From time to time my daughter's clarinet teacher remarks that she really ought to perform something from memory. This week he commented that when she takes grade 8 (still months away) she should do at least one of her pieces from memory. She won't, of course, because she will be too anxious that she will slip up and sacrifice marks. She won't consider performing from memory in a concert or festival either in case she ends up looking a twit in front of people she knows.
Anyway, something said in another thread made me wonder if a performance assessment with piece(s) played from memory might be a good place to start - slightly stressful, but no risk of missing the pass mark (there isn't one), and she'd be unlikely ever to see the examiner again. Great plan, I thought, until I looked into this further and discovered that under 21s are not eligible for these unless they are post-grade 8 or have special circumstances (learning difficulties/sensory impairments/physical disability) which mean that grade exams are not an option. I'm wondering what the reasons or justification for this are. It seems a bit unfair that children can only access assessment by exam, whereas adults have a choice. Is it just that children are not expected to have the maturity to say just what they hope to get from the assessment do you think?