Rico's Exam Result

Rock Lobster

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124
All,

Congratulations Rico.

This has prompted me to ask about something I have been wondering for some time. I am a learner and have been at lessions for 14 months. At the beginning we worked through "A Tune A Day" and have now moved on to my teacher picking a tune which we work on until she feels I can play it, then we move onto a new tune, I am enjoying this and have no complaints. At the beginning my teacher asked if I wanted to do the grades and I said no, thus the strategy above. Do you think a better approach would have been to progress through the grades? Is it too late to satrt?
I would appretiate your opinions.

Thanks,
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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Tune a Day! Blimey, that's a bit old innit? I learned to play with that nearly 40 years ago. Anyway, it's never too late to do grade exams if that's what you want to do. Some people find it a bit tedious, but they generally cover most of the stuff you need to know. You don't have to do them all - I only did one (G8 - I felt like I needed a kick up the bum practicewise - I'd been playing 10 years already).
 

TomMapfumo

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Agree with Nick!

The ABRSM jazz grades are really good if you are not particularly into classical music, and have some decent pieces - not just made up ones. Also "The Jazz Method for Saxophone is a really useful music book (with CD). At the very least you could, say, buy Grade 1/2 Music (with CD) and give some of the tunes a go. There are Trinity/Guildhall and London College of Music Grades also - might be worth having a look. At least with the Grades it does give a useful order of learning, whether you do the final exam or not.

Theory Grades are a different matter - both ABRSM (Classical) & LCM (Popular Music) do Theory Grades from 1 - 8, and again you might find these useful (I am doing LCM Grade 5 later in the year).

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

Young Col

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Rico
Very pleased for you and I hope you found it as useful as I did when I passed Grade 5 theory (without doing the lower grades) earlier this year. And it opens up the higher performance grades in ABRSM for you of course. My thoughts when I took up music again over two years ago, were that I did not want to do performance grades, but I am now working up through Grade 4 pieces and scales with my teacher with the probable course of going in at Grade 5 before long. It is certainly quite useful for some more formal bands who like to know what standard you have reached as well as hearing your playing ability for themselves. Good luck, whatever you do next!
YC
 
OP
Rico Vandoren

Rico Vandoren

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St.Helens, Merseyside. UK.
Thanks for all your good wishes...
I took practical grades 4 and 5 and then the theory so that I could take grade 6 practical ( perhaps next spring ). For those who don't know- you can't take grade 6 practical until you've passed grade 5 theory- at least not with ABRSM.

I tend to take a grade then have some time off to look at other things before doing the next. That way it gives you something to focus on without it dominating your every practice session.

I've learned a lot of useful stuff, and would recommend it.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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The Malverns, Worcs
All,

Congratulations Rico.

This has prompted me to ask about something I have been wondering for some time. I am a learner and have been at lessions for 14 months. At the beginning we worked through "A Tune A Day" and have now moved on to my teacher picking a tune which we work on until she feels I can play it, then we move onto a new tune, I am enjoying this and have no complaints. At the beginning my teacher asked if I wanted to do the grades and I said no, thus the strategy above. Do you think a better approach would have been to progress through the grades? Is it too late to satrt?
I would appretiate your opinions.

Thanks,
Rock Lobster, I had exactly the same view as you - I definitely didn't want to take exams. I also didn't want to do anything "classical", so my teacher was pretty much like yours - she picked pieces, I worked on them until I could play them, and then we moved onto another piece, all jazz, swing, blues etc.
But then (like you) I began to feel that there was no purpose, no target, so I plumped for an exam. Since I really didn't want to do theory, my teacher suggested Trinity Guildhall Jazz Saxophone. I still had to learn scales, and we did some work on intervals and cadences (I knew nothing about any of this beforehand), but I took grade 4 as my first exam in May, having had lessons for 16 months, and passed with a distinction. I felt really pleased with myself.
Now I'm trying to decide whether to take grade 5 or grade 6 next. If I had taken ABRSM grades, I'd have to take grade 5 theory before being able to take grade 6 practical, but with Trinity Guildhall, no theory exam is necessary.
 

Rock Lobster

Member
Messages
124
Can I thank everyone for the advice, this has been very useful. I think I will approach grades with my teacher when she comes back from her holiday as I am beginning to feel a bit directionless, can't do any harm can it? If I dont like it I can always stop.

thanks again everyone..
 
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