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ABRSM, Trinity etc Spring session exams - who's on the bench?

(209 Posts)
Floottoot Tue 06-Mar-18 09:32:00

DS is taking grade 5 cello ABRSM next week, and I have a flute pupil taking grade 5 this week ( both dates different exam centres).
Pupil is destined for a merit, I think. Her pieces are pretty good, scales could go well if she concentrates, aurals should be fine as she's already passed grade 7 piano, but sightreading is inexplicably weak; she really struggles with rhythm, despite my best efforts and her piano experience.

DS's pieces are great, his scales are pretty secure but he's finding legato arpeggios a bit of a chore ( made harder by changing from a 1/2 size to a 4/4 size cello this term), his sightreading has the potential to be good ( he does well when I'm standing over him, cheering him on!) but he's prone to forgetting the last sharp/flat in the key signature and making the odd silly rhythm mistake, and his aurals are ok...IF he would just sing!
He's taking the exam at school, which is very convenient but does mean I won't be able to hiss last minute reminders at him!

So, what grades are other people's children/ pupils taking, and how's it all going?
As a parent of an exam child, I can now fully empathise with my own mum, who had to endure 2 of us taking exams in 3 different instruments, plus theory - much easier to be the child doing the exams! 🤣

Floottoot Tue 06-Mar-18 09:47:42

Forgot to say, DS is playing the Breval sonata, The Gadfly, and Easy Winners.
Flute pupil is playing Beethoven Bagatelle, At Dusk ( can't remember the French title) and Syncopation Rag.

MagnusMama Tue 06-Mar-18 09:51:32

DD has G5 clarinet, last chance to sit the syllabus so she's a little nervous!
Thankfully that's all this time, as I have put my foot down and said only 1 exam per season may be sat! (two children, two instruments).

Trumpetboysmum Tue 06-Mar-18 11:00:49

Magnus I think that's a very good idea . No exams for trumpet for quite some time ( I hope) but his sister is taking by grade 1 cornet in a couple of weeks . She really should be fine but it's organised through school and the lessons are short so I just hope they've covered everything as she is prone to wobbles !! She's sitting grade 1 piano next session instead now ( thank goodness)

Floottoot Tue 06-Mar-18 11:08:16

Luckily, DS has only started piano lessons this year, so no prospect of multiple exams in the same session yet - not sure my nerves could stand it! DD is taking LCM musical theatre grade 2 next month but that doesn't feel quite so stressful.

The whole syllabus deadline situation is nerve wracking, isn't it, Magnus? Fingers crossed!

CotswoldStrife Tue 06-Mar-18 11:13:03

My DD has a violin exam coming up - not sure how it will go, she did do a pre-cert a couple of years ago and was very nervous. She seemed more cheerful coming out but the nerves certainly didn't help her playing when she was warming up!

Wafflenose Tue 06-Mar-18 13:40:30

I have six looming, at three different centres on three different days.

Monday 12th - Trinity - three Initial and one Grade 1 recorders. Should all get merits; two possible distinctions if they tidy up a bit over the next few days.

Tuesday 20th - ABRSM Clarinet Grade 2 - should get a merit.

Wednesday 21st - daughter Rara (9) Trinity Grade 3 Clarinet, and not ready yet, but I'm probably being harder on her than the others. Probably scraping into the merit category but could do so much more!

se22mother Tue 06-Mar-18 14:45:50

dd has G3 clarinet on Saturday and G5 violin on 21st March. Both ABRSM. Not sure my nerves will stand the next two weeks. Silly mistakes are now creeping in.

foundoutyet Tue 06-Mar-18 15:24:23

2 grade 5s and 1 grade 4 (2dc). No idea about how dc1 is doing as she doesn't practise

MagnusMama Tue 06-Mar-18 15:37:03

The stress of multiple children doing multiple exams was wearing me down- one season I had one doing clarinet and piano and theory, and one doing piano (but he gets unbelievably stressed over gradings, so much so we've said he doesn't have to do any ever again unless he asks!)- I was rather strung-out by the end of that one.
Not enough practice is happening ATM... thankfully we're towards the end of the exam period, but still hmm

Trufflethewuffle Tue 06-Mar-18 18:38:55

We had DS2 take grade 8 sax yesterday and DD grade 8 clarinet today.

Both seem quite happy so we just have the wait for results now.

Best of luck to everyone taking exams.

Bythebeach Tue 06-Mar-18 18:51:13

Floottoot, my DS1 also taking g5 cello. It’s a bit of a disaster as it was meant to be last Friday but cancelled due to snow and then no one new about rescheduling .....playing breval too and Robots March and....can’t remember! Sight reading dodgy too. I can’t help as not musical!

Japanese Tue 06-Mar-18 19:43:04

Hello, my two DCs did their exams last week. DD did Grade 2 piano & Grade 2 theory, DS did Grade 1 piano & Grade 1 theory.

The theory should be fine but DD had a bit of an attack of the nerves in the warm-up room before the exam over piece 3 and ended up in tears before the exam (and was grumpy afterwards) so who knows...

Floottoot Tue 06-Mar-18 20:35:34

Fingers crossed for those that have already taken exams. * Truffle*, 2 grade 8s - wowee! You obviously have musical DC's. Are they competitive with each other, or supportive?
For those that had tears in the warm up room: I actually ran out in tears in the middle of one of my flute exams...and had to be persuaded to go back in to finish it! I still got a merit. I think children can put themselves under a lot of pressure and lose sight of how well they're actually doing.
Waffle, it's so frustrating when you know they have the potential to do even better. Everything crossed for Rara - I bet she does better than you think she will.
Bythebeach, what a nightmare for you! The snow really messed things up for the exams. So sad for those DC's who were all geared up to take them; timing is everything and having to then focus on a different date and stay motivated is tough.

Trufflethewuffle Tue 06-Mar-18 22:13:18

Thanks Floottoot, they are generally supportive but they all have their moments!

DS2 is about to take A levels and then hoping to study English at university next year, with music as a minor so is planning to continue his sax studies as part of that. DD is about to take GCSEs so it's a busy time for her. She does want to go on to music college after A levels.

LooseAtTheSeams Wed 07-Mar-18 08:29:58

Good luck everyone!
DS2 has his G5 cello on Friday. Pieces are definitely ready but he’s only playing with the accompanist in the warm-up room beforehand so I am really hoping that doesn’t throw him. The scales are finally getting there. He refuses to sing until the actual exam so absolutely no idea what’s going to happen there!
We’re having fish and chips Friday night to celebrate getting the exam out of the way!

Trufflethewuffle Wed 07-Mar-18 10:21:33

It's such a relief when the exam is over. DD says she had the best sleep in ages last night. In the run up to the exam she kept waking up fingering scales!

Floottoot Wed 07-Mar-18 13:59:58

Looseattheseams, your DS and mind sound like birds of a feather! Mine hates singing and also says he can't remember the melodies, so kind of uses that as an excuse not to sing. In the last exam, he wasn't given the option of which clef to sight sing from (he says), so that's rather out him off that part of the aural too - he's 12 and his voice is a bit unpredictable at times!

What pieces is your DS playing? There seems to be quite a variety of challenges in DS's choices - trills, vibrato, stamina, fast finger work etc - lots to focus on.
I'll be glad when he's taken it and he can relax and enjoy his new cello a bit more.

LooseAtTheSeams Wed 07-Mar-18 16:57:16

Floot honestly, he's a menace - his teacher said he could play back the melody and he can do this quite well. Then he said he'd probably sing in the exam anyway! Aargh!
He's doing Gavotte, La Cinquaintaine and Easy Winners. They do sound nice but I won't be sorry when he's got something new to play!

LooseAtTheSeams Wed 07-Mar-18 16:59:14

Oh, and I sympathise about the voice breaking - DS2 just turned 13 so it's mostly lower! DS1 once did an exam when he was 12 where his voice was one pitch when he said 'Good morning' and about an octave lower when the singing bit came round!

horseymum Wed 07-Mar-18 18:52:26

Just listening from another room to the boy's last practice before his Grade 3 piano tomorrow! I will be more nervous than him! He inexplicably cannot clap the rhythm anymore after being great at it up till now, just randomly clapping during the piece. Oh well, he has put in quite a bit of work so we will see how it goes. The wiat is the worst bit though!

catkind Thu 08-Mar-18 02:35:35

My two are taking their first exams this term, both Trinity piano. DS is taking Grade 1, DD Initial. They have a couple of weeks still. Only baby exams and they know their stuff so they should pass.

In rather cute first exam style, they're both enjoying scales and sometimes work out extra ones for fun. I'm storing it up against the day when I have to police scale practice!

catkind Thu 08-Mar-18 02:36:27

Good luck to all the DC with exams this week!

Kutik73 Thu 08-Mar-18 23:02:39

Late joining! DS did Grade 7 piano yesterday. He said he did 'alright'. He is usually very optimistic and tells me 'he did very well' even when he didn't! So not sure how to take his 'alright'. hmm Or, he may finally be maturing a bit and becoming to be able to see things more realistically!

Trumpetboysmum Fri 09-Mar-18 06:44:55

Kutik I'm sure he did just fine smile

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