An Up

Okay, it's time for a bit of gloating. I passed my keyboard test today for the masters degree! I had been freaking out progressively more and more over the last few weeks, leading up to today, when all my concentration was shot until the time of the test. I took it with the three theory professors, but luckily, I was taking it in an office where the piano faced the wall, so I didn't have to see them looking at me. They asked me to redo a couple of things during the test, like harmonizations I could have done differently, but I was able to answer all the questions they asked and figure out all the things I had done wrong, which weren't really bad in the grand scheme. One nice thing is that they picked really easy keys to play in, so even though I had been practicing my C#-minor and Ab-major, there were no scary keys. =)

I think I was so freaked because the entire test was sightreading. There was sightreading of a melody, and then I had to transpose that melody to another key. Then I had to sightread a little Mozart excerpt. Then I had to read a chord progression they gave me in a certain key and flesh it out-- there wasn't any printed music, just chord symbols, so I had to think fast about notes and inversions. Then I had to add inner voices to a Bach chorale for which they gave me the figured bass (symbols underneath the music that tell the performer which notes to add), and finally, I was given a melody and a rough outline of how to harmonize it, and I had to come up with a nice accompaniment. I took a lot of time in between each thing, and except for a few finger malfunctions, which I corrected quickly, I did pretty well. They asked me to leave the room while they conversed to decide if I had passed, and I was in the hall for about thirty seconds before they called me back in and told me I had passed. My thesis advisor, for whom I'm also a TA this year, knew I had been practicing a lot because he had heard me on various days from the hallway, and he commented that all my hard work had paid off.

I feel gooooooood. It's mostly a sense of personal accomplishment, but there's also a tinge of girl power in there, because I showed up the two boys who took the test earlier this year and failed it the first time. At least if I hadn't passed, I would have been in good company, and the worst that could have happened would be that I'd have to retake it. HOWEVER, I get to cross this off my list and move on.

Now I just have two things left, but they're big things. I have to finish my thesis and defend that, and I also have to take a comprehensive exam and defend it during the same session in which I defend my thesis (I think their rationale for that is to freak students out as much as possible). That will all likely happen around August or September, so I may actually graduate in December! I've been taking Ph.D. classes in the meantime, so it's not like I have to hurry and finish my M.M. so that I can move on, but I'm ready to be done with it and get my first pink hood, which will then be superceded by the cooler pink hood I'll get when I finish the Ph.D.

It all just seems so doable right now. Quick, bottle this feeling so that I can recapture it later!! The downs in grad school make me feel so awful, but the ups definitely make up for it. Here's to ups.




[applause, along with a rousing rendition of "sol la do"] :-) Congrats!! That's awesome! Revel in it, and make a mental note to come back to read this post when you have you have another attack of a down moment.

Funny story about doing a keyboard test facing the wall....my freshman year at Furman, I took piano because I had AP credit for the first semester of music theory, and thus had 2 credits to fill. My clarinet jury, piano jury, music history exam, and some other exam were all on the same day, and the day before that was the Freak Out of 1998 because John (aka "shit") had been weird and basically told me he wasn't sure if we should keep dating. :-( Hell day. Well, I dressed up that day for my juries, and wore some fabulous red undies to make myself feel special. I realized after my piano jury that the faculty members had been sitting behind me and my red undies had been poking out from my otherwise all black fashion statement! I'm sure they got a kick out of it, after a grueling day of listening to non-piano major student juries! LOL :-)
Hip, hip, hooray! Woof, woof! Arf, arf! We all cheer for you!

Mom, Bill, and "the girls"
Erica, you are amazing. Way to go!! And happy birthday. Momann
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