This year Sydney’s piano teacher suggested that she take her level one exam. The Brits it seems like to have a test for everything. Actually, we’re kind of digging it to tell ya the truth. No matter where Sydney goes in the world she’ll have this test score so even if we’re somewhere that doesn’t follow this UK curriculum for piano you can still use it as a standard.
Anyways, today Sydney took her first exam. Exams go from Level 1 through 12. I’m fairly certain 12 is the highest and from what I’ve gathered a level 12 is akin to an undergrad degree in performance. We had to roll down to BSK (British School of Kuwait) where the exam was proctored. There was a little warm up area and then the examination room was closed (no pics). Sydney had three prepared pieces (Tarantella, Camptown Races, and prepared piece number 3) that she had to play. Then the proctor picked three scales for her to play (C Major, F Major, and D Minor – I was in high school before anyone ever showed me a minor scale). She then had to take a stab at some sight reading and finally there was a rhythm portion of the test where the proctor would clap out a beat and Sydney had to count it then repeat it. Finally, and the most terrifying part to me – she had to sing! The proctor played a piece and Sydney had to repeat it – that would’ve been the end of me.
She said she stumbled on her scales a little but that she felt really good about her performance as a whole. There are 150 points possible and 100 are required to pass. 120 earn you a ‘merit’ score and 130 and up is considered a distinction. We’re hoping for the best but Sydney’s teacher is tempering expectations by telling everyone the proctor has a reputation for being a particularly hard judge. Pictures from the day are below.