Thursday, August 27, 2015

Piano Exam and I...

I have a year to practice but I don't see myself doing that. I'm the greatest procrastinator because as time draws nearer and when I feel the heat, then I can perform better. I don't remember practicing day and night on the piano just to get a pass. I can pass by just sight-reading the whole three pieces and playing the scales through trial and error. For aural, I will just spit out whatever answer that I can think of but aural for grade 7, there's nothing I can vomit out. One month ago, I finally opened my scales book to see what's inside. Scales in legato, that I'm okay with but in staccato. What kind of animal is that? And a third apart? And what on earth is chromatic scales? I shrink by a size or two after flipping through the pages. It's okay... let's tackle them one-by-one. One week before the exam, I finally have the courage to go through the aural CD.

Through my experience, I need one week to master the scales including the one with a-third apart. Then, another week for contrary motion. One more week for chromatic scales and another to master the arpeggios. 

The pieces, I plan to breeze through them, as long as I hit those notes correctly, I'm going to pass. That sort of view changed drastically the moment my sister said she's coming for a visit. The first day itself when she heard me playing, she said it was terrible. Teruk.... teruk... The next day, I decided to seriously practice and in order to do that, I have to sacrifice my time for cooking. Since she's back, she only wants to eat hawker food so mi madre has to take her along. I'm left with no one to cook for me, no food on the table and the saddest part was I was left with only a bunch of bananas and I had to eat that for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hubby was not around, busy with his stuff. I only wanted that distinction to plaster it on my sister's face. Just to spike her. I've never sat on the piano bench for 6-8 hours a day. It was terrible.
I did not even sit in front of the computer, didn't even prepare any answer sheets for my students who are all sitting for trial exams. I told them my exam is more important than theirs. Then, 5 days before the exam, I decided to take a video of my fingers playing those three pieces because my travel buddy said she has never seen me playing a piano before. I sent her those video and I sent to another angel who could help me give sound advice. Then, my itchy finger just clicked on the video and my own fingers playing intimidated me. Yes, I got intimidated by my own fingers. You know when you watch it on YouTube wondering, how on earth they played so fast.... well.... yeah... hmmm.... My angel gave good advice as a booster for more marks. I took that seriously but two days before the exam, it dawned on me that I will never get a distinction because my motive was completely wrong. I stressed myself up just because I wanted to prove to my sister that I can do it even though it's a last minute. I gave up trying. I'll just laugh my way in and out. 

I got a really nice lady for an examiner. She's really kind. Jesus is on my side. I got all the easy scales... everything's easy even sight-reading was in adagio. I just don't like the piano used for exam. It's like typing on a computer keyboard. You always try random pressing to see whether you like it or not before buying it. Sometimes it's like holding a pencil. There are some who prefer fat pencils, some with rubber grip and some with a thin body. It's a matter of preference. And the saddest part was I usually can't play for others to hear that's why I'm never a performer. 

I was nervous this morning. I made mistakes which I have never made before. It's like suddenly you don't even know that 1+1=2 and you try to use trigonometric formula to figure out what's 1+1... you get what I'm saying? So, my conclusion is, if I am to take grade 8 exam, I will not torture myself sitting for hours on the piano. No matter how much I practice, when I'm nervous, nothing good comes out of it. Thanks to everyone who keeps me in prayer. Your prayers have all been answered. 
It feels really good without stress. I'm back on the computer and I have a pile of essays to write. I would rather write 300 essays than concentrating on 3 piano exam pieces which I end up making more mistakes while practicing harder. To my neighbours who have endured the long hours of listening to the same scale over and over, thank you for not banging on the door or throwing stones into the house to show disapproval of such noise pollution. Thank you to the back lane neighbour who took his/her time to blow the saxophone together with me when I was doing the scales. Thank you for the accompaniment and you started the scale again when I got stuck halfway and started mine. You're a really great and wonderful saxophonist. Hope we can meet one day and say hi since we're just one back lane away.... if only we open our back door.  

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