Sunday, 4 December 2016

Examination success of the highest order, and a bit of rugby.........

What a wonderfully successful set of exam results ! The grades were as diverse as it's possible to be ranging from an Initial ( pre Grade 1) examination right up to the Advanced Recital Certificate! I actually love it when they are so widely different, it shows that the rich seam of talent, native wit and good technical teaching shows across the board, from the tiniest to the oldest. It gives an examiner a real taste of what good teaching means - whether that is the highly complex work which goes into a French or Italian operatic aria, or lieder by Richard Strauss, or the serious drumming in to baby brains how important it is to use the mouth and lips with lots of energy, thus the word of Anna Marie are crystal clear. The good tone which will eventually manifest itself in that operatic aria or Chanson starts with the thought about movement of the mouth at 6 or 7 years old.

Anyhow........everyone worked very hard and did themselves, and me, total justice ! The Advanced Recitalists both gained distinctions, the exact mark is unknown at the moment, but the category was told to us ! R gained an excellent high merit in her Grade 7 which is a tremendous feat, both in performance and in aural ability. Little S and H gained distinctions and high merits between them, and L, who is H's older sister gained a magnificent distinction in her Grade 3 piano. She is a highly intelligent 12 year old and plays with such dexterity and musicianship, and I know is gaining in confidence with every new piece she tackles ! 

Adult S gained a much deserved Distinction in his singing exam, a total beginner three months ago, and now a most accomplished and extremely sensitive young tenor - what an asset he is proving to be ! 

The certificate recitals went beautifully and completely according to plan. H sang with more energy and command than I had ever heard from her in the last term, she sparkled and glittered in her drama and presentation, quite apart from the more energised tone and forward moving programme. Sometimes she can 'sit back' a little and wait for the music to 'come' to her ! On Thursday she took each piece and sang it with total conviction and with great depth of meaning. Some breathing went awol in her massive Bach aria, and a moment of forgetfulness in the Gounod aria were all I could find in the way of nuts and bolts  mistakes, otherwise it was a beautiful recital. N gave a gracefully shaped programme, solid with technical ability from first to last note. Her opening Pergolesi had a nerve wobble in the first half, then settled down and the whole was delivered so beautifully. It is a huge sing for an 18 year old, and I was so proud of her mature and delicious recital.

Clearly the examiner was delighted and went away a happy man ! Well done everyone, what a satisfying day all round !

PS I made an unplanned trip south on Saturday! It was one of the moments which was unexpected and all the more happy because of that serendipity ! I stayed with my son in law, he of the Iolanthe Lord Chancellor, and had a most enjoyable weekend in West Sussex. My daughter S was ragingingly busy with concerts and rehearsals, and was also very fluey and with a dreadful cough, so staying with M was a much safer option. I took C on a Saturday shopping trip and much time was spent scrutinising make up of all varieties, whilst M and W went to Twickenham for the England Australia final rugby autumn international match. You can see from the photo the degree of seriousness which this sort of event invokes !


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