Yesterday was the second of my newly-free Fridays. I spent the morning on a train coming home from our work’s not-Christmas night out (I hadn’t been out all night, I promise!), and in the afternoon braved the arctic conditions to walk, er, five minutes to a flute lesson.
I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it, but I’m doing my grade 8 flute exam soon. This has several parts. First of all I have to learn three pieces of music – this (I’ll be playing with a piano, not two guitars sadly!), this (for which I owe my neighbours oh so many apologies), and a short ‘study’ piece that I play on my own.
Then come the scales – all 100 of them. One hundred scales. I’ll only be asked a couple in the exam, but I won’t know which ones, so I need to know them all.
After the scales – sight reading. This is where they give you a piece of music you’ve never seen before, and you get about 15 seconds to look at it before giving a passable rendition of what’s written. I’m not brilliant at this – I’ve been reading music since I was about seven years old, but being able to play right first time, without having heard the music first, is quite a skill.
The final part of the exam is the bit I’m dreading – the aural tests. I’ve not done any of this sort of thing since I did grade 7 at school, 15 years ago. My normal flute teacher doesn’t teach this, so yesterday was my first lesson with a new aural teacher.
To start with the examiner plays a short piece and you have to sing back the lower of three parts (sing! good grief). This is mostly careful listening, and I’m hoping won’t be too difficult. My new teacher said I had a good singing voice, and when I laughed hysterically he clarified ‘well, not operatic, but accurate‘… Well, accuracy is important here, and I never wanted to be an opera singer anyway, far too much drama for me.
After this you have to do some other things that I’m not entirely sure of yet (I’m studiously avoiding reading the syllabus too closely), but I know one of them involves being given a piece of music you’ve not seen before and singing it. Good job my singing voice is ‘accurate’…
I’m not sure what comes after that. A large G&T I imagine.
On a different note, it’s been snowing round here lately. This is the only snowman I’ve seen this year, and I think despite being slightly unconventional, he’s really rather charming.
Today I ventured out again, for the local parkrun. I felt rather adventurous trotting round in all that snow.
Tomorrow I’m trying something new – I’m joining in with Jen over at My Make Do and Mend Year for screen free Sunday. I spend a lot of time on the internet at the minute, and I also feel like my head is about to explode sometimes. I think a day of just living entirely in my own life, without peeking into anyone else’s, might be nicely soothing.
See you on the other side!