The Last Exam


Good morn­ing, ma’am.
Good morn­ing. Take a sit please

There I was, sit­ting on the piano seat on the 5th floor of Kuching’s pres­ti­gious five-star hotel, the Merdeka Palace. Look­ing out the win­dow, over the Merdeka Square as I took a deep breath, wip­ing my sweat drenched hands over my laps when a lady that looked in her six­ties sig­nalled for me to start.

Can you play for me the scales of D-flat major please?

Sec­onds later, my shak­ing fin­gers were danc­ing along the keys of the D flat major scale. It was not until halfway that one my fin­ger slipped of a black key and the rest of the scale went hay­wire. Damn, what the hell, the keys were as slip­pery ice! Who wouldn’t slip? I had to make out the miss­ing keys in the mess and fak­ingly stamped on the fin­ish­ing D-flat note, only to hear the exam­iner say­ing, ‘Can you play that again for me please?’ How nice of her to give me sec­ond chance but HELL, the sec­ond time was as bad. And worst still, she HAD to give me the hard­est of all scales (at least in Grade 5) — the E-flat minor. Talk about luck.. Argh!

Luck­ily the other part of the scales went smoothly and we pro­ceeded to the first piano piece. That, too, was total crap. It was okay in the begin­ning but I slipped in parts here and there and even stopped halfway search­ing for notes. So, over­all, it was crap. Curs­ing, I went on to the sec­ond piece which was well, OK and the third which was also fairly fine. Whew!


Next, it was the oral test where we’re required to sing from mem­ory, clap to the tune, state the time and answer ques­tions, blah blah. The exam­iner politely asked me to stand aside fac­ing away from the piano (stan­dard pro­ce­dure). I shak­ingly stood up and took the left side, which was right in front of her table. A quick glance saw that she gave me 22 marks out of 30 for the first piece. Not very high, yet not very low so I was like, wow.. After that poor per­for­mance, she gave a pass for the first piece. How nice. I glanced fur­ther down and try to make out the marks for the sec­ond piece, which was, if I was not mis­taken, around 26(/30). Not bad eh? And that was all, I wanted badly to look at my marks for my scales, which I pre­sume, would cer­tainly be below the pass­ing mark. But she had a paper over the mark sheet that blocked every­thing below. So, what the hell, here goes the oral test.


This may be my last piano exam, hence the title, because I may not take Grade 6 next year, in fear of not being able to cope with SPM. But oh well, so much for the last exam. Hope I’ll pass.

by shenghan in General, Life on 3rd August, 2005 at 11am, Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005 11:27 am GMT +8

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  1. […] Well, the piano results are out and I got 117.. out of 150. Not even merit, though just 3 frig­gin marks short. And dis­tinc­tion is now a thing of the past. Oh well, at least i didnt fail.. with only 17 marks away from fail­ing. No hard feel­ings, cos im not gonna take any­more frig­gin piano exams! Yay! […]