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I butchered my exam . . .
#603874 01/20/04 11:08 AM
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Wish I could blame it on the cold weather, ill health, or just about anything else, but the truth is that I just failed - plain and simple. The scarry part is that I am not sure how I could have prepared much differently.

Want to thank all of you for your kind support and wonderful suggestions. Wish I had been a more worthy recipient of your good will.

. . . Linda (in agony) in PA

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603875 01/20/04 11:20 AM
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...an exam is nothing more than a formal display of what you have been taught... this doesn't mean that you haven't learned anything! On the contrary you probably will end up learning more than someone who simply aces the exams. A test and real life are two diferent animals, some people are better at one aspect and some are better at the other. What exactly do you think "butchered" the exam?

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603876 01/20/04 11:27 AM
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Sorry to hear it Linda, but happy to hear from you. smile I don't know the test levels or content, but I think I recall that you just started lessons (fairly) recently, and also know you're a go-getter, which probably means you're pretty impatient with and tough on yourself.

Don't let the fact that you can't do in (say) 3 years what others do in 7 get you down. Hang in there, you're certainly not alone.

Bob

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603877 01/20/04 11:42 AM
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Don't worry about it. Everyone has bad days. smile

You put the work in and you had the courage to sit the exam, that's what really matters.

Time will tell how good you are, not an exam.

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603878 01/20/04 12:00 PM
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What they said... and you will always be a worthy recipient of our good will!

There aren't many pianists who would even consider taking that test, much less passing it. You are already head and shoulders above the "typical" pianist.

Have you talked to your teacher?

Nina

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603879 01/20/04 12:20 PM
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Linda,

Sorry to hear about your disappointment.

Can you tell us more about what you liked doing and what you felt you were not doing well ?

Did you feel to much pressure ?

How can you turn this negative experience into a very exciting challenge where you define your own terms ?

Take your time to do things the way you feel good with.

They do not know who they had the honor to meet for the first time.


smile


Benedict
Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603880 01/20/04 12:21 PM
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Just want to register my support.

Sorry about the disappointing result. I admire your courage for a) taking the exam in the first place and b) letting us know your result.

Hang in there.

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603881 01/20/04 02:33 PM
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Linda:

Welcome back to PA. I hope my countrymen(women) treated you well, examiners notwithstanding!

In retrospect, there is more to be learned from an adverse experience than from one that goes without a hitch. Is it possible that you did not do quite as badly as you think?

In any case, think how well you will face the next exam after the experience of this one.

Welcome back to Pennsylvania!

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603882 01/20/04 02:48 PM
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Linda, I echo all that had already been said. Let me add that just taking the exam was a HUGE accomplishment, especially when you also figure in all the travel you did to get there. thumb wow The distance alone would have stopped most people.

Did you tape you performance? I have to say I am hard on myself as well but am always surprised when my teacher plays back the tapes. I am frequently pleasantly surprised as my memory of the time is rather different.

Don't let this get you down! Now you know what the experience is like, all the better for next time!

And congratulations for taking on such a challenge. You are a great example of what a person can do! smile


BeeLady

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!
Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603883 01/20/04 04:03 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Phlebas:
Just want to register my support.

Sorry about the disappointing result. I admire your courage for a) taking the exam in the first place and b) letting us know your result.

Hang in there.
Phlebas expresses my own feelings well. I knew when I read your post about the recital several months ago that you have more courage than I ever will, and I felt so proud of you as a growing person. You only confirmed this by taking the exam and sharing the outcome here. I have no doubt that you have the courage to rebound from this and succeed next time. Your personal pride may be wounded right now, but rest assured that others are proud of your courage and honesty.

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603884 01/20/04 04:30 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that your exam didn't go well. Don't let a failed exam stop you from having fun! A real pianist is not only someone with superb technique and musicality, but also someone who loves his/her playing and never gives up trying.




____________________

"... It is a skill you go on learning all your life: the more you write, the more you learn."

Harry Freedman on the craft of composing
Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603885 01/20/04 10:09 PM
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Thanks, everyone! Your support and encouragement is invaluable. You've given me the boost I need to get past this bad experience and move forward.

Mark 1: Not really sure what happened. I felt like I was in a time warp and that everything around me was moving in slow motion and I couldn't really judge the appropriateness of my tempo. I hit a wrong note in the final chord of my etude and just wanted to shoot myself. Nothing like ending on a sour note. I think I did OK with the ear training part of the exam, but the sight reading was a nightmare. And it was so simple. I'm sightreading material several levels above the exam material, but for some reason this part of the exam reduced me to a blithering idiot (at least that's the way it felt). I heard myself saying "Linda, what are you doing???" At that point, I knew my focus had shifted from the music to me - almost like a musical version of attention deficit. Guess I'll need to do more work on sustaining my focus. Maybe I can try preparing for a performance that is twice as long as the actual exam.

Nina: Just had a chance to speak with my teacher - he thinks I should remain optimistic and wait for the official results and comments. He believes that I'm more perfectionistic that most examiners and that I may have performed better than I realize. Keeping my fingers crossed and hope that he is correct!!!

Benedict: The part that I liked the best was Kabalevsky's Op. 27 No. 3 - I may actually have succeeded in communicating my musical interpretation of that piece.

BruceD: Your countrymen(women) were delightful. The Toronto area was in the grips of an artic blast, which fostered a wonderful sense of camaraderie - us against the forces of nature. I was especially well treated by the folks at Walter Music in Mississauga. They unlocked one of their music classrooms for me on Thursday and allowed me to practice to my heart's content, undisturbed and free of charge. Even my examiner was very personable - he took time after the exam to speak with me about the Theory Co-Requisite for the Grade 5 exam and suggested a couple of resources to use in preparation. Aside from my performance, it was a good trip - still, I'm glad to be home.

BeeLady: I wasn't permitted to tape the exam and noone else is allowed in the examination room, so it's hard to get objective feedback. My teacher is betting that my impression of the whole event is a bit distorted. It is heartening to hear that you've experienced that same distortion and were eventually pleasantly surprised. So, perhaps there is still hope for me. Either way, I'm determined not to give up. I'll just lick my wounds a bit and then carry on.

Everyone: You are the best. I'm going to work on my composition skills so that I can write a fitting tribute to my Piano World friends.

My sincere thanks . . . Linda

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603886 01/21/04 12:24 AM
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The good thing is that now you know what you need to work on.

That being said, it probably went better than you thought. Most of us tend to remember only the less successful moments of a performance when the bigger picture was actually fine. Last week I played a recital where I BOMBED my Chopin (lots really stupid mistakes that happened because I wasn't concentrating), but the rest of my program went really well. Yeah, I was a little put off, but if I beat myself up about mistakes or slips in one piece, I'll never have the confidence to improve.

Plus, if they routinely fail students, it's not good business. My guess is that they're not looking for wondrous pianistic talent, but instead basic skills and an obvious work ethic (and it sounds like you have both).

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603887 01/21/04 12:42 AM
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Linda,

At least you followed through & did the exam .... I'm too chicken (still).... The ear training session would be my downfall ..... And, of course I'd have to sacrifice the points for memory too ..... I've been procrastinating for decades now about these exams & I highly admire adult learners like you who do them. And, most importantly, you know what to expect now in the exam sessions .... For years now I've pictured a little old lady with a bun in her hair ready to snarl and scoff at my playing. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603888 01/21/04 04:08 PM
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"Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly." Plutarch

"When the rock is hard, we get harder than the rock. When the job is tough, we get tougher than the job." George Cullum, Sr.

"Strong people are made by opposition like kites that go up against the wind." Frank Harris

"In our day, when a pitcher got into trouble in a game, instead of taking him out, our manager would leave him in and tell him to pitch his way out of trouble." Cy Young

Keep your chin up.


While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.
Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603889 01/21/04 07:50 PM
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People with that attitude will never get anywhere.

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603890 01/21/04 09:49 PM
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oops - duplicate post.

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603891 01/21/04 09:51 PM
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Brendan, katie, & johnmoonlight: Thank you for the words of encouragement!

Brendan: You've given me some good things to ponder - which will help me more patiently await my official results!

katie: I was spared the little old lady with the bun. My examiner was a middle-aged man who was really quite gracious. I was feeling a bit old, myself, as I looked around at all of the young children at the testing center. The center coordinator was very kind - she told me of a 72 year old woman who took her Grade 3 exam a few days earlier. Then, the mother of a 7-year old Grade 1 student told me that she would be taking her Grade 5 exam this week. It was nice to know that I was not alone.

johnmoonlight: I especially like the Frank Harris quote. I think I'm past the disappointment, now, and focused on finding effective ways to better prepare for the next exam.

virtuoso418: I don't understand your post. What are you seeing in my attitude that you think will impede my progress?

Thanks . . . Linda

Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603892 01/22/04 06:03 AM
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Linda,

I can assure you that your exam was a perfect success if you judge it for what you really achieved :

1° you proved that your motivation is extremely strong and that you have a goal that is of extreme importance for you

2° you had a great experience in Canada and met people you really got on well with, including one of your examiners.

3° you met the difficult conditions of being evaluated as an adult for a game/sport/art that you started a short while ago.

4° you now know what a music exam is in Canada and how it can make you play differently.

5° what you learnt about sightreading is invaluable. I think the reason you did not perform as well is probably that you tried to play to fast because you thought of the result (the music they were expecting) and that you relied you your ease at home.
Next time, you should train to concentrate just on reading the damn notes on the paper and taking your time to just let your fingers do the job.
You probably were out of sync.

6° having felt so bad because you wrongly thought you had failed, you now can consider that you are vaccinated against hoping that things can go well.
Next time, you will be able to anticipate the conditions that you now know and you will prepare so as to prove how you master each of the skill they expect you to demonstrate and that you do it with great pleasure.

Considering how much you have learnt in such a short time, I am still puzzled by how you can consider your Canadian experience a failure ?

Am I missing something ?

smile


Benedict
Re: I butchered my exam . . .
#603893 01/22/04 10:24 AM
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thing I've learnt a great deal from recitals...always be extra prepared...And always always be done with the memorizing thing( if u intend to play from memory) at least 2/3 months before hand. 2 weeks before that is simply not enough, especially if you're a panic freak. And just 1 last extra tip for you, record/film yourself playing. You'll be suprised at how much it prepares you for the real thing. It lets you check yourself visually and most importantly, it sets you in the correct amount of stress. Recording means play through the whole programme with no mistake at all. And being used to this regular recording stress...I can assure you...You will not freal out during exams. And in fact, you'll not even realise that the examiners are there in the first place. smile

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