Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Is it the norm to feel under-prepared for an exam?

I met XM this evening, and I spoke about feeling under-prepared for the upcoming exam. He said it is normal to feel this way for no matter how hard we prepare for any exam, there is always likely to be something we can't be fully prepared for.

Food for thoughts.

I had thought that by practising for one more year for the Grade 8 music practical exam, I may then feel prepared to sit for the exam.

Today, I took leave from my work to practice.

I must be thankful that so far I don't have neighbours knocking at my door asking me to stop playing on the double bass (because of the noise level). I had started practising in the morning.


Lunch at Botak Jones

In the afternoon, I was with Em who has so kindly agreed to take time out to be my piano accompanist. We had lunch at Botak Jones. We ordered Caesar Salad, the Botak Burger and Chicken Gumbo. I agreed that lunch was very filling.

It was filling enough to last me for the rest of the day. I was surprised that I did not feel at all hungry even though I did not have time to take dinner tonight. No gastric pain has been triggered to signal to me that it was time to have dinner. Anyway, I eventually took a small bun at about 10 p.m..

(Special thanks to Emily for allowing me to link to her post.)

After lunch, it was time spent rehearsing the Marcello's Sonata in g minor and Ridout's Concerto for Double Bass and Strings with Em. Em shared with me fingerings for a particular sequence which should be more sound to use. I hope I can unlearn my previous fingerings and learn this set of fingerings soon enough. Exams is now less than 16 days away. I think I should be able to do this soon enough. This is much easier to accomplish than other things.

It is nice to hear how the piano parts and the double parts are related to one another, and how they interacted. I would have like it more if I weren't the one playing. I can easily think of how I would like the double bass to sound, yet it takes greater skills to deliver that sound through my playing.

I think I have a weak spot. That feeling of inadequacy would come and strike at moment and affect my own playing. Furthermore, the more I practice, the more I am aware that there are still areas that can be improved upon. The best that I could do is to try to practise to be easier on myself, accept the flaws in my playing and move on.

Both pieces sounded much more nicer with the piano. Even my mother (who might have been awfully familiar with the tunes from both the works by now) said so.

Late afternoon was double bass lesson with MJ. Sight-reading still needs lots of work. My playing of the four selected works can still be improved upon. He told me at the end of the lesson that he was feeling nervous for me given that the exam-date is drawing near.

I only hope that I could do well enough to secure a pass. Do my best, and leave the rest to the examiner, I suppose?

After the lesson, I rushed down for double bass sectionals held at the university. Sectionals with the double bass tutor, GM have never failed to enrich me. He seems to have a good skill to structure lessons in such a way that stretches the students' limits in a meaningful way.

As I did not practise much for the pieces that we were playing for sectionals, I ended up sight-reading for much of the sectionals. Sight-reading the orchestra works for the season seems so much easier than sight-reading Grade 8 sight-reading pieces. Then again, if not for the hours spent on practising for the Grade 8 exams, my sight-reading skills would not have improved by that little bit.

I end this post not attempting to answer the question that I have placed on the title of the post.

This isn't a useful question to think about at this point in time. More useful questions might be: How to improve my playing?

1 comment:

Simple American said...

Work! Work! Work!

Nothing else can replace practice and trying. Go PY!!! :)