Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Piano exam results

We were hoping that the results would be announced by the end of term, but they didn't come till the day after school closed.

Son's teacher emailed to say he scored a good pass (117), three marks short of a Merit.

We were disappointed, but not surprised. Son however soon said, "It's 17 above Pass. That's very good!"

He is right, of course. It was just that he had set a precedent with getting a Merit and had aimed for a Distinction, failing which he would settle for a Merit, that we felt bad that he only got a (good) Pass.

Now he's determined to do much better for his Grade Three. (At one point he was so fed up with playing the exam pieces he said he would not bother with exams any more. We said, "That's OK by us, but you must continue with lessons.")

It will be so nice if son could just play and do exam syllabii but not sit every exam. But he takes lessons at school and the school likes to present as many boys as possible for exams, to give them something to aim towards. It's also good on their CV when applying to senior schools.

The teacher has now given him a jazz book. He's learned the first piece, but does not show any interest in playing more written music. Instead he just sits at the piano and makes up his own.

Yesterday we ran into the school's Director of Music who mentioned 'clarinet' (ie exams). I said we'd talk about it another time.

Meanwhile son is still on an enforced break from the clarinet because of his top front teeth growing out (nice and straight at the moment). The Director of Music has said son could join the orchestra in the new term. Son is really looking forward to that.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Predictable unpredictability

After the clarinet teacher fiasco, I thought I must introduce some 'controlled unpredictability' so that son gets used to things not always going to plan.

From a very young age, son thrived on structure and boundaries. When these are clear, he's happy. He knows exactly what is expected and he performs.

When things do not go according to plan, however, hmm, the world falls apart -- or so he thinks.

So from this week I said he might need to be at Late Class. I shall not tell him when he might be required to go, but if I am not where I should be to pick him up, he should go to Late Class like the other boys whose parents are late in picking up.

I shall be interested to see what the outcome is.

I noticed that whenever we noted a problem and we discussed and worked on it, he usually gets better in that area. It is just SO TEDIOUS to have to work through these issues one by one.

But I am his mother. If I want him to grow into independence, then I must do my job.

God help me!