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Practical Musicianship (Grades 1-8)



This class corresponds to the ABRSM Practical Musicianship Grades and prepares students for these exams, though participation for the ABRSM Exams is optional.

ALL INSTRUMENTS

Grade 5 required to enter all intermediate-level graded ABRSM exams.

Musicianship is a broad concept that covers a complex range of musical abilities. For the purposes of this syllabus, it is loosely defined as the ability to ‘think in sound’. This occurs when a musician is able to produce music which they perceive internally and in the imagination, whether through playing by ear, singing, reading from notation, or through improvisation.

ABRSM’s Practical Musicianship exams give students opportunities to develop their ability to ‘think in sound’ and perform spontaneously. While the other graded exams focus on aspects of performance that are prepared in detail in advance, here the playing (or singing) is in response to immediate challenges and stimuli, presented both aurally and via notation.

Grade by grade, the Practical Musicianship exams cover some of the key skills for the rounded musician:

  1. the ability to internalize music and to reproduce it

  2. interpreting written music with a minimum of preparation

  3. exploring the possibilities inherent in a short motif

  4. the ability to detect differences between what is heard and what is written

In developing their musicianship skills, students will be gaining the understandings as well as the expressive and interpretative skills needed to master the musical language of the repertoire they are learning.

PREPARATION CLASS: LEARN TO READ MUSIC >

$50 reservation and book deposit, returned upon completion of the series FOR USE AT M4ARTS LESSON ONLY.

YOU MAY MAKE UP ANY CLASS FOR $35 BY APPOINTMENT

GRADE 1:

  1. To tap, as an echo, the rhythm-pattern of two two-bar phrases in simple time played by the examiner. The echoes should follow each phrase in strict time without an intervening pause.

  2. To sing, as an echo, two two-bar phrases in simple time played by the examiner. The echoes should follow each phrase in strict time without an intervening pause.

  3. To play from memory, on an instrument chosen by the candidate, a two-bar melody played twice by the examiner. The key-chord will first be sounded and the starting note appropriate to the candidate’s instrument will be named.

  4. To sing at sight a four-bar melody in 24 time to a simple accompaniment played by the examiner. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated.

  5. To improvise with voice or instrument, at the choice of the candidate, a two-bar answering phrase to a two-bar phrase played by the examiner. The key-chord and the starting note appropriate to the candidate’s voice or chosen instrument will first be sounded and named. The answering phrase should follow in strict time after the examiner has played the opening phrase. A second attempt will be allowed.

  6. To recognize, from the printed score, the three or four changes made to pitch and note values in a melody played twice by the examiner. The candidate will be required to point to and explain the differences. The key-chord will be sounded before the melody is played.

GRADE 2:

  1. To sing, as an echo, two two-bar phrases in simple time played by the examiner, whilst continuously tapping a repeated rhythm pattern (i.e. an ostinato) previously indicated by the examiner. The echoes should follow each phrase in strict time without an intervening pause.

  2. To play from memory, on an instrument chosen by the candidate, a two-bar melody played twice by the examiner. The key-chord will first be sounded and the starting note appropriate to the candidate’s instrument will be named.

  3. To sing at sight a four-bar melody in 24 or 34 time to a simple accompaniment played by the examiner. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated.

  4. To improvise with voice or instrument, at the choice of the candidate, a two-bar answering phrase to a two-bar phrase played by the examiner. The key-chord and the starting note appropriate to the candidate’s voice or chosen instrument will first be sounded and named. The answering phrase should follow in strict time after the examiner has played the opening phrase. A second attempt will be allowed.

  5. To recognize, from the printed score, the three or four changes made to pitch and note values in a melody played twice by the examiner. The candidate will be required to point to and explain the differences. The key-chord will be sounded before the melody is played.

GRADE 3:

  1. To sing, as an echo, two two-bar phrases in simple time played by the examiner, whilst continuously tapping a repeated rhythm pattern (i.e. an ostinato) previously indicated by the examiner. The echoes should follow each phrase in strict time without an intervening pause.

  2. To play from memory, on an instrument chosen by the candidate, a two-bar melody played twice by the examiner. The key-chord will first be sounded and the starting note appropriate to the candidate’s instrument will be named.

  3. To sing at sight a four-bar melody in 24 34 4 or 68 time to an accompaniment played by the examiner. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated.

  4. To improvise with voice or instrument, at the choice of the candidate, a four-bar answering phrase to a four-bar phrase played by the examiner. The key-chord and the starting note appropriate to the candidate’s voice or chosen instrument will first be sounded and named. The answering phrase should follow in strict time after the examiner has played the opening phrase. A second attempt will be allowed.

  5. To recognize, from the printed score, the four changes made to pitch, note and rest values and dynamics in a melody played twice by the examiner. The candidate will be required to point to and explain the differences. The key-chord will be sounded before the melody is played.

GRADE 4:

  1. To sing and play from memory a four-bar melody in 24 or 34 time. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named. The examiner will play the melody twice and the candidate will be required to sing the melody from memory. The examiner will then play the melody a third time and the candidate will be required to play the melody on an instrument of his/her choice. The examiner will choose a key and pitch suitable for the instrument.

  2. To sing at sight the lower part of a two-part passage of two bars’ length while the examiner plays the upper part. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated.

  3. To sing at sight a short melody in 24 34 4 o r 68 time to an accompaniment played by the examiner. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated.

  4. To improvise with voice or instrument, at the choice of the candidate, an extension to the given opening of a short melody over a simple accompaniment played by the examiner. The implied harmonic scheme will be confined to chords of the tonic and dominant. The candidate will be given a part showing the melody in different keys and with different clefs to accommodate the full range of instruments. A second attempt will be allowed. Keyboard candidates should be prepared to play an octave higher than written.

  5. To recognize, from the printed score, the four changes (which may include pitch, rhythm, dynam- ics and tempo) in a short piano piece played twice by the examiner. Changes to notes and rhythm will be confined to the melodic line. The candidate will be required to point to and explain the differences.

GRADE 5:

  1. To sing and play from memory a four-bar melody in 24 34 4 or 68 time. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named. The examiner will play the melody twice and the candidate will be required to sing the melody from memory. The examiner will then play the melody a third time and the candidate will be required to play the melody on an instrument of his/her choice. The examiner will choose a key and pitch suitable for the instrument.

  2. The candidate may choose to: A) Transpose at sight on the chosen instrument a four-bar melody up or down a tone or semitone. A key suitable for the candidate’s instrument will be given.

or B) Sing at sight the lower part of a four-bar phrase while the examiner plays the upper part. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated.

  1. To sing or play at sight, at the choice of the candidate, a short melody including the realization of dynamics, simple ornamentation (except when the test is sung) and the more common marks of expression. Candidates will be allowed a preliminary attempt before being assessed. The key- chord and starting note will first be sounded if the test is sung, and words will be provided (but need not be used).

  2. The candidate may choose to: A) improvise with voice or instrument, at the choice of the candidate, an extension to a melody over an accompaniment played by the examiner. The implied harmonic scheme will be con- fined to chords of the tonic, dominant, subdominant and supertonic of major keys of not more than two sharps or two flats. The candidate will be given a part showing the melody in different keys and with different clefs to accommodate the full range of instruments. A second attempt will be allowed. Keyboard candidates should be prepared to play an octave higher than written. or B) improvise at the keyboard an accompaniment to a given melody which will be annotated with chord symbols. The harmonic scheme will be within the limitations stated in test D1 above. A suggested (but optional) opening will be provided. The examiner will play the melody, if requested to do so, while the candidate plays the accompaniment, or the candidate may incorporate the melody in the accompaniment.

  3. To perform a short free improvisation based on a given motif or interval chosen by the examiner. The examiner will look for imaginative use of the given material, effective use of the voice or instrument and a sense of structure.

  4. To recognize, from the printed score, the five changes (which may include pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, articulation and phrasing) in a short piano piece played twice by the examiner. Changes to notes and rhythm will be confined to the melodic line. The candidate will be required to point to and explain the differences.

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/912658_46d934cae0b0408384e036ef82f00dd6.pdf

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