Monday, August 23, 2010

A classical guitarist on song

"A very accomplished recital today and some promising playing. Congratulations on a distinction mark at this level."

"An enjoyable account."
(The song - unknown)

"An assured performance."
(The Song - unknown)

"This was a confident and secure account."
(The song - Cycles in the Avenue)

The first was the remark of the Associated Board of Royal School of Music (UK) (ABRSM) examiner on Akmal's overall performance during his Grade 6 practical guitar exam at Istana Hotel In July 15, 2010. The next 3 remarks were specifically meant for the 3 songs he had performed in front of the examiner from London.

And no, there was no bumiputra quota for him to comply with in the first place, and under that circumstances, the remarks are indeed very sweet to our ears (and eyes). The graded sheet is only temporary and the proper cert will be mailed later. But it is a priceless record for a job well done by Akmal.

ABRSM has 8 levels or grades, and one would progress one level at a time. The first few grades are considered as primary school and as you progress up the ladder, you would find the difficulty to increase exponentially, and at grade 8 you would be at a university level, sort of. They set the benchmark in music assessment, and ABRSM is considered as an authority in this field.

For him to get a distinction at Grade 6 is quite an accomplishment.

I posted recently a picture of Akmal in here and I thought with the exam results out, I should re-post the picture again.

Anyway, here is the picture of Akmal while he was studiously practicing. It was an anxious glance when I called up for him in this picture, since I disturbed his concentration.
Now he can relax a bit since he has gotten that out of his system.

But he still has Grade 6 Piano practical exam next year to contend with, so there is no rest for him yet. Beyond getting ready for the exam, his dad would always ask him to play some pop and retro songs for his own enjoyment, and of course for him to get ready for a wedding gig in December.

I am looking forward to his (and his brother's) interpretation of the love songs Ayat-ayat Cinta, Dealova, My Heart and many other wonderful Indonesian and English composition to supplement their P Ramlee's numbers at the wedding. Of course we would love to add on some spiritual songs like Pada Mu ku bersujud (Afgan) and Opick's Bila Waktu Telah berakhir in the repertoire. These two songs have some wonderful piano and violin accompaniment and making it very suitable for the duet.

It will be a combination of piano, violin and guitar duet by the two brothers.

But we are looking for a singer to complement them. Unfortunately I don't have a third son or daughter ready made for the role. Even if I do have a 3rd one, I am pretty sure he or she would not have any talent in singing! ;-)

Anybody volunteering?


Practical Musicianship

WoodwindIn a Practical Musicianship exam candidates demonstrate their understanding of melody, harmony, rhythm and form by responding to questions about music and by singing or playing an instrument of their choice in a series of tests.

What happens in a Practical Musicianship exam?

The exam consists of five or six sections depending on the grade and assesses understanding of rhythm, melody, key and notation together with the ability to sing and play from memory, sight-sing and improvise and to recognise changes to and answer questions about a score.

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