Friday, March 14, 2014

Tests!! Thoughts on my first-ever music theory test!

This year I am taking the Music Teachers' Association of California Certificate of Merit test.

I have completed the written exam, which included ear-training elements, and will be participating in the performance element in a couple weeks. The performance part doesn't worry me. I am one of those rare individuals who does not get nervous. Lucky me!

I have nothing to which I can compare my experience taking this test. I certainly wasn't prepared to be in a room with students of other levels, and other instruments, and hearing a boom box play all the different ear-training tests the entire time! (Our classroom had 8 students: 2 flutes, 4 violinists, 2 cellos.) It was terribly distracting.

I found it almost impossible to concentrate on writing Dominant 7th chords (my nemesis!) while a voice was instructing the violinists to determine what era a musical example came from, and then playing the sample twice. (I wanted to stop and listen to the music!)

I also found myself distracted wondering why the violin ear-training offers music on a violin, but the flute has to identify intervals, etc played on a piano? (I have to admit, I am easily distracted.) It just seems odd to me to spend so much time learning the sound of intervals on a piano when I play a flute.

When I began to play the flute, I would have said that I had close relative pitch, from all the years I spent playing piano (never instructed, I just played for the joy of it). It was very surprising to me that my "relative" pitch disappeared when I listened to the flute! The notes sound so different to me! (Maybe this is just a "me" thing?) Anyway, this is why it seemed odd to me that my ear training was linked to a piano sound...especially when I discovered that the violinists were tested on a violin sound!

I also wasn't prepared to wait weeks until the scores would be made available. The written test and the performance portions are scheduled 4 weeks apart, so maybe we have to wait for the results after both portions are completed? I don't know.

Well, it's a journey, after all, and I must say that preparing for these tests has been a great tool to push me forward in my studies as a musician. It has been well worth it, (in spite of the craziness of how the test was administered). 

It won't stop me from pursuing it again next year, that's for sure!! Onward!

No comments:

Post a Comment