☰ Reflecting on Summer Term's Music Exams

Reflecting on Summer Term's Music Exams

Posted on: September 25th 2017

In the music department, the end of term is a busy time. In amongst preparations for performances, an ever increasing number of our pupils take grade exams.

It is one of the most humbling elements of my job, accompanying and supporting our young musicians through this process. A lot of adults go through their lives without experiencing the scrutiny of a one-to-one exam situation with a stranger in an unfamiliar environment. Our young musicians hold their own as they perform four different elements of a demanding syllabus, including playing/singing a piece of music they have never seen before, playing technical exercises from memory, performing at least three pieces to concert standard and answering questions on a piece of music they have not previously heard or studied.

Summer exams were remarkable this year not just because of the sheer number of Norfolk House pupils that took part - to the best of my knowledge a total of 23 children took 25 exams - but also in the levels reached; Max G gained his Grade 7 violin with merit and Zac C and Georgina C both gained their Grade 5 violin and piano respectively, Georgina with a high merit.

As I was leaving my last exam as accompanist, the examiner stopped me and commented on how much he had enjoyed the performances from Norfolk House candidates that morning. Too taken aback to say anything other than "thank you", this departure from the expected script made me think how exceptionally confident our pupils are - children as young as seven years old gained qualifications that morning that give them six credits in level 1 of the Government's Regulated Qualifications Framework, building up to earning UCAS points in the higher grades. Max G has rather prematurely earnt himself twelve UCAS points to contribute to his higher education application.

All our pupils achieved their grades with good humour and enviable resilience. Big congratulations to the following young musicians:

Sara Regan (Head of Music)

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