Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What is the way out?

Lessons today did not go well. I attempted to play the four repertoires that I have selected for the music exams. The Marcello's Sonata needed more work. The Ridout's Concerto is shaky. The excerpts from the Beethoven's 9th Symphony, felt as if Beethoven would die from hearing it. I did not practised much of the Britten's work that I have selected, and so I was excused from playing it. Such a state was worrying.

Later during the lessons, I attempted some of the sight-reading pieces. I think I sounded not ready for the exams. When the grade 8 sight-reading pieces proved to be rather challenging, I played the pieces from the Grade 6 sight-reading practice book, only to get my tutor more worried whether I could make it for the exams that is just exactly one month away.

He told me that if he were me, he would sit for the exams later.

If I were to sit for the exams as scheduled, I think I would have to practise at least two to three hours every day! Maybe I should start using the double bass to play during the odd hours of the night. If you happen to be my neighbour who is reading this, and you hear odd noises in the night, it is likely not from the sounds of people watching the World Cup, but from a muted double bass.

But secretly, I am concern whether such kind of stressful practising schedules (on top of my own work commitments) would make me dread the company of the double bass after the exams.

This situation reminds me of sitting for my "O" levels examination long time ago. Back then, my foundation for the various subjects were not very strong, and it was stressful to try to catch up with my work at the last minute.

Now, shall I stress myself up by burning the midnight oil to work on passing the exams? I am already stressed by the increasing workload at work, I don't quite wish to lead myself to death by introducing another source of stress.

Or shall I withdraw from the exams so that I can work on strengthening my foundation and only take the exams a year or two later? Afterall, the purpose of sitting for the exams was to give myself a reason to practise so as to improve my level of playing.

Alternatively, I could sit for the exams anyway: If I were to pass, I will still continue to strengthen my foundation after the exams. If I were to fail, I shall retake the exams next year?

After today's lesson, I can't have the confidence to gauge whether I could pass this upcoming exams or not. I am lost about making the decision now.

As such, I end this post with a sullen face.


pinkie said...

your tutor's comment is so discouraging... check with him again if it's really so or if he'd said tat to spite you to work harder?

Ivan Chew said...

Hi PY, why is taking the exam so important to you? I mean, why do you need to take the exam? Sorry if this is a stupid question. I was under the impression you liked the double bass, and exams was just a way to guage your standard.

Simple American said...

I say work hard. Do it. Just to show your tutor that you can. And you can. But you have to want to. :)

mistipurple said...

don't worry. just take the exam. change tutor if he is discouraging. i am straight forward like that. a tutor should encourage. without masking how ill prepared you might be, i am of the opinion that since you have signed up, the teacher should go along with a gungho attitude.
it should be a 'let's do it anyway and let's have some fun preparing it and pushing how far you can go.' and, 'we can always pick up the pieces after the exam!'
i need someone like that to motivate me. i know of many teachers who will disagree with this line of thinking. sorry i sound harsh. it is perhaps, in my experience, i have picked many students who sit there crying when they do their 'pre-exam concerts' (which i insists they do) and their teachers have more or less given up hope on them. BUT i take over and push them and motivate them in their last 2 weeks and ALL of them passed! (i must say that i did ask every of their teacher, permission to take over at this stage, so as not to overide them.)

oceanskies79 said...

Pinkie: perhaps the good part is that he did not stop me from taking the exams. He was being conservative and realistic.

Ivan: Your question got me thinking for a while. Other than gauging my standard, I took the exams to give me a reason to practise and strive higher level of performance. Otherwise, I might have been contented with easier works that does not require much practice. But admittedly, it was stressful to realise that I still needed a lot of work to do well.

SA: Thanks. Not really to show my tutor, but to challenge myself. I just hope that I don't stress myself out.

Misti: Ah, maybe you could encourage me a little.