to choose the easiest, but the ones that will work together the best.

Is anyone else in this position? what are you learning?
Dave

choctawchas
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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by choctawchas » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:49 pm

i have a student that is taking his grade 8 trinity exam this summer. his pieces are the Sor Rondo op.22;
Piazzolla's Milonga del angel and the Ruiz-Pipo Danza.

in the past i have studied and played the bach prelude for lute suite BMV 99; the Torroba Sonatina and the Weiss Fantasie.

i have also played the Duarte English Suite op.31, st movement and have ordered Gary Ryan's Sugarloaf mountain for myself -both
from the alternative pieces Group B.

he has also planned to prepare the Technical Suite and the Group 1 scale/arpeggio option.

all of these pieces reflect the grade and seriousness of the exam, but the Milonga especially so!
Oliver Moore 2012
Miles Henderson Smith 2012

John D

Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by John D » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:17 pm

I have 3 students all taking their grade 8 in March. All are doing the Weiss, then a mix of Piazzolla (really tough), Duarte (I love playing this myself), Mertz and the Torroba. All have chosen to do the Technical suite and save the hastle of learning so many scales. I would love to know the selection process of grade pieces. Does anyone know how they decide? There is always the odd piece that makes me wonder! I'd love to also see the stats on chosen pieces.

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David_Norton
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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by David_Norton » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:19 pm

Are the various Grade Repertoire Lists available on-line, for the rest of us to see the available options?
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

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Blondie
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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by Blondie » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:51 pm

I played Piazolla's MIlonga Del Angel, Weiss' Fantasie (though watch out for the Trinity edition, it has a few errors) and Turina's Garrotin. It made for a varied programme - beautiful baroque, smooth latin jazz and a touch of flamboyant flamenco (almost)..

Showcasing your ability to interpret different styles is important, so be careful about choosing pieces because they 'work together'.

@David Norton - Trinity guitar syallabus is here:
http://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/site/?id=1057

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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by David_Norton » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:32 pm

Thanks very much for the present Syllabus, makes for interesting reading. The standards appear somewhat more relaxed than I recall from the early 1980s (California University System, somewhat different but similar scope), which is probably a good thing. I recall people sweating bullets to manage Grade 7-8 repertoire, material which they really weren't ready to play. Based on this current listing, I'd rate myself a solid Grade 6 nowadays, and able to get into some of the pieces for 7 or 8 with adequate practice time. (Good luck on THAT!)
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by David_Norton » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:43 pm

For comparison, here is the Grade VIII list from California State University in 1979, Ron Purcell director:

Martin: Quatre pieces breves
Torroba: Suite castellana
Berkeley: Sonatina Op. 51
Turina: Fandanguillo or Sevillanas
Duarte: Catalan Variations Op. 25
Ponce: Sonata Classica, or Sonata Romantica, or Sonatina Meridional, or Theme Varie Final
HVL: Etudes 8, 10, 11, 12
Bach: Prelude Fugue Allegro

Duarte's entire English Suite was ranked Grade IV, and the Torroba Sonatina was Grade V.

The requirement was to prepare a full two-part recital of this type of material, not 3 selections. Quite a different level of complexity/difficulty!
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

John D

Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by John D » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:03 pm

I think the grade 8 from California State is a different beast. David's list of pieces seems more like college repertoire. The Trinity Grade 8 is definitely pre-music college. To play the whole English Suite is certainly not grade 4 level!!

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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by David_Norton » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:33 pm

I somehow thought that the Trinity College Syllabus _was_ for college...?
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

John D

Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by John D » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:23 am

No, Grade 8 is not a college certificate. Any student wanting to enter music college, and many universities, need reach grade 8 standard before they get in. In the UK many younger students see grade 8 as the holy grail but in reality is the end of the beginning! As a teacher I would hope that my more talented students would get to grade 8 around the ages of 16-18.

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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by Blondie » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:55 am

Yes, to follow on from what John said, grade 8 in the UK is a qualification that carries UCAS points - in other words to get you into higher education (University /conservatory). It carries the same weight as A levels over here. To take University/conservatory level exams outside of those institutions, you'd be looking at the diplomas. All the boards in the UK are structured in the same way.

Just to confuse things though, 'college' is a term we would use in the UK for post 16 education that is not higher education (you wouldn't do a degree there). Colleges provide an alernative to staying on at school and doing your A levels (you could do A levels at a college instead, so could then go to University afterwards) or you could take any number of vocational qualifications eg. hairdresser, plumber, electrician etc.).

Now I wouldn't be surprised if that are 'colleges' in the UK that actually DO provide graded music exams, in the same way that you can do them in schools.

Hope thats not too confusing!

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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by jimmyblues » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:44 am

Im studying Trinity and have opted for Weiss Fantasie, Sor's Rondo Op.22 and Ruiz-Pipo's Danza. A good mix of periods and styles, IMO, plus I love all three works (though whether I still do in a few months time is another question! :chaud: ). I also am doing the Technical Suite and Scales/Arps option 1. I can't see the point of memorising 27 different scales/arpeggio patterns with differing dynamics, picking patterns, rythmns etc. That would be asking for confusion on the performace day, IMO! Though I'm sure some people may differ... :shock:

Rgds

JDC
Autumn.

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Blondie
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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by Blondie » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:27 pm

jimmyblues wrote: I also am doing the Technical Suite and Scales/Arps option 1. I can't see the point of memorising 27 different scales/arpeggio patterns with differing dynamics, picking patterns, rythmns etc. That would be asking for confusion on the performace day, IMO! Though I'm sure some people may differ... :shock:
Not me, I chose the technical suite for the same reason :)

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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by jimmyblues » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Blondie wrote:
jimmyblues wrote: I also am doing the Technical Suite and Scales/Arps option 1. I can't see the point of memorising 27 different scales/arpeggio patterns with differing dynamics, picking patterns, rythmns etc. That would be asking for confusion on the performace day, IMO! Though I'm sure some people may differ... :shock:
Not me, I chose the technical suite for the same reason :)
How did your exam day go, Blondie? Feel free to PM me if you think it's outside the boundaries of this thread, but I'd like to get more info on this, cos not having done a Grade exam before, and going in at 8, iI'm bricking it at the thought of the actual performance...! :shock:
Autumn.

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Re: Which grade 8 pieces are you learning?

Post by Blondie » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:40 pm

Happy to discuss this in the thread unless it annoys the OP...

What would you like to know? It was in a cold church hall but the acoustics were awesome :) Obviously I was nervous and made a few fluffs in the pieces (nothing major). The sight reading was a killer, Eb I think! The rhythm/improvisation exercise was also much harder than I anticipated and If I were doing it again I'd go for a different option. I was happy to come away with a merit.

If you can, get youir hands on 'past papers' for the unseen parts of the exam, it will give you a good idea of the standard required. Needless to say, you have to prep this stuff to death so that it holds up under exam conditions (especially as this is your first). Make sure you play the pieces and the tech suite in front of people, you do not want to be playing this stuff in public for the first time in the exam room.

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