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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!!

Lancelottie Fri 19-Jul-13 12:39:32

Thanks Hardboiled (now tempted to try shouting 'Now play F# major!' at a concert some time).

Big cheer for FadedSapphire's son here too! DS scraped a pass at some of the earlier grades too, but it was enough to keep him interested and playing into his teens.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 19-Jul-13 12:44:32

Well, dd did gr3 violin and seemed really pleased.
I'm not sure whether to believe she did actually get everything right like she said grin.
I think that is it for exams now, maybe gr4 singing or sax in Nov, certainly no rush.

Theas18 Fri 19-Jul-13 13:18:16

Well done mini faded and junior lancelottie!

Earlybirdie Fri 19-Jul-13 17:14:43

Got exam results today, very very very pleased. DD got distinction for both piano and violin exams. She was worried before the exam. Being non-musical, I tried to assure her that she was making good progress, but my words carried little weight. So I am very happy for her.

Not sure whether I could ask the question here. Piano teacher has been saying taking next exam. I kind of feel that it is quite expensive to buy scales book for each grade and am wondering whether there is a book includes all the scales and arpeggios for all the grades 6-8. Thank you.

Theas18 Fri 19-Jul-13 17:38:08

earlybirdie well done to your DD!

Depends on the board as to what they publish for scales. I know you aren't musical but actually you don't need a book at all. They can be learned entirely from memory and the list of scales, and range/articulation etc is all in the syllabus on line.

we don't have scale books for any instrument. The kids have a list in the notebook that goes to lessons of what they are practising this week, and it builds up to the full list. However that relys on your DD knowing "what" a scale is and how the patterns work, if she's grade 5 she certainly should have a fair idea by now.

Earlybirdie Fri 19-Jul-13 19:02:19

Thank you very much. Yes, she is grade 5. Know theory. We also got the exam booklet. Will try to work from there for now. Hope her teacher is ok with that. Books are expensive.
Thank you again.

singinggirl Sat 20-Jul-13 08:22:00

All my students have passed, phew! Including the one who hadn't done any practice.....Not looking forward to November though, as well as several of my own students, DSs will be taking 2-3 exams between them. Well done everyone on your brilliant resultssmile

Happypiglet Tue 23-Jul-13 11:19:47

Well after a nervous wait DS1 passé Grade 1 piano with a merit (121) despite the boogie third piece but even in that he scraped a pass so the examiner was kind!. Merit in everything else except aural which needs work!
So a Distinction in grade 1 cello and merit in grade 1 piano this time round- very proud!!

Happypiglet Tue 23-Jul-13 11:20:00


Lancelottie Tue 23-Jul-13 12:34:01

Hurray for MiniPiglet (and how did you get that rather snazzy accent there, Piglet?).

DD has finally had her Grade 4 results and got a merit, which is great. She's a bit miffed though that her teacher is still enthusing to all and sundry about her brother's Grade 6 and is out to prove that she can beat him next time (hmm...)

lljkk Tue 23-Jul-13 23:28:06

DD passed her G3 violin today (TGH). She just barely scraped a merit, too, which is nice. Good luck to everyone with exams still on the horizon.

Lancelottie Wed 24-Jul-13 09:01:44

Oh well done lljkk's dd !

lljkk Wed 24-Jul-13 11:48:29

Ooh thanks, she had a nice award in leaver's assembly today, too. so all round good week for her.

kanita Wed 24-Jul-13 14:17:20

Congrats to Minilljkk, MiniLance and MiniPiglet! Our DD's piano result (g5) is also and finally in - distinction with 138. All v pleased. Here's to a scale-free summer! winegrin

duchesse Thu 25-Jul-13 23:41:08

DD2's Grade 6 horn result is in - 82 (/100, it's Trinity) which we're all pleased with given that she had precisely a fortnight between her last GCSE and her music exam. Last year's grade 5 was a stellar distinction (95%) set the bar quite high but we're all really pleased.

Various people in her school have been asked to play in a concert in Cardiff in October just before half term so a friend and I have hit on the fantastic idea of getting her 15 yo son (who is a massively egg-headed and gifted composer) to compose something for DD2 that would be premiered in Cardiff. Just hoping it all works out. His older brother plays the horn so he's getting help. Can't wait to hear it!

lljkk Fri 26-Jul-13 18:59:47

Well done lil' Duchesse smile.

musicalfamily Sat 27-Jul-13 16:54:13

well done little duchesse, minilljkk, miniLance and miniPiglet! We are still waiting for our results, it's been 11 days shouldn't be too long. Thankfully the kids are having a lot of fun and haven't asked (yet!).

morethanpotatoprints Tue 30-Jul-13 19:20:50

My dd got a distinction for grade 3 violin.
I am a proud mum.
Gavotte scored 29/30, I can remember hearing her play this on the day she went off like a rocket. Other pieces 27 &28

musicalfamily Wed 31-Jul-13 08:53:20

Hurrah for your DD morethanpotatoprints!!! I am still waiting for ours....DD grade 2 violin and DS grade 1 violin.........hopefully won't be too long. You must be very proud, that is an amazing mark!

musicalfamily Wed 31-Jul-13 12:39:04

Both children got good merits for their violin exams. I feel happy for DS1 as he is only 6 and it is a very good start for him! I feel sad for DD1 as she was bitterly disappointed to have missed out again on a distinction, especially as the reason is that she scraped a pass in one of her pieces.

I can't for the life of me understand why as I was sat outside and she played it beautifully, even the teacher said so. There was obviously a problem with intonation which I must have missed (comments were around that) but I am sad that she practised so hard only to scrape a pass on a piece!!! I will try and put it into perspective for her, but can't help but feel disappointed on her behalf also!!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 31-Jul-13 12:41:11


I hope you get results soon, dd did her exam 19th July so the results have been quite quick compared to last time.
The good result has put the cat amongst the pigeons because she was debating giving up. I think it would be a shame but she plays other instruments and she seems to know what she wants.

musicalfamily Wed 31-Jul-13 13:05:50

hi morethanpotatoprints, must have cross posted!!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 31-Jul-13 18:51:12

Oh bless him, thats fantastic at only 6. I bet you are really proud not only the result but the nerve to do this at such a young age is commendable.
I know what you mean about not getting the marks they deserve, sometimes it is fair and dc has been ill prepared and you don't realise yourself or other times the marking just seems harsh and their seems no reason.
The first happened with dd last year singing grade 2. She was just not prepared for sight singing by her teacher and failed it completely. Her songs were all 27+ and she scored 114 after everyone telling us she was a distinction. It can come as a shock when you don't expect it. I think your dd has done very well and a high merit is just that, very commendable. grin

musicalfamily Wed 31-Jul-13 21:56:29

Oh thanks morethanpotatoprints!! Your words really cheered me up!

I am proud of them both and I spoke to the teacher today who said he was in the room accompanying and can't comprehend why it was marked that way. So like you say, it's one of those things! Still in a way that's a lesson in itself for the children.

In a way I am glad for a break from exams and I think for DD1 next year will be an exam free time, just enjoying her violin now that grade 3 is a time where she can pick more pieces and do a few more performances!! Hurrah to that!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 31-Jul-13 23:02:02

Performances sound great, far better than just working for exams. I agree once the golden grade 3 has been achieved, if they are young there is no rush.
My dd has a new singing teacher who is happy to let her sing the repertoire from grades 3-5 and then not this Nov but the following take grade 5. I think she will probably do this with piano, sax and violin too, not all in the same session obviously grin that would be silly.

Have your dc done the Fiddle Time books and first repertoire/ concert pieces. I ask as dd really likes them and accompanying cd are really helpful if there isn't a piano player in the house. Some are quite difficult too and I imagine the last in the concert book will be bordering on grade 5.

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