Trembling To My Toes

…would be the expression I would describe about my feelings when I stepped into Holiday Villa for my violin exam. Yes, I am that nervous.

The truth is, I’m not completely sure about my pieces, my minor scales suck, and I fail in my sight singing. So you can tell I am not prepared for this yet.

I took the elevator to Floor 13, and noticed a Malay woman and man sitting in front of a registration table, and Miss Ashley was there too. I registered and entered the waiting room nervously. In the room, I was all nerves. Miss Ashley was talking to dad, and I tried to focus on their conversation to forget about my nerves. For. Get. It was no use. My nerves took over, so I tried to concentrate on the outside scenery instead.

“Michelle Teoh.” God, half an hour already? I picked up my violin and book and headed for the exam room. A grey-haired man, Malcolm Goldring (I saw his bio cellophane taped onto the waiting room wall). Mr Lee was there fpr accompaniment too. “Okay, I’m ready when you are,” the man said kindly. Oh God. Oh no. I placed my violin on my shoulder and played the first song, “English Dance”, followed by “Allegro” and “Clockwork Doll”. IMO, it was terrible. I could even hear the waviness in the songs.

Then when Mr Lee left, it was scales time. I thought I did pretty good in my scales, arppegios, chromatic scales and dominant sevenths. Then, aural time. Okay, I admit, I SUCKED. Seriously, my sight-seeing was….unspeakable. He gave me a paper asking me to sing to the notes and, “I will correct you if you make any mistakes.” But he didn’t, at all, because I got it all wrong.

And then, sight reading. I fail. I missed all the flats, can you believe it? But anyways, after a “Have a nice day” from the examiner, I left the room in a rush, relief washing over me.

I was extremely talkative when I returned to the waiting room. Dad was there waiting for me, and I felt like hugging him. And we went home. (I was too lazy to go to school. :p)

I am crossing my fingers now. Please let me pass, that’s all I ask for. Just a pass, forget merit or distinction. Just a pass.

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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