Hello! It's time for me to ask yet another question...
I always feel like I have poor warm ups. I usually go right into playing something, and it's become a bit of a habit. I mean, I do a few scales, but not for more than 5 minutes--can anyone give any advice on breaking this?
Also, I would love if someone could explain the "levels" for musicians. How do you know what level you are at? How do you know when you've transitioned to another level? Please explain.
Well, try the Patterson Chorale or Rimmington's Warm up (Rimmington's is just starting at concert b flat and going down a half step then going back so on so forth, look it up if you want. Patterson's helps with your tone a lot and I suggest you warm up with that. Warm up is not all that time consuming and not all that demanding, trust me, those two will help you quite a bit in being another player, also holding a concert f is good, helps with tuning.
As for levels, I only know of the 4 levels of listening:
2.Trio (yourself and the two people on either side of you)
That's all I know for "levels" and those levels also help with being a better player. Trust me, doing just those things will make you so much better, and it is good to warm up, if I don't warm up before playing then I suck pretty badly. Hope that helped.
I forgot if you have a teacher or not, but suggesting or discussing a good warm-up is something they gladly would help you with. Myself, I start with long tones (ala Moyse, from B3 down, and then from B3 and up), and if I am in a good mood I practice some harmonics, after that it is the scale of the week. I use the exercises in the excellent new Swedish book Flöjtteknik, by Ulrik Lundström, but my teacher modifies it somewhat.
In general I find the technique stuff fun and relaxing. You don't have to keep an eye at the score all the time, and it is easier to practice this way compared when you get stuck in a piece and have to do endless repeats to get something to sound the way you want it too because your technique is not completely ready. I simply feel my general playing ability improves in a better way when I spend some time on warm-up and technique.
The regular procedure takes around 30 minutes, even though I sometimes divide the work, so that after a break I will do some technique and then continue on to pieces. I have a shorter warm-up that is more focused on just getting me breathing correctly, and the fingers going, that I use before lessons or when there is not time for a long practice session. Basiacally five note patterns in different articulations in a scale I am comfortable with.
There has been good advice on warm-ups here earlier´, and you might want to check out Jen Cuff's webpage for tips.
Talking about levels is not very relevant, since everyone deleops in different ways. If you look at for example books marked "intermediate" or "beginner" you will find that there can be huge differences in how editors chose to label music.
If you feel that you want a structured guidance with grades where there are different skills learned at different levels, then you can take a look at method book series, where each new book would imply a new level. Or you can look at official grading systems such as ABRSM. (Which might be what you were looking for.) Yet another way would be to talk about for how many years you have studied the flute. If you are out of method books, you might take a look at graded repertoare lists to see how hard the pieces you play are considered to be.
Note however, that it is not possible to capture all aspects of what your skills are like in a simple level system. As you can see there is a number of ways people try to define levels. You will probably have much more fun if you focus on improvinng you playing and current skills without trying to put a specific label on yourself. Someone might be good at sight reading, but poor at intonation, and another person might have a beautiful tone but not be comfortable with too many accidentals. Some might be excellent improvisers, and others might be good at classical. There will always be things to improve and develop. You need to identify your good and not so good skills, and decide what (short time and long time)goals you would like to have for music. Teachers are usually good at helping you to get a structure for your playing. Just enjoy the journey.
Sorry, this was a longer answer than you probably wanted to read (and longer than I had really the time for )
I try to vary what I start with each day, most days I start with all my scales, etc, then move on to technique and tone exercises, but some days I just start with etudes, just playing through Andersen op. 15 for ex.
It's a very personal thing, some start with long tones, some don't , find out what works for you.
As to levels, it is relative. Some pieces are easy to play technically but are demanding musically.
There are grades of proficiency that you are probably talking about. I have a scale and apreggio book for Grades 1-8. The scales and apreggios for grade 8 are more numerous, faster, and performed through the full range of the flute. The lower grade exercises are often through 2 octaves instead of 3 and at a slower speed. The book I have is put out by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
warm ups are a very personal issue, you could talk to 10 different professionals and get 10 different answers...the idea is to do certain scales, tone and technique BEFORE you start practicing your literature
Various level formats.
The British and Canadians tend to follow an ABRSM rating system for their musical training.
It is more structured than in the U.S. So that the players can get an idea of their position in their training.
There is also several rating systems for music as to how easy-difficult it is. Someone has to decide the level of difficulty of the music and it is assigned accordingly. I believe that flute world has a 1-5 rating system and that the french publisher Alfonse Leduc uses a 0-9 rating system...as example.
Yes, Bilbo, the British had this grade and diploma system for centuries in measuring the approximate music levels, and also for us students to learn step by step according to grades. All studying materials and scores are graded this way too.
ABRSM and Trinity-Guildhall are using grades and diploma levels:
ABRSM Grade 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 then DipABRSM, (ALCM), LRSM, FRSM.
Trinity-Guildhall grade 1 to 8 then ATCL, (ALCM), LTCL, FTCL.
I am now at LTCL distinction. that is same as UK grad's performance level.
* (ALCM) can only be taken from London College of Music exam board.
Grade 1,2,3 is recognised as UK level 1 diploma qualification
Grade 4,5,6 is recognised as UK level 2 diploma qualification
Grade 7,8 is recognised as UK level 3 diploma qualification
ATCL or DipABRSM is recognised as UK level 4 diploma qualification
(ALCM) is recognised as UK level 5 diploma qualification
LTCL or LRSM is recognised as UK level 6 diploma qualification (same as bachelor degre)
FTCL or FRSM is recognised as UK level 7 diploma qualification (same as master degree)
**** is recognised as UK level 8 diploma qualification (same as doctoral degree)
**** no exam is offered at the moment for level 8 diploma
over 80 countries in the world are now using (or copying) this British system, also in Canada and Australia and China, don't know why USA never use it or copy it.
"over 80 countries in the world are now using (or copying) this British system, also in Canada and Australia and China, don't know why USA never use it or copy it."
Not Sure either......perhaps we still rebel against the British ways. That king George should never have taxed our tea bags so heavily.
Actually, I do believe that some instructors use this system in the U.S. but it's not at all universal. Personally, I'm not completely against it but it could easily confuse the two concepts of performance art and competitive achievement.
Well, graduation ceremonies give the parent's something to be proud over and the graduate an increased level of confidence and pride of achievement. That is never something to downplay. Congratulations :-)