Grade 8 singing - easier than all the rest? Watch

Rosamund123
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Hi,
I was just wondering what people thought about grades in singing.

I just started singing lessons, and on my first lesson, my teacher asked about my musical background.
"I've got grade 8 violin and I'm taking my grade 8 piano this term," I said
"Oh, wow. I shouldn't really say this but grade 8 singing is a LOT easier - I mean, all you have to do is learn a few songs," she said!

I've been thinking about this. can it really be all that easier when it's an equivalent qualification?

the first piece she gave me to learn is one that my friend is doing for her grade 8 singing exam, and although I obviously won't have it to her standard, it is strange that you can sing reasonably well a grade 8 piece on an instrument that you've never had lessons for before.

is it just that singing is unique and can't be compared to other instruments?
is it really all that easy?

please reply, tell me what you think!
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Bobifier
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G8 singing certainly has a lesser reputation, and from what I've seen, it is quite common for otherwise competent musicians just to leap straight in there at grade 7 or 8 and get them in about a year, which is something that certainly couldn't be done on any other instrument...
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Rosamund123
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(Original post by Bobifier)
G8 singing certainly has a lesser reputation, and from what I've seen, it is quite common for otherwise competent musicians just to leap straight in there at grade 7 or 8 and get them in about a year, which is something that certainly couldn't be done on any other instrument...

yeah, I've heard similar. I just thought that they might try and make it harder because officially you get the same amount of UCAS points as for another instrument. they got a lot more stringent about drama exams a few years ago because of UCAS points. I suppose they just can't officially say that singing is easier :/
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beautifulbigmacs
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my opinion that the singing may be easier but only for those who are more talented
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nnnomi
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I found my grade 8 fairly easy, it's just all the techniques you spend a while learning (even if you don't realise you're learning them) that will really make a difference. Breath control.
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Ben_55
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No....

Unlike other music exams you have to remember all the pieces.. A spanish Aria and a piece in German as well as 2 English classical pieces.

Also sight reading at grade 5 standard is a damn sight harder when singing than on a piano say. Unless you have the gift of perfect pitch!

I disagree
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beautifulbigmacs
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ooh, i should add...i passed grade 8 piano and i got merit on grade 8 sax.

on grade 8 singing i failed twice. there are so many complexities involved on singing well on the day so yeah, they're not giving it away so I don't think it's easier (and for what it's worth, i wouldn't say there is masses of difference between how i sing and how i perform on the other 2 instruments)
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3-octaves
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Rosamund 123, i don't think it's a question of difficulty, i think that all grade 8's are the same level (ish), but if you play another instrument, switching to singing afterwards seems easier because you've already mastered the aurals/theory/sight reading part, but more importantly the whole exam mind-set and concentration too!
I was mainly a violinist until a year and a half ago when i was "discovered" shall i say by my music teacher when he cast me in our school's production of Die Fledermaus as Rosalinda. Since then i've been taught by him and i'm now 16 and just passed my grade 8 with distinction. After the opera i only had two school terms of learning songs for grade 7, but i [I]did[I} find it easy-ish because i already sang in a few choirs so the singing mentality was already there if you know what i mean?
The Grade 8 singing pieces themselves weren't too challenging either (except 1!:P) but it did take some hard work to learn them and actually get an interpretation and a performance out of them, because that's what grade 8 is about.
I hope this helps! Also, what pieces are you singing?
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hothedgehog
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(Original post by Rosamund123)
Hi,
I was just wondering what people thought about grades in singing.

I just started singing lessons, and on my first lesson, my teacher asked about my musical background.
"I've got grade 8 violin and I'm taking my grade 8 piano this term," I said
"Oh, wow. I shouldn't really say this but grade 8 singing is a LOT easier - I mean, all you have to do is learn a few songs," she said!

I've been thinking about this. can it really be all that easier when it's an equivalent qualification?

the first piece she gave me to learn is one that my friend is doing for her grade 8 singing exam, and although I obviously won't have it to her standard, it is strange that you can sing reasonably well a grade 8 piece on an instrument that you've never had lessons for before.

is it just that singing is unique and can't be compared to other instruments?
is it really all that easy?

please reply, tell me what you think!

I personally don't find what people really find hard about learning songs, even though they're grade 8. I did, however, take 2 grade 8s before taking singing so it wasn't as daunting and i knew what i needed to do. But to be honest, you've got songs to learn which aren't that hard really - i bet you learn songs off by heart by accident just by listening to them and then the aural and other bits and bobs are exactly the same as other instruments so no trouble if you've already done a grade 8.

I think the thing with singing is that most people sing and even though you'll need to pick up on proper techniques, it's quite easy to learn a song by ear. On musical instruments take years to learn how to play the thing properly and that's before you've even considered musicality and so on.

So anyway, I'm going to say that if you're an instrumentalist and can sing in tune then grade 8 singing is easy, if you're not then it's probably harder to do!
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Sambo2
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it's much easier than the rest..
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iomaraxay
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i just achieved a Grade 8 with Distinction (TRinity Guildhall) and although I am a singer and singing is my "instrument", you cant really compare instruments to the voice because with an instrument such as a piano, the notes will always be there and the scales will always sound the same, while with the voice - i mean you have good days and you have bad days but even though it is an "instrument" which is natural, it needs a different kind of approach then for example, a piano. and i also have been taking piano lessons for the past 2 years now and classical piano is HARD! while for me, singing is just something ive always done, it comes naturally.
i managed to achieve the grade 8 after 8 months of learning, and this includes the sight reading and oral test (the theoretical part of the exam). obviously musical theory is difficult and at grade 8 level it is VERY hard (at least for me)... and unless you have perfect pitch (which i don't) the sigh treading will be very hard.
needless to say, personally i know that i did terribly in my sight reading and the oral test - but because of my singing i suppose thats how i passed. and i really wasnt expecting even a pass because it is quite hard singing the sort of more classical styles when I'm more of a musicals kinda girl.
Nonetheless, I passed! so yeah... but not everyone has that "X Factor" with singing... i mean some people just have it.

remember, everyone can sing... but only a few can sing well


(sorry bout this long essay guys! hope it was somehow informative )
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Jessipops
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I'm doing the advanced certificate in singing which is a recognised grade 8 exam and all you do is sing pieces from categories for 30 mins - to me this is much easier than my grade 8 bass, violin the lot but you have to nail the techniques and control because they mark you equally as harshly <3
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Chlo_PBx
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(Original post by Rosamund123)
Hi,
I was just wondering what people thought about grades in singing.

I just started singing lessons, and on my first lesson, my teacher asked about my musical background.
"I've got grade 8 violin and I'm taking my grade 8 piano this term," I said
"Oh, wow. I shouldn't really say this but grade 8 singing is a LOT easier - I mean, all you have to do is learn a few songs," she said!

I've been thinking about this. can it really be all that easier when it's an equivalent qualification?

the first piece she gave me to learn is one that my friend is doing for her grade 8 singing exam, and although I obviously won't have it to her standard, it is strange that you can sing reasonably well a grade 8 piece on an instrument that you've never had lessons for before.

is it just that singing is unique and can't be compared to other instruments?
is it really all that easy?

please reply, tell me what you think!
I started singing, and thought that it must have been easier than playing an instrument (I recently got a Grade 6 distinction).
Then resently I started playing Clarinet. I started teaching myself in 2013, and now I'm working, with my teacher, at a Grade 5.
I found that, suddenly, I relalised that singing is harder than it seems, comparing it to an instrument. Mainly, I think, because of the technique and you don't just put your fingers down and the right note come out! :P x
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Kvothe the Arcane
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Not sure. Proper ABRSM singing is probably similar in difficulty to the other grades but the alternatives like pop or musical theatre are a joke, imo.
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beautifulbigmacs
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The learning curve with singing is different because everyone has a voice and it's not like picking up a totally new instrument.

Getting through the earlier grades in vocals isn't too difficult but grade 6 and beyond pretty much sorts out the people who can *really* sing vs those who can't because grade 6 and beyond you have to have a lovely tone and voice control and it has to be pleasurable to listen to as well as just a case of hitting the notes as accurately as you can.

I did Rockschool vocal grades and had so much fun doing them as a second instrument to piano and saxophone (both of which I have grade 8 in) but after grade 6 I failed grade 8 twice and decided to call it a day because singing isn't my main instrument and I'm cool with taking the grade 6

It's not too difficult to prepare for a graded vocals exam once you're familiar with taking grade exams on other instruments but it takes some doing at the higher grades.
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Baron of Sealand
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That's also what I heard.
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Lelsiboots
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I had a similar experience. I've just discovered that the piece my teacher gave me straight after I decided not to do my grade 1 singing is on the ABRSM grade 8 syllabus. I'm now left completely confused as to what makes a vocal piece difficult.
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Bluesoprano
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I've done Grade 8 singing and passed with distinction (ABRSM). I found it equally hard to my violin. I found that the sight singing is a lot more complicated because you have to sing 3 different things on the spot, with words and without. Also, the pieces, for a soprano, are very difficult and you have to sing in different languages. I had to sing 5 pieces. One in German (which was hard to get the pronunciation right), two classical English pieces, a piece from opera/musical theater and a folk song unaccompanied- which made it difficult to pitch right. All of these I had to learn from memory. I think that's a lot harder than having the music in front of you to read from. And scales are so much easier than doing another piece.
However, in violin I am less talented and it's my second instrument so I naturally think it's more difficult. I think that naturally people enjoy singing more because it's in our nature and it doesn't feel like hard work when you practise. However, with an instrument, unless you're naturally talented, it may come as more of a struggle.
But, I think, in terms of grades, that the way that they test you in Grade 8 singing is as equally hard as grade 8 violin or piano or whatever.
Unless you do trinity, which is always easier.
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Larisssssa
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Its very easy to take up singing and get to grade eight quickly if you play other instruments and are already musical. I achieved a distinction in my grade eight in ten months and started working on the repertoire on my second lesson. However singing requires you to be able to pitch the note. When reading music for the piano or the violin, you do not need to be able to pitch one note from the next. Once you know where to place your fingers, you can simply play the notes however, in singing, you have to know your intervals perfectly for sight singing.

I have taken all my violin and singing exams on abrsm and definitely found singing far easier than violin however grade 8 is by no means easy. Singing the correct notes in the right places in singing is not all that is required. You have to act the piece instead of just playing it and you must show different colours within your voice.
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antminer
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in my personal experiences i found grade 8 singing way easier to learn the pieces than for my grade 8 clarinet. with my clarinet it took me 6 months to learn the pieces (one was the 1 movement of the Mozart clarinet concerto so long), where as with the singing each piece only took 2 weeks to learn. also the marks were a lot higher in the singing, on the clarinet i scraped a distinction were as in the singing out of the pieces i only dropped 1 mark. so as a summary my singing grade 8 was far easier.
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