Posted 11 October 2019 - 17:05
Hello again, learned friends. A bit of an update, and if I may, a request for further advice…
We went with Rockschool in the end, and the lad’s just about to take his grade 4. It took a little time to get used to the new format, and the step-up in technicality came as a surprise, so we haven’t rushed through it. His new teacher’s also been giving him some classical pieces that he particularly likes, so he’s still keeping his hand in, so to speak.
In the meantime he’s joined a band as keyboard player & vocalist, which is giving him some brilliant practical experience. It’s not especially challenging – just classic rock covers, but his Freddie Mercury tribute (he sings and plays ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’) is pretty damn good for a 12 year-old – Not sure he’ll still manage to hit the high notes when his voice breaks!
Now here’s the thing. He went up to high school last September, and we’ve been left somewhat disappointed by the limited opportunities to develop his talent there, as well as the lack of peers of a similar ability for him to engage with. We’ve been considering a number of options to try to get him the best musical education we can, including moving schools, but he’s doing well there and we don’t want to cause unnecessary disruption.
So then I found out about the Junior RNCM, and after lots of discussion (and crunching the financial numbers) we decided that he’s going to have a shot at the audition next spring. We know that he might not be quite up to the required ‘Grade 5 Distinction’ standard by March, although I’ve read that this is just a guide and the panel will make their judgment on potential and overall musicianship. If he doesn’t make it next year, we can always try again the year after.
For the audition, he will also need to perform a piece on a second instrument and it’s on this that I’d value your thoughts. He can play guitar to a basic standard and can sing, so either of these could be his second study. However, he’s had no training in either and everything he does at the moment is contemporary, not classical, and I’m not sure how that would be received at a conservatoire. Does anyone have any experience of these auditions, and how would you recommend we approach the second study? I had thought of maybe doing a guitar & vocal version of a musical theatre number.