We are all set for exam D Day this coming Monday, and, as usual, each pupil has upped their game and is feeling a good deal more confident about the whole thing! I heard young M who is doing her grade 4 today, and with the true confidence of youth she sang her way through her whole programme with consummate ease, having just returned from a week away on a John Muir Trust Outdoor Course, which, she told us all with much relish had some great highlights, the best one by far being watching a deer being butchered ! ( It was dead, she reassured us !). After that kind of experience, grade 4 singing pales into insignificance !
Another adult, J came to run through her programme, having been much disappointed with her whole performance at her lesson last Monday. She was 25 times more assured today, and is, I am sure fully ready now !
Young M's sister Mh, came also and gave a tremendous performance of her grade 7 programme, most especially the final piece, which is generally a lighter song and allows for humour and wit. She is singing Phoebe's song from The Yeoman of the Guard, and having struggled with it for a few weeks, she absolutely blew me away with her vocal colours, acting skills and absolute confidence ! Hurrah !
The younger entrants doing their grades 1, 2 and 3 are very competent, and really rather excited about the whole thing ! I am indeed tyrannical, and will not let them wear school uniforms, trouser ( unless they are boys of course !?!), or casual clothing. As singers we are obliged to look good, it is an integral part of the whole performance. It helps very much with our own confidence, and it sends the right message to the examiner / audience. We have no instrument between us and the listener, no keyboard, bow and fiddle or clarinet.......only our own person is available to do the 'talking' so to speak.
How we present ourselves is paramount. A little make up for older teens, and a smart dress and blouse combined with neat shoes is the singing daytime uniform. Some groan - a lot !
I will never give in. Smart, it is, and only smart will do !