Last month I took my Royal Irish Acacademy of Music (RIAM) piano exam, Grade 8. It is the first testing of this kind that I have ever attempted, as none of my teachers did any testing of this sort. I studied classical piano on and off when I was younger, then when I graduated college I re-learned piano to play jazz and rock’n’roll. I’ve always maintained my love of classical music.
I picked three pieces to learn for the RIAM exam – Bach’s Prelude in F minor, Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata, and Debussy’s Golliwog’s Cakewalk. I began practicing these pieces in September 2015 with some help from my son’s piano teacher, and he also helped me to tackle the long list of scales and arpeggios. It was a bit daunting at first (especially the scales) but I got through it, practice practice practice! Here’s a photo of my hand on exam day, just before the exam.
I am pleased to report that the test went well and I earned a Distinction, so now I am officially able to put my own students through RIAM testing. My piano studio will just be a few students in my home. I don’t plan to advertise, just find students that I can connect with. Music teaches discipline, and I also think it is important to find the joy in music. Music can enrich your life in so many ways, and I will do my best to provide that as a piano teacher myself.