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Exams for sax?


New Member
Greater Toronto Area (Canada)
Hi there! I'm new here. I played clarinet for several years as a kid and one year of tenor sax in high school. Fast forward 3 decades and I just started playing alto sax in a concert band in my area. I know it's pretty common for piano students to do exams (e.g., ABRSM, Trinity, AMEB, RCM), and was wondering if it is also common for sax players to do them. I live in Canada so my examination board would be RCM.

I do like the idea of exams because it gives me focus but I've never heard of anyone locally that does sax exams. Any thoughts? Thx.


Paints With Notes
I wrote an article on this a few years ago:

I used exams to gauge my current standard at the time, and they did focus my practice. I'm now happy to play pieces according to my mood, and take occasional day/weekend/week long courses to keep me motivated.

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
New Zealand and Australia
While it's true that some people need a goal (exam, grade, certificate, etc.) to motivate themselves, it's debatable whether an academic path is going to produce a creative player. Your goals may not be more than playing in a local band for fun, but others may have a higher ambition. Having a good teacher is in any case best. They can continually assess your level and challenge you to perform. A good teacher can also direct you towards your goal in playing whatever your style might be. The "one size fits all" type of academic exercise is obviously limited in it's direction and scope. While it can help with basics, beyond a certain point it's superfluous if not guiding you towards your goal.
Saxholder Pro

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