Grade 5 – This grade marks the division into true intermediate repertoire. You will find new challenges in technique and the development of a more critical ear.
Right hand balance is a facet of classical technique that will play an increasingly important role. It will allow you to bring out one voice while another stays quiet. Speed also come into the challenge of Grade 5 with exciting pieces like El Vito.
Composers include Bach, Carcassi, traditional Brazillian and Spanish repertoire.
Grade 6 – The classical ukulele shines in a miniature world of nuance and color. The pieces featured in Grade 6 are wonderful examples of how a small piece can carry a world of detail and delight.
Take time and pleasure in refining the delicate details and persevere with your progress.
Composers include Ferrer, Bach, and Tarrega.
Grade 7 – At this stage you will likely have the skill sets to play a large portion of the repertoire. What I am interested in is how you play this repertoire.
In the final two grades I encourage you to raise the bar of your own expectations once again and focus in on the details. Strive for musical expression, listen carefully to the sound and shaping of your phrases, and explore more deeply into music than just the music that you are playing.
Composers include Puccini, Tarrega, Sanz, and Vivaldi.
Grade 8 – Virtuosity does not only mean to play fast. The virtues of an instrumental performer include tone, color, phrasing, dynamics, articulations, vibrato, and performance skills.
Take a broader look at what it means to be a virtuoso player and apply that meaning to your studies. This is great music from our repertory and I believe it come with a responsibility to do it justice.
Composers include Couperin, Bach, Ponce, Tarrega, and Barrios.