Thursday, May 04, 2023

Piano Auditions for Zoë and Miriam

This afternoon, Miriam and Zoë attended their National Piano Playing Guild Auditions and they, of course, did wonderfully. These kinds of auditions are kind of like the ACT or GRE in that you can't really fail them. You simply...get the score that you get. The guild notes that "should your grade be lower than you expected" students should "not be discouraged" but "encouraged to work harder the next year! If you have a higher grade, we congratulate you but encourage you to remain humble and seek even greater goals in the next Auditions." 

I think that's pretty good advice for life! 

Both girls were very stressed out about their auditions, perhaps Miriam more so than Zoë. Miriam entered 10 pieces for this Audition (all of which had to be memorized; last year she played only 2 pieces) and had to review all the scales and chord sequences in existence, basically, since she would be quizzed on them at random. Originally she thought she had to play them all during her Audition, which would have been about 90 minutes of scales and things, but her teacher soothed her spirits. It would only be 10 minutes or so of scales; they were simply making sure she was comfortable with all of them so that she wouldn't falter when the judge asked her to play. 

Miriam practiced every day until her fingers went numb. 

Zoë was equally present at the keyboard.

And their hard work paid off! They did very well (but even if they had scored lower than expected, nothing bad would have happened (just to clarify for those of us (*ahem*Miriam*ahem*) who need clarification on that issue).

Here's Zoë in one of the practice rooms (or out in the gallery? It was held at a piano store/studio) that Andrew took before she was called in for her audition (parents aren't allowed in during the audition, but he waited around with her prior to her audition and then after the two of them went out to the car and accidentally drained the car battery and had to jump start the car after Miriam's audition):

She played 'Cobbler, Cobbler,' by Watson, 'Roses for You' by Curico, and 'Away with Melancholy' by Mozart. She also played some scales. 

Overall she scored 26 C's and only 1 A, so she did very well!

If you need a refresher course, I'll remind you that C's—meaning "commendable"—are good, while A's—standing for "needs attention"—are bad (though not truly bad; they're just places the musician could stand to improve and as the guild report card notes "ALL of us can always improve").

Miriam had a full Bach repertoire, which the judge congratulated her for, though I pointed out to Miriam that one of the pieces was actually CPE Bach (not JS Bach). Miriam laughed and said, "I guess the judge thought it was close enough!"

I don't have Miriam's report card right in front of me, but from my memory she earned something like 35 C's and 2 A's, so she also did spectacularly well, and even managed to get through the scales without panicking.

Now it's time to begin preparing for next year!

I'll also admit here that I had my kids put together a "spring recital" right before Easter. I took videos of them playing their selected pieces, but haven't put them together yet... Maybe I'll get around to of these days...maybe...


  1. Lovely playing, Z! Congrats on good scores. And surviving the stress!

  2. (To both Zane M!)

    1. Wow. This is Naanii blowing commenting completely. The congrats was to both Z and M. Is what I meant to type.