I’m going to try for a performance diploma

clipart-music-notes-music-notes-clip-artI’ve decided to have a crack at a music performance diploma from Trinity College London (there’s more info here if you fancy a look). It took me quite a long time and many, many clicks on their website to find out what the fee is: at present, it’s something like the best part of two hundred and fifty quid, and that’s before I’ve paid the accompanist. But I’ll have time to save up because I won’t be ready for it this year. I’m thinking February 2018 at the earliest. There’s a lot of work to do and I’ll have to build up my stamina if I’m to survive a forty-minute solo recital, which is a long time to be performing for an amateur player. I’ve requested permission to play a programme of my own devising, and now I’m waiting to hear if the pieces I’ve chosen are acceptable. Exciting times!

In other news, I have quite a few concerts in the pipeline for the spring term and will be posting details soon.

A new look for a new year

Dring Italian Dance headerThe weather has been utter UTTER rubbish today. I wimped out of going to the practice rooms in the howling wind and lashing rain and decided instead to set up camp on the sofa with coffee and buttered toast…and so as not to loaf about for the whole entire day (rimshot), I set about revamping this blog.

Now, as mentioned elsewhere, 2015 was a duff year for me and I neglected both my blogs while fighting a battle with anxiety which began in April and is still ongoing. I’m regaining my grip on things, however, and I’m determined that 2016 will be better than last year. One of the goals I’ve set myself is to revitalise both my ailing blogs, and as you can see, I’ve made a start on this today.

I’ve ditched the static homepage and gone for a rolling-posts sort of thing. A fixed homepage makes a blog look more sort of website-ish and I’m sticking with it for Aunty Muriel’s Blog, but I think this arrangement has the disadvantage of concealing an awful lot of content; with a homepage that shows the most recent five posts, more links are immediately visible to random passers-by.

One of the big changes for me this year is that I’m going to be redundant for the first time in my life. The university where I work is undergoing a process of restructuring the way in which administrative services are delivered, and for various reasons, I’ve opted for voluntary severance. This means I’ll be out of work from the beginning of August and my plan is to take six months off to focus on my MA studies and to redecorate the house. It has also occurred to me that I could – and perhaps should – use this time to start working towards putting myself forward for a Performance Diploma. Trinity College London is the one I’m looking at: it involves writing performance notes and giving a forty-minute recital at Associate Level (ATCL). Now, forty minutes is a long time for an amateur and the repertoire is demanding, so I’m not expecting to be able to enter for the exam this year, and maybe not even next year…but I may have a shot at it in 2018, or 2019. It really doesn’t matter when or even if this happens – it’s the training I’ll have to do that’s important, the work that needs to be put in to move my playing up to the next level. I’ve been treading water for far too long.

So come on, 2016 – let’s do this thing!