The Chamber Music Network

ACMP Guide to Playing Levels

  • ACMP members determine their own playing level, which appears as part of each member's profile and directory listing.
  • These general grading categories enable players of similar skill levels to find each other.
  • Use the following descriptions to determine your playing level. Distinctions of plus or minus may be useful for greater precision.
  • Keep in mind that you can always revise your level as you improve and acquire more chamber music experience, or if lack of practice time affects your playing.
 

Novice

(Previously: D)

Inter­mediate

(Previously: C)

Advanced

(Previously: B)

Expert

(Previously: A)

Professional

My skills

I can read music and have basic technical skills. I am starting to explore chamber music repertoire. I can sight-read simple pieces slowly. I play with a decent tone. I am comfortable at moderate tempi. I am peripherally aware of other parts. I can sight-read at a moderate tempo but slow down the hard sections. I play with a pleasant tone. I can get back in when lost. I can sight-read near concert tempo, except in difficult technical passages. I am aware of other parts and try to match them. I play with a beautiful tone. I can play quickly and cleanly in difficult keys and with key/tempo changes. I am a strong leader. I can sight-read all passages cleanly at concert tempo. I have keen awareness of other parts and know exactly how they fit. I am conservatory trained. I play with a finely nuanced tone. I can play most difficult passages with finesse at performance tempo. I use high-level technique. I can sight-read all passages cleanly at concert tempo, with phrasing. I could likely play all others’ parts if asked.

My challenges

Often I must slow down in faster or more technical passages. Sometimes I get “tangled” in my own part. I need to slow down in hard sections. I tend to get absorbed in my own part. The hardest passages sound messy if I take them too fast. My phrasing is sometimes choppy. I want to develop a cohesive group sound and wider range in tone color. I need to fine-tune my intonation. I am out of the habit of playing for enjoyment. I am self-critical.

My goals

To play with fewer stops, listen more to the group, and learn to lead. To listen more to others, improve leading ability, and develop the technique for complex passages. To play with more nuance, match my articulation with the group’s, and improve my tone and phrasing To convey a convincing interpretation, expand my arsenal of tone colors, and refine attention to detail To play more for enjoyment, inspire others, and coach chamber music