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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:22 pm 
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Hi, I am hoping someone might have some experience which might help me?
I have a 10 year old who plays the trombone and is currently preparing for grade 5 (ABRSM). His sister is 11 and plays the clarinet. She started off with ABRSM for grade 3 and then moved to Trinity at Grade 4; she did her grade 6 last year. She has absolutely loved the Trinity board format and it suits her down to the ground. I confess I know little about the different boards but her teacher (who uses both) described Trinity as being more performance orientated and she certainly has done very well.
The reason for asking is that my son's pieces for ABRSM are not exciting for him. He is enthusiastic and I have talked to his teacher and we are trying some different pieces but I can see that they are a bit less exciting than his sister's experiences - and it was for this reason that she moved boards.
However his teacher only uses ABRSM and I know nothing about brass instruments. Does anyone know if the Trinity board is good for brass or if ABRSM is far better? I don't want to start talking to his teacher without a bit of knowledge...
(By the way I should add that I am not thinking that this is going to be a career or anything. This is just for fun. Both my children are hugely goal orientated which is the reason for the exams but they play for enjoyment so I don't care really about how one board is perceived over another by universities etc.... although I assume they are much the same really....)
Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:27 pm 
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There is a long list to choose from - are none of them of interest?

http://gb.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/brass- ... e-grade-5/

The main difference between the boards is the requirement to take theory grade 5 or jazz grade 5 before moving to grade 6 in ABRSM. This means the Trinity grade 6 onwards has more aural content I believe.

ABRSM seems more highly regarded around here ...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:36 pm 
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Thanks. We have found some that are more of interest than others by listening on youtube so we are trying some more. His teacher says there is a big emphasis on atonal modern pieces which my ds doesn't really enjoy (he can't easily tell if he is getting them right or not - and nor can we ;-) ) and I suppose I was hoping Trinity might not have that emphasis....


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:42 pm 
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http://www.trinitycollege.com/site/?id=1044

Really? My DS doesn't play trombone but we found a good range of pieces right up to grade 8.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:54 pm 
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It could be that my ds is just a bit intolerant and that's definitely a possibility. I think I'll spend some time with hime listening to all the options (he likes 2 of his pieces, just the list B piece that he loathes at the moment and I do think there are some good alternatives on the list - was just wondering if anyone knew any details about the different boards as I have read so many pros and cons!)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:17 pm 
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The links I've quoted show you the break down in marks between the two exams.

Most people do ABRSM but it seems to be down to teacher preference as I did Trinity when I was a child.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:31 pm 
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When my dds were at primary school the school went through 3 Brass teachers in as many years. The middle one insisted on moving all the students to Trinity. He told me it was because the examiner would be a brass specialist so would be able to appreciate the quality of the playing. I thought this was a very good reason to move so was happy with it. Unfortunately he left at the end of the year and the next tutor moved them all back to ABRSM DG


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:09 am 
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Have you tried posting on the ABRSM forums? They are not actually ABRSM specific. Although there is a brass one, you would probably get more information posting in the teachers' forum.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:11 am 
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The brass and woodwind teachers I know all favour Trinity exams as the scales and technical exercises are better targeted at specific instruments, there is a wider choice of repertoire (more jazz for example) and up to grade 5 a choice of supporting exercises (between sight reading, musical knowledge, aural and improvisation) unlike ABRSM where these are set. My son took Trinity brass exams up to Grade 6 and I was very pleased with the content and appropriateness of each exam and the professionalism of the examiners. And he liked his pieces! I also preferred the very sensible mark scheme over the ABRSM one. Having said that the ABRSM have revised their mark scheme recently and it has definitely improved, resulting in more consistency from examiners.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:46 am 
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Location: S E London
My son switched from ABRSM to Trinity at grade 5 (on trumpet) and has just taken grade 8. He preferred the pieces and the technical exercises which you can do in place of the scales. The brass teachers around here do seem to prefer Trinity and it is certainly considered to be just as good as ABRSM - in fact I know some brass and woodwind teachers think it is better. Strings seem to still prefer ABRSM for some reason. Trinity marking is slightly more biased towards pieces (if you got full marks for the 3 pieces and nothing else you would pass Trinity but not ABRSM) but as Trinity is out of 100 and ABRSM out of 150, each mark in Trinity is worth more than ABRSM, so loosing one mark has more of an impact overall.
DS always spent ages choosing pieces, but had always gone off of them by the time he took the exam!
The difference between your two children may be more to do with them than the board - DD doesn't take exams at all and makes good progress. If they like to have goals you could try music festivals rather than exams for you DS.


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