Today is Raelynn's Grade 1 piano exam. She has been learning the songs for more than 1 year now. Teacher said she was ready and registered her for exam last Sept. The exam was at East gate at Katong. Not a familiar place to us. So I booked her 1-hr practice session 3 weeks ago so that she will be familiar with the room set up.
Last night, she started to cry that she doesn't want to do the exam. She wants me in the room with her. This coming from my usual fearless daredevil gal who has at least 3 times more bumps and cuts than RaeAnne because of the gravity defying acts. The same girl who jumped up on stage to answer questions whenever there is a mall show because she wants a prize or a sweet. My garang gal suddenly becoming shy and scared.
I tried to reassure her by promising a toy once she comes out of the exam hall. Even her teacher, who was busy, turned up to give moral support. Even gave her a cute soft toy pillow to hug. But she started whining and crying before her turn. The exam admin asst was nice enough to let us postpone and let other candidates go first. But she kept crying and crying and refuse to calm down. 1 sweet from the receptionist, 1 pep talk later, she finally went in holding my hands. But even when the examiner made extra concession for me to stay in the room for 1 min so that she can play a scale which he will not grade. She still refused to touch the keyboard. So exasperating and embarrassing.
The examiner said he has no choice but to mark her absent. I understood as they have done all they could to help. I apologised and brought her home. Never knew that after her lessons, nagging her to practise, all the sightreading homework she had to do, prepping her on the exam venue, her biggest hurdle end up to be getting her to walk into the room and well, just play the piano.
$277 poorer and a lesson learnt. While the teacher and I were focusing on ensuring that she will not fail the exam, we failed to prep her and convince to take the exam. So ya, you can choose what you want your child to learn, guide that learning, book the exam, pay for the exam fees and ferry her there. But if 牛不要喝水，nobody can force her. Hiaz...
But I will not give up. So far, she seems guilty and repentant. I will show her youtube videos of how the exam takes place. And I will time her next exam with RaeAnne in July/Aug so that both of them can go for the exam on the same day. Hope that will lessen her anxiety.