When you fill out the Retreat Application, you’ll be asked to mark your playing level—Easy, Intermediate, or Advanced—so that you can be grouped in ensembles with players of similar skill. When determining your level, consider your level on the instrument you are playing at the Retreat. You will get the most out of the Retreat with placement in the correct level. Do not overestimate your abilities.
Which level do you belong in? Use these guidelines:
You would fit in the Easy group if you….
- play comfortably in up to three flats and two sharps
- have a range of up to the highest F
- can play short groups of 16ths, but are most comfortable with quarters and 8ths
- have little or no experience playing solo pieces with piano
You would fit in the Intermediate group if you meet at least five of these criteria….
- Play comfortably two octaves in up to four flats and three sharps in major and minor keys
- Have a range of up to the highest A
- Can play several beats of 16th notes in a row with varying articulations
- Can easily and quickly play the chromatic scale from C1 to G3
- Can accurately play the dotted eighth 16th pattern, triplet eights and triplet quarters
- Have played solos alone or with piano on several occasions and have occasionally played in groups where there was one on a part.
You would fit in the Advanced group if you meet at least seven of these criteria….
- Are comfortable playing in up to five flats and five sharps
- Can comfortably play five, six and seven notes per beat
- Can play the chromatic scale up to high C on one breath
- Can hold a soft single note at least 30 seconds
- Can easily play extended syncopated passages
- Practice religiously with a metronome to make sure your tempo is steady and your rhythms are correct
- Have extensive ensemble experience as well as having played many solos with piano or alone in recital situations
- Am very comfortable working on pieces that have unusual sounds or are in a style you have never tried
- Frequently hear compliments on your beautiful tone
Placement in the correct level is key for getting the most out of the Retreat, so use these criteria to ensure you’re grouped appropriately. If you’re still not sure which level you belong in, just contact Chris and describe your capabilities as they relate to the guidelines provided here. She’ll ensure that you’re placed in ensembles where you’ll get the most out of the Retreat.