Yesterday, on the morning of his final exam – alto saxophone grade 8 Perran found it hard to even get out of bed. The previous day’s maths exam had been horrid and now he had to turn himself round for one more big test. As Nigel and I departed for a foray to town I hissed to him
“I don’t know what to do – Perran’s not up yet. Surely he should be practising.”
By contrast, Carenza, in spite of partying until 2am, was up, showered and breakfasting – she and Sasoon were going to London – a couple of exhibitions and a “Killers” concert. Strangely she seemed more motivated to get up than Perran.
As we returned from town, it was a relief to hear Perran tootling a jazzy Charleston.
That afternoon, I drove Perran to the large private house in a nearby town which functions as an exam centre. As we were approaching, a young girl clutching a flute was coming out in tears. Perran and I exchanged a look.
Inside the host was friendly:
“We’re running early – neither of the candidates so far has actually taken their exam.”
We exchange another look.
Perran ripped through his pieces in a jaunty warm up with our very recently acquired and excellent accompanist, then went to face the music.
After half an hour, he came out of his very last exam all smiles.
After the scary build-up the examiner had turned out to be pleasant and appreciative.
“Do you know, I think I might like to take my Music Diploma next.”
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