"Tinkle, tinkle, achoo, splat," Some one's got a cold and it's exam week.
This seems to happen every year just when we need to be well for our exams. Winter is a rotten time to have to play your best. You tinkle along thinking,
"This is going wonderful. Maybe I'll get to the end this time," then you feels a cough tickling your throat or your nose begins to run. "Oh no," you think, "can I get to the end before I cough?"
But the urge gets stronger. You try desperately not to cough or sneeze but finally just as you are nearing the end of the piece it explodes out of your throat. Your finger slips on the most important chord in the piece. Splat. You've hit a wrong note. But then the other fingers slip as well. Crash, Bang, Discord!
"Not again," you think, running for the tissue box. "I'll never be good enough for the exam."
This week Imogen and I have our piano exams. The weeks leading up to this week have been rather hectic. We've had heaps of extra lessons and done hours and hours of practise. So much practise that Imogen was forbidden from practising for two whole days. What a hardship! (We've also done a lot of splatting)
But with all these lesson, practises and all that splatting am I nervous? Unfortunately not. No matter how hard I try I cannot get an attack of the nerves. It appears that I'll just have to go into my exam without trembling from head to toe. How very unfair.
On Sunday we got to play on the exam piano. It's pretty horrible. You can't play a short sharp note at all, the keys squeak (so Imogen told me. I couldn't hear the squeaking) and the peddles look like they've been bashed. But there is a consolation. The exam room is large (and freezing) and echoey. You play a loud note and the room magnifies it till it's twice as loud. I didn't realise this at first and banged away like I usually do. My usually quiet piece of music boomed out.
"Oops," I thought. "A little bit quieter perhaps."
My teacher thought so too.
"Never mind," I consoled myself. "I might have to play the quiet bits softly but I can rumble on the piano in the loud bits."
With an internal giggle I played the piece again a little softer. This appeared to suit my teacher as he didn't ask me to play any softer.
My thoughts on the exam? It's going to quite fun! Rumble on the piano, sing a few ear tests and skibble off for morning tea. Sounds great to me