It’s been exactly a month since my last post to this blog, and in the intervening time my journalist husband has been working overtime making commentary on the unique electoral result Australia achieved (and on the final makeup of the minority government) while I’ve had a fairly full schedule myself, with a weekend in Wagga Wagga participating in a composing festival (premieres of specially commissioned works at night followed by workshops for aspiring composers during the day) and many pages of proofing for some new books coming out over the next few months. Oh, and my sister has just had her first baby, so the whole family (yes, that includes me!) has been enjoying this newborn phase with the delighted parents.
But transmission is about to be reset to ‘Normal’, with a backlog of issues, ideas and music to discuss.
I’ve been playing through the new ABRSM (2011-12) piano exam books, and revisiting the AMEB Series 16 selections as well. I’m fascinated by the way ABRSM Grade 6 is getting easier (pieces that were in ABRSM Grade 5 collections in the late 70s and early 80s are now in Grade 6) while AMEB Grade 6 seems to be headed toward something like what Grade 8 AMEB used to be back in the late 70s! I’m not sure what either exam board is hoping will come of the repertoire drift, but I’ll be blogging about specific examples of this in the weeks ahead.
And I’m still working my way through how not to teach the way you were taught (!) and this issue of how many hours practice it should take for a student to successfully improve one whole grade standard.
There are new children’s books I want to talk about, and there are still a swag of issues coming out of the Classical Music Futures Summit I’d still like to explore.
So it’s definitely time to resume normal transmission….