On the 2nd of July, I am going to do a music exam marathon. I'm taking eight ABRSM music exams from grades 1-8 in one day with each exam being on a different instrument. I am doing this to raise money for Petals, a charity that offer specialised counselling for parents who have experienced trauma or loss during pregnancy and birth.
As you may already know, I am a clarinet teacher based in Essex/Hertfordshire. Having put lots of my students through their exams I thought it is now my turn to be put under pressure!
The instruments I have chosen (some of which I will be learning from scratch) are as follows:
Grade 1 – Guitar
Grade 2 – Trombone
Grade 3 – Organ
Grade 4 – French Horn
Grade 5 – Flugel Horn
Grade 6 – Flute
Grade 7 – Clarinet
Grade 8 – Alto Saxophone
On the day of the exams, I will have had to learn and memorise 184
scales and arpeggios, learn and perform 24 pieces of music, perform 8 pieces of music I have never seen before and have 8 aural tests. As the grades go up, the level of difficulty and duration increase. As an example to show just how big a task this is, it usually takes at least a year for a beginner to get to grade 1 and approximately 8-10 years of playing an instrument to get to grade 8. Let's just hope I can pull this off!!
Why am I doing this?
Last year, on an NCT antenatal course, my husband and I met
seven other couples who were all in their later stages of pregnancy like we were. While we were all excited planning baby showers and anticipating the arrival of our lovely babies, one of the couples, Louise and Andrew Judd had been given the heart-breaking news that one of their twins, Noah, had passed away at 28 weeks. At 37 weeks Louise gave birth to two beautiful twins. Whilst celebrating the arrival of their daughter Esme, Louise and Andrew had to deal with the grief of saying goodbye to their son, Noah. Nothing could prepare them for that day, being struck with painful grief yet unconditional love.
The support that Petals have given to Louise and Andrew has been invaluable and the genuine care from their counsellor continues to help them. I cannot begin to imagine the pain that must be felt from losing a child and they have been so strong. There are no words to describe my admiration for them.
Not only do I want to raise money to allow Petals to continue their
vital support helping bereaved parents make sense of this situation they did not expect to be in but I also want to raise awareness. Petals is a small charity and will benefit greatly from your donation, big or small.
Thank you :)