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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!!

RussiansOnTheSpree Sat 20-Apr-13 22:00:16

DS did really well in his grade 4 clarinet, which he was very pleased (and relieved) about. He's going to spend this term on the sax, apparently (he informed me this week) which is cool as far as I'm concerned. DD1 broke several fingers at the end of last term. The bones are mended but she has ligament damage on a couple of fingers. So she isn't playing at the moment (much) which is killing her. She's doing a lot of left hand work on the piano and a lot of guitar but other than that....she was supposed to be doing grade 7 flute the week after next. But I don't think she will be. DD2 is definitely doing grade 3 flute, already entered. Not sure about grade 4 recorder - she is ready but I personally found the experience of doing two instrument exams with her at Xmas to be horrific in terms of stress and given that Dd1 is doing her GCSEs this summer (a year early) and Dd2 is also doing grade 4 singing for sure in the summer (but more like July than June) I think to do the recorder exam as well might be a killer. She might just skip to grade 5, she's been playing a mixture of 4 and 5 pieces on both descant and treble, so it might be as well to just leave it till Xmas or even Easter and just go straight for 5. She was previously dead keen on doing every single exam she could but she has finally realised that it's not compulsory.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Sun 21-Apr-13 19:00:32

DS1 is going to do Grade 5 piano, he has some early GCSEs this term too but he wants to get this exam out of the way. After that he is just going to learn piano for fun and concentrate more on his tuba and trombone.

DD is hoping to do Grade 6 sax. Both exams will be towards the end of June.

Lots of concerts coming up too, with school and bands, looking forward to those.

Theas18 Tue 23-Apr-13 15:03:55

Just catching up on this thread . Some great results smile

Nice to hear little miss wafflenose is flourishing - I always think of her as the thread was started for her!

THe raspberrylemons are busy as ever too I see.

Here we have a flurry of exams and auditions and, as usual I don't know what's going on LOL I think we are 10 days off DD2 grade 4 piano- which is, for some reason " a big deal" and very stressy- probably because she doesn't like scales...

Then DS AS music performance 30/4. Big proudness as eldest DD is coming home to play a teleman canon sonata with him as part of it, along with a couple of his grade 8 pieces on MY lovely low pitch treble...

They also have auditions for central ensembles. Gosh I am worried about this. If DS doesn't go into his desired orchestra he'll be gutted as it's his last chance. I suspect his reaction will also be " stuff it I'm playing rugby instead" which will probably result in injury as usual! (and a sad chap because he can't plasy!)

Wafflenose Tue 23-Apr-13 22:39:04

Lovely to hear from you too, Theas, and it's nice that you still think about my little miss. I'm taking her to a South West recorder playing day this weekend, which I think she will enjoy! She has asked me to get her up earlier, so that she can practise her descant, treble and flute before school each day, but I'm not all that good at getting up early! blush Piano has hardly been touched in weeks, so clearly she's not all that interested. I hope she will go back to it eventually though. We have started on the theory now!

I hope your DS gets into his orchestra... which one is he trying out for? It might be less hazardous than rugby!

Theas18 Fri 03-May-13 16:40:48

Well grade 4 piano for DD2 today and I haven't had time to worry as DS has been so caught up in things. Seemed to go OK. Hope we wont have to wait long.

Wafflenose DS is trying for the schools symphony orchestra. Very high standard, few places, so stressy++ He nearly gave up last year when he didn't move up but has had an annoying year in the slightly lower standard concert orchestra and is feeling undervalued, poor lamb! He'd rather be playing rugby but I'm a mean mum and try to stop him breaking himself....

Theas18 Wed 15-May-13 08:37:30

well recently we've had dd2 audition for? music service schools concert band . result awaited..

Great result with piano- 130, distinction, and the highest of the days results ( the Exam centre was dh school, they have afew later slots for externals - the more exams you can put in the easier you get to be your own centre! )

Wafflenose Wed 15-May-13 17:09:00

Congratulations to him - a great mark!

MiniWaffle is doing Grade 4 Recorder (TG) on June 10th. She is very reluctant to do anything resembling hard work after school (and I don't really blame her) so she is now practising before school, and it's going well. I have 9 candidates before her on the day, and the exams are held at a different school to hers, so that will be interesting logistically.

Flute teacher wants her to do Grade 2 (AB) next term, so we are now working towards Grade 2 Theory to try and keep up.

Piano has been temporarily dropped! Treble recorder gets a look in occasionally.

Theas18 Fri 17-May-13 08:37:19

Good luck mini waffle! Hope you start to love your treble soon. It's the best recorder! (well maybe until you fall in love with a bass LOL)

morethanpotatoprints Mon 20-May-13 16:55:43

Haven't posted for a while as dd (9) hasn't done any exams recently.
Its all go for the next year now, lots of practice and hopefully the results she is so determined to gain.

Hopefully she is doing gr3 violin summer (june), gr3 sax winter (only started playing in Jan). Also gr4 or gr5 singing winter too.
Piano coming on nicely now, but no exams till gr5, ages off yet grin

Really nice to hear how everybody is getting on, and the lovely results.
Good luck and best wishes to those taking exams summer.

nightingalefloor Fri 24-May-13 20:49:35

My first post on here- DD (8) is doing grade 2 piano in 3 weeks- her first exam. I've been teaching her since Novemberish with some input from a friend (who, as DD has pointed out several times, is better than me!) so if she fails it's officially my fault blush Pieces are going well, I'm more worried about the aural tests at the moment.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 28-May-13 00:15:14

Good luck to your DD, nightingalefloor.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 29-May-13 16:30:26

arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - dd has grade 3 piano in a month.... not ready... not ready - I'm sure she is, but not me!!

One piece is bloomin brilliant, one good but slow, one a work in progress - Aural she is good at, but not many marks there, Sight reading OK, scales.. mmmmm variable... seems a lot of work in a little time...

And THIS bloomin time round we ACTUALLY got the holy grail of last week of exams - but had to change it due to school trip abroad... so they put us 2 weeks earlier..... <sob> if only...... and breathe.......

* nightingalefloor* - don't worry tooooooo much about the aural stuff - it is a few piffling marks for each section (and they rarely give 0 marks for any section) - if the pieces and scales are solid then the rest is icing on the cake....

Good luck everyone....

MadeOfStarDust Wed 29-May-13 16:38:30

nightingalefloor - this site has been our saviour for Aural tests by the way

Aural Test Examples

FiveHoursSleep Wed 29-May-13 16:45:11

I have DD1 (11) doing grade 3 Double Bass in July and DD3 (7) starting her grade 1 piano pieces with a view to an end of year exam for her.
Bass practice sounds a bit hmm DD tells me it's supposed to sound that way...

Xenia Wed 29-May-13 16:51:28

Good luck to everyone in their exams. We just have one this term and I think one doing grade 8 trumpet before Christmas and then may be on to grade 8 singing for 2 of them. And two have chosen music GCSE (picking GCSE options this term).

Lancelottie Wed 29-May-13 18:06:19

Oh bugger.

DD has grade 4 trumpet and grade 2 piano this term. Both have come through for the same day, in the only week she's unavailable all term (away with school, and yes we did let them know this in advance...).

And when I phoned to plead for a different date, the only one they could offer was... ta daa! -- her secondary school Induction Day. Which is kind of a big deal for nervous little, only-one-from-her-primary, won't-know-anyone-yet DD.

Any brilliant ideas from anyone? Would it be really cheeky to ask if one of the local secondaries could take her for the exams with their own batch of pupils for a day?

Otherwise I guess I just forfeit two sets of exam fees. Bugger.

nightingalefloor Wed 29-May-13 18:16:49

Ohhh MadeofStarDust you are indeed a star, thank you smile

She can sing fairly well in tune says totally biased mummy it's just the describing the piece I'm worried about, possibly because that was always my weakest bit. Oh well, she can't make that bit up, right? confused She's also not much of a sightreader but her scales are fairly solid, so hoping they'll balance each other out!

Oh double bass Fivehourssleep, bet that's a logistical nightmare to get around!

Good luck to everyone's DCs smile

Xenia Thu 30-May-13 10:15:07

Lance the local exam secretary might be able to help and ask around. We have done swaps before although I think not to another centre.
May be another school or local centre could squeeze her in.

Xenia Thu 30-May-13 10:16:27

Our local centre for grade 5 theory made a massive mess up on the applicants and about 30 children turned up on the day and had no papers or seats including my two. In that case I think they found us space at another centre - in the same term and even allowed one resit without charge in case the AB mess up had affected chances.

FiveHoursSleep Thu 30-May-13 11:43:54

Actually the bass is okay- we don't have to take it many places as they have one at school for her and also at the Youth Orchestra she plays for.
All she has to take is her music, her boy and her rosin!
We do have to take it in for exams though!

Lancelottie Thu 30-May-13 12:19:50

Thanks, Xenia. I've now sorted the piano but not the brass -- it's more complicated having to find a time that child, parent, examiner and accompanist can all manage.

Xenia Thu 30-May-13 12:34:36

It certainly is and as I accompany mine it also needs to be a day when I don't have a booked unmoveable work thing either. Anyway at least you sorted out the piano one.

Lancelottie Thu 30-May-13 12:38:20

Sadly it's a bit late for me to scramble through the piano grades myself (still aiming for grade 1!) and DH never got past grade 5 either.

DS is confidently announcing that his friend can play 'anything' on the piano and could accompany her, but as she's only 14 (and I suspect him of romantically tinted views of her powers) I don't think we'll be doing that.

Wafflenose Sun 09-Jun-13 09:19:54

Eek! Grade 4 is tomorrow. MiniWaffle has just realised this and is panicking, but hopefully she will be OK. If she actually passes, she will have done so well, but it'll be a long time before I put us both through this again!

I also have eight other pupils taking exams tomorrow, from Initial to Grade 5, recorders and clarinets. One poor child broke his arm this week, so can't take his exam tomorrow. I still have 14 different pieces to practise though... better go and get on with it. Good luck to everyone who's taking an exam soon.

CURIOUSMIND Sun 09-Jun-13 19:56:03

For us, Ds1 will do his first violin exam, Grade 3.He's all right, but I am worried about his teacher. Mr said sorry twice during their rehearsal last week. blush Hope he did his practice as promised.

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