Sixth Former Maria Mandic has successfully completed her grade 8 piano exams with the help of some cross-channel tuition from her music teacher! Maria, who has been playing piano since the age of 7, has lessons via Skype after her tutor relocated to southern France.
As well playing three rehearsed pieces the exam also included scales, sight-reading and singing, all of which earned Maria a merit. She wants to continue her music studies to diploma level.
She has played at the Oundle Festival of Music and also performed a duet with a friend at Brooke Weston’s piano concert. Her favourite pieces are Chopin’s Etudes and she has been practising Beethoven’s Rondo, a Scarlatti piece and George Gershwin’s ‘Novelette in fourths’ for the past year in preparation for her examination.
She said: ‘I practice a lot at home as playing the piano is more of an enjoyment than a chore. I come home and unwind while playing. I have been reading music since I was young and have also done six grades of music theory which has been helpful. I want to carry on playing and hope to do my diploma.
‘At any age I think that learning an instrument is a good idea. It is a personal aspiration or goal. I included it on my UCAS form as I want to study biochemistry at university but mastering an instrument is a personal goal and makes you feel better. You can start learning at any time.’