Friday, October 01, 2004

I Passed ABRSM Grade 7!

Early this morning when I was still half asleep in bed, my mother who is going to leave for work uttered to me in my room, "Does this letter contain information regarding your exams results?". How could I be expected to jump up of the bed when I am just only half awake, and there isn't a life and death situation involved? So I thanked her and told her I will have a look at the letter when I am more awake.

I think I was quite interested to know the results anyway, so it took me just about ten minutes to get myself out of bed, and clear-headed enough to read the letter. Perhaps I wasn't fully awake when I first read the letter, I had difficulties knowing where to start. Then again, perhaps it is because this is the first time I ever took the ABRSM Exam and received an examination mark form.

I passed. For the ABRSM Double Bass Grade 7 Exams that I had taken about a month ago. This was a relief, I thought I might end up failing because I felt I had fared very poorly during the exams in the scales and arpeggios section.

I was right, I needed two marks more before I could pass for the scales and arpeggios section. The examiner commented in the mark form that "the playing wanted more fluency and accuracy". This is a clear lesson for me to take that I should spend more time with scales and arpeggios to be more ready and fluent in playing them. I have procastinated. I have yet to start on practising scales and arpeggios since the end of the examinations. I think I needed some kind of pep talk.

My best performed piece among the three programmes that I had played in the exams was the Marcello's Sonata in G minor (For String Bass and Piano). Possibly, one of my friends could be right: The more one likes a piece a music, the more one would practise it, and the better it would sound. It seems that the moral of the story is Practice makes Perfect, and Play the music that you like if you want to play better?

Then again, I think there are still areas to improve on for the Marcello's Sonata. According to the examiner as indicated on the mark form, in the Largo section, "the tone wants to keep flowing more readily thoughout the phrases to give a more shapely, expansive line". As for the Allegro section, it "was energetically presented, not always focused in the one, but rhythmic and finding some lively shaping".

For the Jacob's A Little Concerto, my friend who played for me as the piano accompanist during the exams was right, somehow I haven't done as much vibrato as I could have. This friend of mine certainly learns fast. I think she has picked up the ear to listen out for vibrato on the double bass after just two practice sections with me and my double bass tutor. Whatever it is, I am very very thankful for her kind help in playing the accompanient for me. She is an encouragaging piano accompanist who listens and accompanies well, and yet will dare to strict enough with me to make sure I work on my rhythms and pitch.

Credits also go to my double bass tutor. I think he has taught me well, albeit I still have a way to go in achieving all the suggestions he has had on how I could better play and deliver the three programmes and the scales. Many thanks to him for his kind patience and inspiring guidance.

For the sight reading section, it was a borderline pass. This is one other area for me to work on with more effort.

Strangely, though I thought I may fail for the aural test due to the limited aural training that I had prior to the exams, I passed. Well, I supposed the few days that I had spent just before the exams to work on the aural did help afterall.

Last but not the least, while I was pleasantly relieved and pleased to pass, I couldn't help but to think that if I had done better in the scales and arpeggios and sight-reading with more practice, I might have passed with a merit. Oh well, maybe it is human nature to wish for more. The best I could do is to be contented with the results and put in more effort in practising the double bass. Only then, could I play good music, and enjoy the music-making process.

So much so on my ABRSM music exams results. Hopefully the certificate will be on its way soon.


mistipurple said...

well good 4 u! congrats!

mistipurple said...

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