Support group for parents of children taking music exams!

(1000 Posts)
Wafflenose Mon 14-Nov-11 22:03:28

Hello, I'm feeling excited, nervous and wobbly because my daughter is taking her first music exam in three weeks. I'm a music teacher and am very used to getting children through the exams, keeping the parents informed, helping to focus practice, etc, but this is my first experience with my own child doing an exam and for some reason it's more scary than putting other people's children in! I think she will be OK (and the other thirteen I have entered this term) but I'm not!! Any tips for the 'other side' (parents rather than music teachers) for how to keep us both calm on the day would be gratefully received! Does it get easier as they become more experienced? Am thinking not...

She is taking part in the local music festival tomorrow, to gain performance experience. She's wildly excited, and I've got the jitters!!

pianomama Fri 16-Nov-12 17:24:00

View - the same here! So many of them comparing to G5. There are no shortcuts though.. slow practice concentrating on correct fingering, first hands separately, then together in different styles..
I am pretty worried about aural though - it seems to require a lot of knowledge that my poor DS is a bit young for..Fingers crossed and good luck to both of them.Which pieces is she doing?

Viewofthehills Fri 16-Nov-12 19:09:19

Hi pianomama She is playing A3 Presto, B3 Conchita Reve, C2 Harlequin.
They are lovely pieces-I'm not tired of listening to them yet.
The trouble is my level of support is now limited to letting her off the washing up. When her teacher is showing her stuff she will play something two different ways- only they sound pretty much the same to me-whereas DD hears the difference and how one is better than the other and then changes her playing accordingly.
Aural isn't so bad. She did grade 6 flute in the summer and so the jump isn't so big. The flute teacher is also kind enough to help with the aural for piano as I guess grade 7 flute will come next.
How old is your son? Which pieces is he doing?

pianomama Mon 19-Nov-12 08:20:59

Again, view - the same here. I cant always tell the difference..
He is doing A3 , B2 and C1. I think all the pieces are very good,it's the rest of the exam I am worried about.Would be such a shame to lose marks for aural (like he did in G5 - pieces and scales were great - 28,27,27 for pieces and 19 scales but aural was rubbish)

Viewofthehills Mon 19-Nov-12 10:18:03

Scales are definitely coming together- she's playing them all, in every different way now the school show is out of the way. Sight reading- not too desparate, but they do vary a lot. She was panicking about some of the aural a few weeks ago, but not too bad now. Pieces good.

Trouble is, she's not easily pleased. Came out of exam last year in floods of tears. Thought she might want to take the exam again it was so awful. Honestly had me convinced that it was a terrible calamity. Got 128.

pianomama Mon 19-Nov-12 11:21:43

A sure sign of a perfectionist.Its good to have high stndards smile

MoppingMummy Fri 23-Nov-12 21:54:30

Ooh, just found this thread!!

Dd1 (9) is doing grade 5 violin next term (not panicking just yet!) She's determined to get distinction again so is working hard on scales & sight reading (definite weak points)!

So, we also need to start thinking about the theory exam - any tips for this? I know someone who did a theory residential & they all passed after doing that!

Viewofthehills Sat 24-Nov-12 08:31:26

DD's flute teacher gave her homework week by week, taking her through all the ABRSM theory books one by one. Followed by a number of past papers. Probably 20 minutes of lesson time plus an hour at home per week. Maybe 6 months from start to finish. Painless, if dull, but she passed first time with a high mark.

Wafflenose Sat 24-Nov-12 09:57:00

DD has her Festival Prizewinners' Concert tomorrow, and her Grade 3 Recorder exam in 10 days. Sadly, she has gone down with tonsillitis and has not been able to practise for a few days (lots of Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls on the piano instead though). She's determined to play in the concert, so I'm hoping the antibiotics work their magic today. She will pass her exam anyway I think, but what terrible timing!

Viewofthehills Sat 24-Nov-12 12:09:43

Hope she feels better in time for tomorrow- rotten luck to be ill like that.

Mine have theirs this afternoon. Am feeling very nervous for them, they seem okay thank goodness.

Wafflenose Mon 26-Nov-12 20:29:34

Ooh, how did they go?

RaspberryLemonPavlova Mon 26-Nov-12 23:14:50

Yes, how did they get on Five hours?

How is minwaffle, Wafflenose, was she well enough to play in the concert?

My DD is unwell this week, so is being kept well away from DS2. He has piano on Wenesday and trombone on Thursday. Its his birthday today and he was a bit miffed at still having to do all his practise.

It will be nice to get them over, looking forward to the Christmas Concerts.

Wafflenose Tue 27-Nov-12 09:46:28

Hope your DD is better soon, Raspberry.

We kept miniwaffle quiet and off all activities for four days. She literally flopped out on the sofa. But having already given up a birthday party so that she could play, she was desperate to do it. I think it might have done her more harm than good to say she couldn't. She played really well, and yesterday my colleague (who teaches the oboe, and was at the concert) was gushing about her, saying she was great, should take up the oboe, and that she had been arguing with her friend over who would teach her! shock I had to explain that she already plays the flute and piano, to be told, "We can't have that!" So I think it went well.

Grade 3 recorder next week. She had nearly a week of practice, but started again yesterday. The flute came out for the first time in a week today. The piano is in constant use! grin

Theas18 Tue 27-Nov-12 09:52:12

Well we are a day off DD2 grade 5 singing and she's had a stinking cold for a week. Is still coughing but did go to choir on Sunday so hasn't sung much and hasn't practised - argh! (but to be fair, other than looking at the words I don't thinks he could have done anything useful).

Still on the loooooong wait for theory result too.

I'm really nervous for her!

They seemed to do okay. Scales, pieces and aural all supposedly okay- I couldn't hear everything. DD1 ( grade 4) had a tricky bit of sight reading that flummoxed her a bit. 2/4 timing, triplets and 3 different accidentals! She was quite upset about that but I think she will still pass.

pianomama Wed 28-Nov-12 11:08:38

G7 tomorrow...DS has flu, headache , tommy ache ...

RaspberryLemonPavlova Wed 28-Nov-12 19:33:11

Oh no, your poor DS, pianomama. Hope he gets through it ok.

DD has flu, but no exams thankfully. She is upset about missing the rehearsals at school this week before the concerts next week though.

How did your DD get on Theas18?

DS2 had Grade 4 piano today. He came out happy enough, but said he had gone wrong on a piece 'Tapping Heels' which was his best piece! And one of his scales wasn't great apparently.

Grade 3 trombone tomorrow then we can relax. And he will have new pieces -hooray!

pianomama Wed 28-Nov-12 19:53:09

Thanks* Raspberry*.Good luck for tomorrow

FiveHouts - I am sure she will do fine - she will still get marks for right notes etc in sight-reading and if everything else went well she is sure to do well. I wonder if in 2 weeks time there will be lots of posts on this thread - happy ones hopefully smile

Viewofthehills Wed 28-Nov-12 21:06:55

Your poor DS Pianomama.
I really hope he feels better tomorrow and it goes how it should.
DD's G7 on Friday, no illness so far, but bugs every where at this time of year.

pianomama Wed 28-Nov-12 21:41:34

Thanks View.. He does play his pieces beatifully, scales are good as well.As for auarl and sightreading - who knows. When he took G5 he said sight reading was much easier then in the practice book , so we'll see. Will have to spike him with Calpol tomorrow smile.
Good luck to your DD for Friday. 7 down only 1 more to go , smile.

Theas18 Wed 28-Nov-12 22:47:27

Well dd2 was a bit croaky/ coughs but managed a very respectable merit, so she's happy. Haven't seen the mark sheet yet though. Ds said the examiner was nice but very picky. ( he accompanied her)

Theas18 Wed 28-Nov-12 22:48:56

Piano mama how did your ds ge on? I'm so grestful the trinity exams have a pretty immediate result. When I was a kid the wait was awful! Mind yo we must be 3 plus weeks into waiting for her grade 5theory result

pianomama Wed 28-Nov-12 23:08:40

Well done mini theas! Hope you get your theory results very soon.

Trinity are great for the results..Ds did Trinity Violin G4 2 years ago and his teacher called the next day.When he asked to speak to the "man himself" I knew he did well smile.

Out piano exam is tomorrow and its ABRSM so we are up for a long wait as well.
Good job he has concerts at school, JD and a festival winners concert in the space of next too weeks - we won't have time to think about the exam smile.

Viewofthehills Fri 30-Nov-12 17:03:01

Grade 7 done, phew.
One very over-wrought DD exited exam room, but what I could hear from outside was fine. Says she messed some scales up, pieces good, but not as perfect as she wanted them to be, aural good, sight-reading passable. Have to wait and see now.hmm

How did DS do pianomama?

Wafflenose Fri 30-Nov-12 17:41:00

All sound very positive so far!

DD is being sooo laid back. She has only just realised there are four days until her exam, but this hasn't galvanised her into action. She's feeling better, but has been quite tired, and busy with school, so hasn't been practising much. However, it's only a term since Grade 2 so I'm realistically expecting a pass (rather than more) and she will get that even with major mistakes. I don't suppose this weekend will make a major difference in either direction. Hopefully she will just spend a year enjoying it after this exam. She really enjoys exams and is the one driving it all, but at her age she's totally entitled to relax!

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