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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!!

CloudsAway Fri 22-Mar-13 19:07:26

(a literary reference was the first and only thing that sprang to mind for me for your name, Russians! Assuming it is the right one).

we just had the local music festival too. But it's only a couple of days here, but again the same thing with the winners' concert at the end. The classes are sometimes quite small and there aren't that many of them, which is surprising in some ways for a place that has lots of music on. I entered myself on an instrument I have just started learning, because it goes by grades and not age, so there were a couple of other adults who are also gr 4 or 5 etc standard. Not sure I'd have done much lower than that and competed alongside really little children though, hard enough as it is (I hate performing and exams, but this was a way of getting practice, and I knew all the people that were there as they were all from my teacher). Where I grew up there used to be a much more involved music festival, probably 2 weeks' worth, with endless solo, ensemble, and large group classes, so schools were involved, local choirs, etc as well as all the individual performances.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 19:33:17

@clouds Sugar in the petrol? grin

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 19:34:20

When I was a kid you could win actual cash money prizes. Those were the days. grin

CloudsAway Fri 22-Mar-13 19:51:44

And up goes she!

I was an adult before I realised what 'the Spree' meant.

And the big thing at our music festival was the daily results in the newspaper, as well as promotion on to regional and ultimately national festivals - which we got to often with our choir, but much harder on a solo instrument.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 26-Mar-13 18:02:09

DS1 had his Grade 5 tuba exam yesterday and apparently had a bad day, played very badly and messed up his aural completely.

Teacher just rung to say he has 92 and a Distinction. Would be nice to see what he got on a good day then!

CURIOUSMIND Tue 26-Mar-13 21:36:59

Very well done, little Raspberry.Grade 5 is particularly hard.I don't know much about Trinity, but with ABRSM, Grade 5 gave the lowest percentage of distinction.

ImNotaCelebrity Wed 27-Mar-13 23:10:04

DS (8) got distinction for his gr 4 violin. He is sooo chuffed!

Roisin Thu 28-Mar-13 07:19:23

Well done Minicelebrity: that's brilliant!

CURIOUSMIND Thu 28-Mar-13 22:07:48

Got my boys results today (so early!):
G7, 140, G3, 141.
So pleased with the teacher.She is simply fantastic as a performer,a teacher and a Mum as well.

Inncogneetow Thu 28-Mar-13 22:17:33

Awesome results: well done them! You must be very proud.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Fri 29-Mar-13 18:53:46

Very well done to all your DSs

Wafflenose Sat 30-Mar-13 08:33:53

Wow, well done everyone!

We are still waiting for Grade 1 Flute results, but it's only been 11 days and will now be delayed due to Easter.

DD1 is doing Grade 4 Recorder next term (and a Silver Music Medal on her treble, so as not to be left out, because I teach at her school and most of her friends are taking one!), so we've started on those. We're also coming to the end of Grade 1 Theory, but I will not be paying for her to sit the exam! She's become more interested in piano again too. I do feel bad that we can't afford lessons for it all - she has a 20 minute flute lesson, but does the rest with me whenever there's enough time. I wish we could do more for her really, but I suppose we are saving a small fortune!

maggiethecat Mon 01-Apr-13 00:22:44

Well done to your dc!

Celebrity, was that abrsm violin? Dd did hers 2 weeks ago and I wonder when we'll know result.

IroningBoredDaily Mon 01-Apr-13 19:11:21

We finally have dd's violin results and she got a high merit (128). We had been worried the aural and scales had gone badly, but it turns out she got a distinction for aural & sightreading and the pieces hadn't gone as well as we thought. I'd been worried she'd be disappointed with the result, but she was pleased with herself! Theory next!

Inncogneetow Mon 01-Apr-13 21:44:09

Well done baby ironing board! Especially as she hadn't been well.

Wafflenose Wed 03-Apr-13 15:14:53

Well done to Little Ironing Bored!

I have almost identical news - DD (7) got 127 for Grade 1 Flute. Her first piece wasn't great, but everything else had high marks, including full marks for aural. She's enjoying lots of fun new music, and we've just finished the Grade 1 Theory book (in an attempt to keep it at the same level as her flute). Grade 4 recorder is in two months!

IroningBoredDaily Fri 05-Apr-13 09:17:43

Thank you! Today we start theory lessons! Have any of you managed to get a young dc through grade 5 theory on your own? I don't feel I know enough to confidently support her, so have asked someone to come and help. She's a very bright, mature girl, so I'm hoping it's not going to take too long - What do you think??!

Inncogneetow Fri 05-Apr-13 14:50:04

My top tip is use the Trinity workbooks for gr1-4; they are much more child friendly and 'fun' than the AB books, but cover more or less the same ground. Then switch to AB for the gr5 level.

ds2 was 11 when he did his, but just worked with me at home. Had 2 or 3 composition lessons with a teacher prior to the actual exam.

Wafflenose Fri 05-Apr-13 15:39:09

I haven't got a young one through Grade 5 Theory yet - most have been 11-16, but definitely spend plenty of time going through all the books. Many people think you can just start at Grade 5, but the knowledge is cumulative. Being good at scales (which your dd clearly is) is a massive help.

I imagine my dd will be at least 11 by the time she actually needs to do it, because she's doing recorder grades (her first instrument) with Trinity. I think the theory gives them increased understanding at many levels though. She did two practice papers for Grade 1 Theory this morning and got 95% and 96%, so when I think of it we will get the next book and just plod along at her pace. At two years older, I expect your dd will go faster!

CURIOUSMIND Fri 05-Apr-13 16:58:22

Welldone, little Ironingboard and Little waffle!

Re:G5 theory
It's definitely achievable on your own at young age My Ds1 did G5 theory at age 8.5 on his own, scored a distinction. Make sure you got the right material. We had AB theory practice book and answer book, some past papers. The pink book by Eric Taylor is very useful according to Ds1. Also you need a good rubber,a little ruler and a good pencil.

Primrose123 Fri 05-Apr-13 17:08:37

Can I join the thread? My DD has just found out that she has passed grade 4 piano and is thrilled. My other DD is still waiting for her grade 3 violin result, which should be out at any time.

Also, I took up piano teaching about a year ago, and put one of my pupils in for an exam for the first time in March. She did grade 3 and I've just found out that she passed, so I'm thrilled!

maggiethecat Fri 05-Apr-13 19:44:57

Teacher just emailed to say dd got her grade 4 violin. Haven't told dd yet but she will be very pleased!
Will need to turn mind to gr 5 theory - she won't be thrilled in the least as she just wants to play.

lljkk Sat 20-Apr-13 17:40:58

ooh ooh ooh -- how's everyone doing?
Signing in as I've just filled in the form for DD's grade 3 violin (TrinityGH) in July.
3 months to go.

musicalfamily Sat 20-Apr-13 19:26:11

Hello!!! My DD1 is doing grade 2 violin and my DS1 grade 1 violin.
It will be a fun summer!!
Like you say, 3 months to go though, so plenty of time to practise!!

Wafflenose Sat 20-Apr-13 20:17:32

Hello both!

DD is doing Grade 4 recorder on June 11th, so in about 7 weeks! We ran through the aural tests for the first time today, and she could do most of it!

She has also started working towards Grade 2 Flute and Theory (although we will probably wait a year with the flute and let her enjoy it - she knows the scales and can do the sight reading and aural, but wants to play hundreds of pieces!)

She also plays the piano reasonably well for her age, but hasn't touched it for weeks, so I would say the interest isn't really there! hmm Also dabbles with the treble recorder and ukulele! I am taking her to the South West Playing Day for recorder next week, organised by the SRP, so hopefully she'll meet some like-minded people!

I have just started off DD2, who is a month short of her 5th birthday. She is playing tunes along the lines of Hot Cross Buns. I must be mad!!

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