Well folks, I did my first 'exam' this morning - the viola prep test. I know, it's not a 'proper' exam, but it was good to get the feel of the real thing and to also now believe that I could indeed be ready for Grade 1 by November. However, I think I'll leave it a bit longer so that exam prep doesn't have to take up my whole lesson time at the expense of continuing with my regular programme. March, perhaps.
The examiner had a really dry sense of humour and, as I wasn't feeling overly nervous and had had a decent long time in the prep room (I got there about 50 minutes before my exam time at 08:40 - even before the examiner had arrived!!), I quite enjoyed the whole thing.
I also took 5 books worth of old viola sheet music off their hands (Tune a Day for viola vols 1-3, v old editions, plus a simple shifting book and sight reading prep for G2-8 - I could do the G2 stuff already, so I know I'll have no trouble with the sight reading element of G1) for only 50p each.
So, all in all, quite a successful day and a nice certificate to look at and show my teacher tomorrow.
Also took my G2 theory on 14th and found that very do-able. Planning on doing G4 in November as G3 isn't enough new material to merit the exam fee, I think.
So that's how music learning etc is going at my end.