One persons grade three is another persons grade five

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by songbook, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Piano User

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    Nov 22, 2003
    Gainesville, Florida
    I have never really understood level assignments. In Florida the solo/ensemble list for trumpet runs from grade I through grade 7.

    From what I can tell after 35 years of dealing with it how many high C's seems to be the criteria. Hummel (1st or 3rd mvt.) is a grade 4 or 5 I seem to remember.

    Musical content is not even considered. Many grade 5's are much easier technically than 4's or even 3's.

    I always tried to have a student pick a solo that was challenging but not such to frustrate him/her and not to worry about what grade it was.

    Unfortunately unless they play a grade 6 or 7 they cannot go to the state level no matter how well they play. I may be wrong in that grade 5's may now be eligible for state.

    Bill Dishman
    Gainesville, Florida
     
  2. songbook

    songbook Piano User

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Thanks for all the input.
     
  3. JRgroove

    JRgroove Mezzo Piano User

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    As an adult I was taught something very similar: always play as musical as possible
     
  4. songbook

    songbook Piano User

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    Not to change the subject, but here's another example. What is the process in determining a beginner trumpet to a intermediate or professional one? I'm sure many of you great trumpet players can make any of them sing. I'm thinking perhaps the valves, or the bore size which I know little about has something to do with this rating system.
     
  5. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Trumpets labelled as beginner are often poorly made, with uncontrolled dimensional tolerances and a lack of rigidity. Intermediate trumpets are typically beginner trumpets with cosmetic enhancements.
     
  6. songbook

    songbook Piano User

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Does the quality of the medal have anything to do with the rating, or is that a dumb question?
     
  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    If a very cheap trumpet is nickel plated, silver plated or matt lacquer, you could ask yourself what metal is being hidden by the finish.
     
  8. Sterling

    Sterling Mezzo Forte User

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    New York State is exactly the same only with 6 Levels. The posthorn solo to Mahler's Third Symphony is a level 3. Go figure.
     
  9. dangeorges

    dangeorges Pianissimo User

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    Oct 20, 2010
    From talking with friends who work in trumpet factories (e.g., Eastlake Conn-Selmer): they tell me that student horns are typically made to lower tolerance levels. For example, each trumpet is tested for compression and air leaks. Student horns have a lower "pass" value than intermediate and professional horns. Fit and finish are also held to a slightly lower standard. One of my buddies is a horn tester, so he probably knows what he's talking about.


    The valves in student horns tend to have more "give" or tolerance to bad technique, while the intermediate and pro horns have a less room for imperfections in either the piston or the valve casing itself.

    Intermediate and pro trumpets also tend to have fixed 3rd valve slide rings, as opposed to one that accepts a lyre. Ditto for the addition of a thumb saddle on the first valve slide.

    Materials in pro horns (e.g., pistons) are made of a better (and more costly) material, and I'm guessing that goes for the rest of the horn as well, in general.
     
  10. JohnjEnloe

    JohnjEnloe New Friend

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    You could check with the Virgina, Texas, and Florida Bandmasters as well as the NY for a rubric that lists the requirements of each level. These states set the "standard" for what the grade levels will be. I'm not sure if the publishers follow their lead or how they come to "grading" each solo without a rubric of some kind. Examples for each would be rhythm, range, key, style, etc... Smart Music also lists the solos that it carries by grade too. And the state list that it is listed on. We have a cycle of solos for auditions, here in NC, for all district/all state bands with the Middle school being approx. a Grade 3 and HS being approx. a Grade 5. This is out of 6 grades with one being the easiest and 6 being the hardest. Britian, Austrialia, and the Salvation Army all have lists and grades too. I hope this helps with pointing you in the direction with which you can answer your question.
     

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