My results are in, and it looks as though I'm on track to tackle Grade 8 next year!
A few days ago, after diligently checking online at the AMEB website, my results arrived and am happy to announce I received a B+ for my efforts.
There is still an A or A+ above that, however, I'm aware due to work commitments and other co-curricular activities, a B+ is pretty good considering the amount of practice I had been able to do! Ok, Ok - there is always more time for practice, but I'll keep this in mind when preparing for Grade 8 - the 'final' grade which requires a whole lot more preparation and is another massive step up in technical skills compared to Grade 7.
Feedback from the examiner had my List 1 Bach as a good interpretation and what appears to be one of the stronger pieces from my set. Only comment was to control nerves which resulted in some minor slips.
Beethoven was by far the weakest of my pieces, but I still managed to get positive feedback with interpretation, tone and style. Technical skills had to be developed more and a focus on the pulse and tempo of the piece.
Chopin was good too, though the comment was that I used too much rubato and this affected the tempo. Also, a harshness of tone hindered the legato. But overall again the style and detail were addressed.
Albeniz's Tango was the last piece and I felt this was another strong piece and the only comment here was again rubato and keeping the pulse. Extra mention here was a good involvement in the performance, and a development of the style and character of the piece, so was happy with those comments!
As a friend told me, "Technique can always be worked on, but an understanding of a piece and the expression is something that can't be taught readily"…
So with a smile on my face, I have a week break, then resumption of lessons starting Monday. Technique will be worked on for a few weeks, before deciding what pieces to tackle for the Grade 8 Ex
Today I sat for the Grade 7 Practical exam at the AMEB (Australian Music Examination Board) and I was all a ball of nerves going in.
My teacher gave me good advice to just enjoy the experience, and it was this thought that really calmed me.
I took a cup of coffee just before the exam to wake me up (don't know if it was the weather, but I kept yawning on the way into the city) and made my way up to Level 8, of the building.
Though my exam was slotted for 3.32pm, I got there early to acclimatise, an it was a good thing too, as at about 3.20pm Mr. Grant Foster, my examiner called me in.
Grant Foster is an accomplished musician and composer and for better or worse, I looked up his biography earlier in the morning. His works have been acclaimed by Limelight magazine and he's had great success in the UK. His work, "Rhapsody for Piano & Orchestra" has been described by critics as seminal in Australian composition. He also composed his first opera at age 16! So it was a little daunting playing for him.
Mr. Foster luckily, was a very pleasant and courteous examiner, so my fears were quelched to an extent, once I started playing.
Though this is a risk writing a blog before my results are actually out, I felt I performed to the best of my ability (alongside nerves) and was happy to get through my pieces!
I'll find out tomorrow what the results are, so stay tuned for the next half of my experience in the exams for 2013!
A great article! Worth a read-