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#933183 - 01/17/09 09:22 PM Teachers: AMEB AMUS help/advice
KimET Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/09
Posts: 4
Well, I have a few questions regarding the requirements for the AMEB AMUS exam and thought it'd be appropriate to ask here. My teacher insists that sight-reading and aural is tested, which I am pretty sure isn't, though, it was in the past. I don't think she's had any AMus students in a while so she's not up to date with the new syllabus. She also says there's a time frame in which your progam must be between 30-40 minutes long. Can you confirm this?

By the way, I'd also like to ask how tough the examiners are. I read somewhere that only one in three candidates pass on their first attempt .. Is the level of playing expected to be that high?I know it is meant to be something like a concert performance but will it be so drastic that if you miss/slip on a note or re-play a mistake, it will jeopardise your outcome? And does the difficulty of the pieces contribute to how they mark you? I think my songs are relatively easy =\

Also, how can we play notes softly and quickly whilst still firmly pressing the keys? When ever I attempt to play notes softly, i press very gently on the keys and i know that's just not good becasue the sound is not consistent. Any tips? And what's the key to playing through a piece with absolutely no mistakes? Everytime i will have a minor slip up and sometimes .. not so minor. When playing over and over the pieces to perfect them, i don't think that's the right approach. I think i'm merely overplaying it rather than fixing the problem. I think my prelude and fugue is going a little haywire because of overplaying (yikes). So teachers, can you shed light on some of my questions?

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#933184 - 01/17/09 10:24 PM Re: Teachers: AMEB AMUS help/advice
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5936
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by KimET:
Well, I have a few questions regarding the requirements for the AMEB AMUS exam and thought it'd be appropriate to ask here. My teacher insists that sight-reading and aural is tested, which I am pretty sure isn't, though, it was in the past. I don't think she's had any AMus students in a while so she's not up to date with the new syllabus. She also says there's a time frame in which your progam must be between 30-40 minutes long. Can you confirm this?

By the way, I'd also like to ask how tough the examiners are. I read somewhere that only one in three candidates pass on their first attempt .. Is the level of playing expected to be that high?I know it is meant to be something like a concert performance but will it be so drastic that if you miss/slip on a note or re-play a mistake, it will jeopardise your outcome? And does the difficulty of the pieces contribute to how they mark you? I think my songs are relatively easy =\
[/b]
Hi Kim. There aren't many teachers from Australia who post here, so you may not get a lot of response specifically on the AMus, but I can certainly help you with some of your questions.

Firstly, your teacher really must get an up-to-date manual for the exam requirements. It's about 10 years since sight-reading and aural were requirements for the AMus, and the actual listing of works on the syllabus has changed twice in that time. I'd be more worried that the works you have prepared might not actually be in the syllabus than that you might be working on aural and sight-reading "unnecessarily" (they are, after all, most useful skills, whether they're required for the exam or not).
The manual is a little misleading in that "section III" is titled "aural tests, sight reading, general knowledge" but when you look these up it's only general knowledge which is examined at this level. I have printed out the corrections from the AMEB website and it says the examination of Section III in the Associate Diploma will comprise only General Knowledge questions. Aural Tests and Sight Reading will not be examined in the Associate examination.

Quoting from the syllabus:
The candidate is to choose a program of not less than 30 and not more than 40 minutes' duration, including gaps between the pieces.


You need a balanced program, but the difficulty level will not influence the marking as such. A convincing performance is what they are looking for, and minor slips will not matter unless it is apparent that you are not technically in control of the playing, or are underprepared.

In the manual there is a list of the objectives and what the examiners are looking for. You really should read this, as well as the guidelines for General Knowledge - this is a significant part of the exam, and may be up to 15-20 minutes. In my experience (and this can't be guaranteed to be representative) there is about a 60% pass rate, but I have no idea what the overall pass rate actually is. Much higher than for the LMus, that's for sure \:\) .
Hope this helps.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#933185 - 01/17/09 10:59 PM Re: Teachers: AMEB AMUS help/advice
KimET Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/09
Posts: 4
Thanks so much currawong!

I am SO GLAD there is no sight-reading and aural. I am absolutely pathetic at those!

Hmm.. so the program must be between 30-40 minutes. I might need a filler piece then =/

Well, I'm PRETTY sure my pieces are in the syllabus (or really hoping they are). I have the 2004 syllabus (which i know is pretty old) and they're all in. I'm just hoping it hasnt changed to the extent that my pieces have been excluded.

Do you have the new 2009 one?
My pieces are:
Prelude and Fugue No 9 in E - Bach
Sonata in C k330 - Mozart
January - Tchaikovsky
Sonatine, 1st movement - Ravel

and maybe Romanze op 118 No 5 by Brahms to bump up the time

If it's not too much of an ask can you please check them for me?

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#933186 - 01/17/09 11:21 PM Re: Teachers: AMEB AMUS help/advice
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5936
Loc: Down Under
They're all in the 2009 syllabus (you can breathe again \:\) )- presuming you mean the Prel & Fugue no.9 from book II[/b] (not book I).

The grade lists change more than the diploma ones, but it's still essential to check, especially when (as in the 2009 syllabus) there's been a completely new grade syllabus.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#933187 - 01/17/09 11:59 PM Re: Teachers: AMEB AMUS help/advice
KimET Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/09
Posts: 4
Ahhh thank you so much!
I would've had a heart attack if they weren't in there!
and yes, the prelude and fugue is in book 2

Ok I've just got a few more questions! How is the "filler" piece (the extra piece you play because you're under the time limit >> i don't know what it's called \:\( ) marked? Is it there for the sake of meeting the time requirements or will it have the same emphasis and importance as the other pieces? My program is just borderlining the 30 minute mark depending on how fast i play as well as the gaps in between. What is a suitable time gap between each piece or movement? At the moment I'm taking pretty short gaps .. maybe about 5 seconds in between. What is pretty much standarD? and what's a nice gap so that the examiners don't feel like you're waiting there so to meet the time limit?

I might consider learning something new just incase i fall below. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe something short and snappy whilst not being too difficult \:D
and what do you think of the brahms romanze op 118 no 5?

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#933188 - 01/18/09 12:17 AM Re: Teachers: AMEB AMUS help/advice
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5936
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by KimET:
How is the "filler" piece (the extra piece you play because you're under the time limit >> i don't know what it's called \:\( ) marked? Is it there for the sake of meeting the time requirements or will it have the same emphasis and importance as the other pieces? My program is just borderlining the 30 minute mark depending on how fast i play as well as the gaps in between. What is a suitable time gap between each piece or movement? At the moment I'm taking pretty short gaps .. maybe about 5 seconds in between. What is pretty much standarD? [/b]
The way the piano syllabus is worded it implies that you play 4 pieces only, but program pieces that are of a length so that the program will be between 30-40 minutes. There is nothing actually said about extra pieces. (This is interesting, because there certainly is in the singing syllabus, which I have more to do with, being an accompanist primarily. In the singing AMus you are required to add extra from the syllabus to make the time up.) Now if your program is nudging 30 minutes and you're only allowing 5 seconds between pieces, I personally think you'd be all right. 5 seconds is a very short gap - you could easily increase that. Most people, in my experience, rush through their exams and don't take care to pace the performance thoughtfully.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#933189 - 01/18/09 12:28 AM Re: Teachers: AMEB AMUS help/advice
KimET Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/09
Posts: 4
Hmm .. i think i might have to ring up AMEB for a clarification on that.
Once again thanks a lot for your help! It's been greatly appreciated \:\)

THANKS!

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