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Regrets re. accompanying DD1 myself in oboe exam

(5 Posts)
MiniJellyBeans Mon 09-Nov-15 12:04:31

DD1 (13) did grade 3 oboe today, her first oboe grade (she's done piano exams before). Friends have had various hassles organising a piano accompanist for their DC's exams, so I naively thought I'd accompany her myself (did grade 8 piano as a teenager and played on a daily basis then, but admittedly have barely touched the piano for 20+ years). "I'll soon pick it up again with a bit of practice", thought I....

I really wish I hadn't been such a numpty. Firstly, due to work/life getting in the way, I didn't really start learning the piano part for both pieces until 1-2 weeks ago, and most of the practice was yesterday. On the plus side, it meant that DD and I had loads of rehearsal time together. However, I just hadn't banked on my fingers having lost so much dexterity. I went over the more difficult passages loads beforehand, but when it came to the exam, although the first piece went well, the second piece was faster and there was a tricky section where I just lost it and ground to a halt for a few bars. Fortunately DD didn't seem to be put off, and came out of the exam happy, but the examiner was looking at me like this hmm

Just feeling a bit down about making an idiot of myself (although I know it wasn't me being examined)'s very out of character for me to be overconfident too!

rogueantimatter Mon 09-Nov-15 16:10:28

If it makes you feel any better.... I accompanied someone doing grade 5 a few years ago. There were two examiners in the room. They looked at the candidate to check he was ready, he looked at me (like a pro) and I smiled then lost my nerve and shook my head, cleared my throat, sat looking at the music for a while before starting. Then I couldn't get the door open and had to stand there like a lemon while one of the examiners opened it afterwards.

I accompanied my DD doing a grade 3 exam and was so nervous that I could only listen to her timing. My entire focus was on keeping in time with her and afterwards when her teacher asked how it went I really had no idea if she'd done good dynamics, phrasing, intonation etc.

Don't worry about it. You've saved having to pay for an accompanist and your DD will come out of it well. The examiner was probably looking at you sympathetically and you misinterpreted his/her expression.

These examiners must have seen all sorts over the years. I heard of a candidate who went in with their accompanist, set up a stand, got out their music then looked around and realised they'd forgotten their cello!!

One girl burst into tears half way through a piece and ran out of the room. DS when little took a plastic stool in with him to put his feet on (piano) and was discombobulated by the examiner asking him if it was a lunchbox and trippdover it when he got went to do the aural.

MiniJellyBeans Mon 09-Nov-15 17:55:35

Thanks Rogue, that does make me feel better! Actually, in her panic, DD did initially forget her oboe this morning, but fortunately realised when we were only five minutes' into the journey there, so I was able to turn back. Like you, I really have very little idea of how she played because I was so focussed on trying to keep going myself - but the examiner was lovely and he said "Thankyou, that was very nice indeed" or something after her first piece so it can't have been too disastrous...

Thanks again for sharing your stories!

Worriedandlost Tue 10-Nov-15 10:25:05

Dd's accompanist was late for the exam once! And the examiner suggested to play without one. The accompanist arrived at the end, but everything was turned upside down, in different order, etc....I had impression that the way examiner looked at it was - if a child manages to pull everything through in spite of... well done to this child! So stop being hard on yourself, everything will be fine!

MiniJellyBeans Tue 10-Nov-15 12:04:22

Thanks worried, that's kind of you!

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