You will find that this blog post is just an excuse for me to blow my own trumpet. A couple of weekends ago was one of the most thrilling and stressful of my teaching career to date. I arranged for 29 students at one of the theatre schools I teach at to take LCM (London College of Music) Musical Theatre exams. I had 5 doing Grade 1, 16 doing Grade 2, 5 doing Grade 3, 1 doing Grade 5 and 2 doing Grade 6 (although one of my grade 6 students came down with a bug so couldn't do the exam in the end). Thankfully all my work and, more to the point, the work the children put in really paid off.
In the run up to the exams I was not convinced our results would be as good as they were. The children had to practice in their classes in front of their peers. That can be more terrifying than an actual exam in reality. For many people singing in front of strangers is much easier than singing in front of their friends. Therefore some of the students had not showed me what they were really capable of in the class but when they got in front of the examiner something made them go for it. I think you get to the point where you realise there is no turning back and you just have do you best and hope you remember everything you worked on.
Well these kids did just that. Everyone passed and as the title suggests 23 of the results were distinctions. These exams are not only good experience in performing but also in self discipline. The children would not have achieved the results they achieved unless they had put some work in at home on their own. I can help them learn the songs but I can't make them remember everything. That's where practice comes in. Plus all the nagging I did over the 6 weeks run up to the exams was obviously worth it. Onwards and upwards!