When Gaby met the Brits

First allow me to breathe a sigh of relief….haaaaaaaaa!!!

Sometime last December, Gaby had her day with the Brits. And when I say Brits, I mean the examiners and staff of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or ABRSM.

The school where Gaby takes voice and guitar lessons is affiliated with the Board and are prompt to refer their “able” music students for assessment. Of the 2 courses that Gaby has been taking, it was in voice that she got a recommendation to take the exams.

This being her first year, the exam she would take was a Prep Exam and was not given a numerical grade. She was, however, subjected to an exam nonetheless. This, in effect, would better prepare her for future exams should she decide to continue with her lessons.

Anyway, as the exams loomed nearer, Gaby, presumably prepared her pieces along with her teacher. I don’t make it a practice to hover when it comes to her music lessons. Not very Tiger Mom-mish, I know…but well, who knows in the future, right.

Back to the exams….

The day before the exam, Gaby was asked to come to school to practice her pieces…or at least the pieces that were going to be given on exam day.

Guess what….she didn’t know how to sing all 3 of the required pieces!!! Apparently, her new teacher felt that Gaby knew the pieces already since she had practiced them over the summer.

Half panicking, the director of the music program asked me to record him while he played and sang all 3 pieces so Gaby could practice them at home. Take note that this was at around 7pm and her exam was the next day. I was almost about to throw in the towel but Gaby assured me that she could do it…with a matching sweet smile that is so her when she wants something bad.

So, I took the 3 videos. And we practiced. The whole night. The whole morning the day after.

On exam day we were at the school an hour before her schedule. The director called her in immediately to have a run through of her pieces. I didn’t see her until after the test.

And….she came out smiling.

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Halloween Madness

Its been 2 weeks since Halloween but the house is still feeling the buzz of the holiday. Blame it on the props that are still visible. Nope, not outside. Part of the kids’ costumes now adorn some of our home decor. Our stone Buddha is now in a wig and our Buddha head is wearing a ninja mask. I can’t take them off until our Christmas decor goes up so..oh well.

Anyway, as usual, Halloween was fun. It was a photofinish actually. We didn’t get the kids’ costumes until 2 days before the party. I was hoping to find them something during our last trip to Japan just like the last time we were there. Unlike the last trip, where I got them matching pink kimonos, I didn’t find anything suitable. I was eyeing some schoolgirl outfits that reminded me of the dresses of the Sucker Punch girls but the hubby said they would make the kids look like sluts. So, obviously, I dropped the idea.

A few days after we flew back home we made a mad dash for costumes. Gaby got herself a girl skeleton outfit and a wig. Adi got herself a girl Ninja outfit plus a sword and shield for weapons. All that was left was make-up which was my job.

But the madness didn’t end there. The day before the party, Adi complained that her left eye was growing a sty and was worried that she couldn’t wear make-up to complete her outfit. The eye was so swollen that even the best eyelash growth product could not provide coverage. Hot compress to the rescue. We slapped on heated pads the entire evening and prayed that the swelling would go down. And it did!! So my Ninja was going in her full element on Halloween.

Obviously, all went well.  The kids, their cousins, and their friends were so high on getting their treats that we had to pull away their bags before dinner was served.  In the end, the treats served their purpose well.  Even we got to enjoy them.

Made for the Stage

For the last few months, Gaby has been enjoying her voice classes immensely. This isn’t the first time she has taken music classes. Her first music class was in the summer of 2009 and this is when she discovered her innate love for music and singing. This really wasn’t a big surprise because even as a toddler she was constantly singing and listening to songs way beyond her years. Truth be told, the very first time I heard her hum was when she was 3 months old. To put her to sleep we would play lullabies from a Walkman CD player inside her crib. One evening while putting her to sleep I heard her humming to the lullaby!! Since then she has not stopped humming.

To date she has gone through several recitals and assessments. I can confidently declare that she does these with complete ease. No stage fright whatsoever. She confirmed this herself. She loves the stage and is mostly too excited to let it all out whenever she has the chance.

Proof of her development is the recent endorsement by her voice coach to take a worldwide rating exam to be administered by the London based Royal School of Music! This test will give us a clear picture as to where she stands with regards to all the other “endorsed” voice students from all over the world. Clearly a mean feat, if you ask me.

I’m relishing my stage-mommah role to the hilt. And honestly, if she does make diva status someday, I’ll tag along for the ride…like this other stage-mommah I know. You’ll never know, Broadway and the Royal Drury Lane could be within our reach…who knows.

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