Miss 11’s AMEB Cello Exam

Oooo..  AMEB Exams.

What a lot of muso kids dread.

Whilst we were helping Miss 11 practise (read…  forcing Miss 11 to practise), she asked, “Why do I have to do the exam?”

Wifey and I looked at each other, wondering how best to answer.

Yes, why?   “It’s a good goal to work towards so you can keep on improving.”

Not a very convincing answer for Miss 11.

It’s just a lot of work for no apparent reason.  AMEB Grade 4 cello is quite hard!  Lots of scales, some 3 octave ones that go into thumb position.  The pieces themselves are hard with double stops and shifts.

This is definitely a step up.

And poor Miss 11 was feeling it.  She’s reached that stage where, yes, she does have some “natural” talent, but she has to work hard too.  And working hard is often just repetition.  Practising the scales right, and repeating them even when you get them right.  It’s only that way that your brain will remember and form the neural connections to repeat it correctly the next time.    Part of that whole 10,000 hours to become an expert thing.

In the final week before the exam, we got her to practise everyday and she even had extra lessons.

And then suddenly it was the day of the exam.   I met up with Wifey and Miss 11 at the AMEB office.


A bit of a warm up, and then she was in.   For what seemed like quite a long time too!   Afterwards she seemed relieved in her non-emotional way, and then we went to a cafe for afternoon tea.

But the good news came yesterday – her teacher had the results and she got an A+!    Wifey and I were elated!  Definitely a great reward that shows that hard work does pay off in the end and I hope Miss 11 learns from this experience.   As for Miss 11..  she didn’t seem terribly fussed about the whole thing.  Maybe it’ll sink in later?

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