Advice on Grade 3 ABRSM aural test(9 Posts)
Hello! My son just finished Grade 1 ABRSM exam and wish to go straight to Grade 3. But he find the aural part is very difficult! Could you suggest some helpful aural training books/apps please?
ABRSM publish 'Aural Training in Practice' and also 'Specimen Aural Tests' at various levels - both with CD's, my daughter has found these invaluable over the years. I believe there is also an ABRSM Aural app for the lower grades although she hasn't used this. She also used the Hofnote website once - it is worth a look. I would say the ABRSM books are the most useful. Also make sure you and his teacher are asking him lots of questions about the music he is playing or listening to and get him used to talking about it and singing bits of it!
My daughter is preparing for her Grade 3 ABRSM exam too. She is using an app called AURALBOOK. It gives live feedback lija a music teacher is with her. This app helped her pass Grade 2 exam with distinction! Hope this helps!
You could try this site e-musicmaestro.com/auraltests/. It's subscription but very good.
Auralbook app on iTunes are available for each grade for iPad and worth a look.
Also surely the teacher should be working on this with him? If it's weaker that his actual playing side it really is worth just delaying the exam till the aural ( and theory ) are up to scratch.
Whilst a good performer with solid scales could pass or even get a merit with a " fail" mark in the aural it's not good for morale and the lack of aural skills will make it harder to progress over all.
Does your DS sing in a choir? Something to think about that really boosts aural skills and supports performance too.
Which bit of the aurals does he find hard? You can practise the clapping the beat to the radio in the car - I do this all the time with any kids in my car - (my kids' friends must think I am total weirdo) - just get them to clap the beat and then move on to emphasising the 1st beat, and then working out time sig.
Singing echoes - first step is to sing one note back from the piano, to check they can pitch that. You can practise clapping echoes back, because rhythm is part of the echo, it's not just pitch. Try singing echoes to him to sing back, this is often easier than pitching from the piano.
Difference - remember it's not just 'pitch or rhythm', it's 'what is the change' so practising describing what has happened (in terms of 'there was a lower note towards the end, so it was a pitch change) is useful.
Musical features - again you can do this in the car - listen to the radio, and think 'is it loud or quiet, is it smooth or detached, major or minor, fast or slow'. Just raising an awareness of how to listen is good.
I wouldn't delay an exam if aural was the only weak area though. I remember Clara Taylor (previous Chief Examiner) saying 'if you're no good at aural, just have a go, don't worry about it, it's just one section'. And if you got everything completely and utterly wrong, but gave an answer you get minimum 6 marks anyway! But is much more likely to come out on the 11/12 borderline, as he'd be unlucky to get everything wrong!
Agree that choir singing is brilliant for aural development.
Would like to know if a child is put in western vocal classes, will it help in Aural ?
I don't think just joining a choir will prepare a child for aural tests because they test all sorts of things that you wouldn't learn by singing, like major and minor keys and something called cadences.
You want a proper learning programme that helps with what they test.
Apparently the Trinity examining board that my stepson's teacher uses recommends e-musicmaestro aural test training so we subscribe to that and find it very good. Here's a link to it www.e-musicmaestro.com
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