Aural anxieties

By | May 24, 2013 at 10:26 am | No comments | Gradeone-athon

I have been inspired by listening to some flautists on YouTube so since I am here in a room with a lovely resonant acoustic trying to fool myself into thinking I sound good playing long held breathy notes. Sarah is having a little shopped-out rest so I might as well make a start, I am not going to pass Grade 1 by playing A repeatedly and flicking my hair. It feels mightily weird to be making such slow progress in the house of my friend who made her debut with the New York Philharmonic aged 7 but hey ho, life is full of crazy ironies!

Sarah did offer me a sax when I told her I was going to learn a completely different instrument. Her brother used to play so there’s one knocking about the house. I figured taking a sax back to London with half of Philadelphia’s shopping malls in my suitcase wasn’t really gonna work so the flute in its compact case ( with endless blinging possibilities) won out.

I suddenly have a thought as to what the exam may be like.. I have taken about 10 Associated Board exams from the age of 7 over three instruments in my youth. It never felt like a big deal but now there is the added horror that I might know the examiner.. And I will be a 30-something with a pink flute.. Pull yourself together, the young woman who usually stands in his room with her violin plays to packed halls of thousands across the globe and I am fretting about 15 mins in front of one person (oh and an accompanist). I can do this. Deep breath, Oh dear God, the aural test…

About Gradeoneathon
Maxine is taking Grade 1 Flute as part of the Gradeoneathon, along with many other professional musicians, to raise money for Crossfire.

You can find out more about Gradeone-athon and donate to the charity on the website:

And watch this film to find out more about the charity the challenge is supporting in this video:

And have a look at the Facebook Group for more updates on the musicians’ progress:


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