So far I've been unable to duplicate my miraculous feat from the other night. It's ok though. It will come in due time.
PY, good luck to you with your Grade 8 test!
I checked out the ABRSM website and the concept is very interesting. Maybe I should take a performance assessment at some point. They have representatives in Queens. As I've mentioned before I am always out to compare myself to other students because I have NO idea where I stand. Could I play in a high school level band? Or am I still playing at a junior high level? I guess it depends on the school. My friend is a high school music teacher but her band is playing really simple things like "Twinkle, Twinkle". Yet the kids in the Columbia University Orchestra are so good that I wonder how their high school bands must have been. A lot of them could have easily gone into a conservatory instead and in fact many of them are dual-enrolled at Julliard or Manhattan School of Music, or at least take lessons with professors from there. Are all high schoolers this good?
Anyway, so I checked out the ABRSM oboe syllabus to see where I fit in. I was looking around the site but couldn't find where they talked about the tempo for the scales. I could have sworn I read something about that at some point last year on that site. Well I could probably play just about any scale *very* slowly. And the ones that have 4 or less accidentals I could do a bit faster. I think I am at somewhere between 80 and 100 for eight notes (2 notes per beat) for those.
In terms of the repertoire I am not familiar with a lot of the material and the pieces I *have* heard of are on the more difficult side of the spectrum. I looked through my collection to try to find some intermediate level pieces and found several grade 4 pieces and a grade 5. Here's what I have:
(1) Tambourin - Hasse
(2) 4th mvt of Concerto No. 8 in B-flat Major (Vivace) - Handel
(3) Rigaudon - Rameau
(4) Sarabanda - Corelli
(5) Cui - Orientale (this one is the grade 5, all others are 4)
I have (1) and (2) on Music Minus one recordings and I heard number (5) online. Here is my impression of them:
(1) Ugh! Too fast for me and with difficult articulations. Also kind of long.
(2) Could probably play this so-so with a lot of practice, just don't expect any fancy cadenzas or anything of the sort. The notes are not the challenge: playing in tune and with dynamics control would be. As would be endurance.
(3) Ditto what I said for (1). Also seems like an intonation challenge with lots of high notes at the end when you're tired.
(4) Doable technique-wise at that slow tempo. The challenge here would be expression.
(5) Ok I am not sure I understand why this piece is grade 5 and the others are 4. I have been able to play the notes of this piece for a few months now. I think that with practice I could definitely do this one.
So let's ignore that grade 5 one because I *KNOW* I am not anywhere near that level. Most of the 4 ones are still out of reach for me but I could perhaps get to in the foreseeable future. If I can play some of the 4 stuff albeit badly then I guess I am not grade 1 nor 2. This leaves grade 3 as the reasonable choice where I could be comfortably challenged. The scale requirements are reasonable for me. I do need to practice the minors and arpeggios more. Maybe I will use these as a guide. Too bad I don't have any of the grade 3 music. Anyone have any suggestions for which one of those I should get?