Not having done exams for several decades ... and my last music exam was Piano Grade 6 at age 16 (UNISA, South Africa) ... I am embarking on Grade 3 Theory and Practical in November, on the pipe organ!
?Needless to say, nerves are now beginning to creep in and sections of the pieces I've been practicing all year, are suddenly developing mistakes that I never did before ...
The infuriating thing is that I know I can do them perfectly, to tempo, with 'feeling' ... so what's happening? Will this 'phase' pass before November 16th?!
?The 3 pieces I'm playing are (not necessarily in this order):
List A, No. 2 - Frescobaldi - Allegro in G minor (Oxford Service Music for Organ, Manuals only Book 1 (OUP))
List B, No. 6 - S. Wesley - Andantino in F (Oxford Service Music for Organ, Manuals only Book 1 (OUP))
List C, No. 6 - Peeters - Of the Father’s love begotten (The Church Year (Cramer))
None are particularly challenging ... I've done them quite happily, time and again, faultlessly. I've played them after service on Sunday (after the congregation has left!) to feel what they were like on a proper pipe organ (I only have a little Technics GA1 at home, running Hauptwerk very successfully now). This past Sunday, I mucked up the Frescobaldi 3 times in a row (sweaty fingers sticking to the keys) so I gave up in a fury, but I sailed through the other two without much trouble. Crazy thing is, it's usually the Frescobaldi that I have 'nailed' and the Wesley that I muck up.
?Is this pre-exam nerves, or am I missing a trick?
?The practical exam (visit) will be interesting, as I was unable to gain access to any pipe organ locally where there was a piano in the same venue! An absolute criteria must for ABRSM organ exams, it seems. So, my music teacher an I have devised a plan! She has set up one of her digital organs, with standard 61 note manuals, a full pedal board, and we are using Hauptwerk! She has a good digital piano with proper weighted keys, so that wasn't a concern. The organ 'arrangement' will be interesting! Either the examiner will stalk off in disgust, or give me the benefit of the doubt and let me at least try the exam
Post mortem will follow in due course!