Hi everyone, today I have a completely spontaneous post that was written and published all in under half an hour. It’s just something I need to get off my chest.

So a few minutes ago I received my Grade 3 violin exam results. I took the exam a month ago, and I was really excited about getting my marks back. I’d worked hard on all my pieces and scales, and although my aural singing in the test had been awful, everything else had gone perfectly to plan.

Just before I continue, I want to give you an idea of the marking scheme in these exams, for those of you who don’t know:

  • FAIL: Less than 100 points
  • PASS: 100 – 119 points
  • MERIT: 120 – 129 points
  • DISTINCTION: 130 – 150 points

The exams are graded out of 150.

So obviously I was hoping for a distinction.

As I said, I thought the exam had gone pretty well on the whole, with no slip-ups in my pieces and nothing bad about my sight-reading or anything like that. (Honestly, my singing is always going to be bad in exams. I tried practicing but it just didn’t work out… 😦 )

Then my mum said she’d received an email from my violin instructor.

I was in the middle of watching The Princess Diaries with my parents (my brother was Xboxing, as usual) so we quickly pressed pause on the remote and I sat up straight to hear the results.

She went through my marks in each area, before asking me what I thought I’d got.

I said merit.

She said yes.

The disappointment flooded through me like lava. Honestly, I was so upset and angry with myself. I thought I’d prepared well for this exam… but clearly not.

I asked how many points I’d had exactly.

127 points.

Only three away from a distinction.


Three marks I could have picked up easily, if only my pieces had gone better (the examiner had obviously thought I was rubbish at them, when honestly (without meaning to brag) I thought I’d done quite well…?).

I’ve dealt with merits before, in other music exams, but I still felt upset. Nothing too major though.

So I finished watching the film, and then headed through to my room to work on my bullet journal and check my blog. That was when my brother came in with my mum, and asked how I’d done on my exam (he’d taken a Grade 2 violin exam and was looking like he wanted to boast to me).

I made him say what he’d got first, obviously (older siblings have power).

130 points.


I’m of course happy for my brother, pleased he did so well, because he worked so hard on his exam. He practiced loads (if we’re being totally straight, he practiced more than me) and it clearly paid off. So, well done to him ❤

I’m just more upset with myself.

I guess it’s a lesson learned, then. I thought I’d worked hard enough. I thought I knew my pieces upside-down and backwards. I thought I’d get a distinction.


So I’m now left staring at my computer screen. Feeling dumb.

However, I’m going to look at this as a learning opportunity. I’m going to try my best to get over this quickly.

After all, a merit’s pretty good.

Looking back on what I’ve just written, a merit is pretty good.

I’m actually happy with it.

Although it’s not what I wanted, I can definitely live with it. And it’s the perfect motivation to get a distinction in my next music exam (which will be Grade 1 piano in October…!) **wink wink** 😉

So I guess that’s the rant over. Sorry for this post, it was completely unplanned but it was just something I needed to say. If any of you guys have a similar story or can relate this, feel free to talk about it in the comments down below. I’m happy to chat or give advice 🙂

Thank you all for reading, you’ll never know how much I appreciate all of you lovely readers. Your comments and kind words always make my day ❤

Incomplete Thinker xx


10 thoughts on “Disappointment

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  1. Hey! Well done! I know how it feels to be only a few points off the next grade, it happens to me all the time. I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten an A on my work but only been two points off an A+.

    The score you got may not have been what you wanted, but all you can do is use it to motivate yourself for your next exam. I’m sure you will do very well on any music exam you have in the future.

    I did a music exam recently as well, back in June. It was a Trinity Grade 1 tuned percussion exam, and I did better than I thought, because I can name at least three times I messed up 😆 (damn that A minor triad!!). It’ll be another couple of months before I get my certificate though.

    – Alexis Glow xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awww, thank you so much! Ach, it’s so annoying to be just a few points away, but an A is still really good and you should be happy ❤
    Very true. I'm going to use it as a push for my next music exam. Thank you! You're so sweet, this comment has literally made my day 🙂
    Ooh, tuned percussion? That's so cool! Oh man, I get so nervous sometimes and just completely screw up the pieces XD (Oh my gosh I HATE triads!) I hope you get your certificate very soon!
    Thanks again xxx


  3. I had to play three pieces (two with piano accompaniment), a musical knowledge test, an aural test and my technical work. for the technical stuff I needed to know three major scales (C, F and G) and their relative natural minor scales (A, D and E), triads for all six, and the C chromatic scale. The difficult part was being able to play them with both hands leading, especially the chromatic one 😆
    I got my result and exam sheet a few weeks ago, but only the Trinity college in London can print the certificates, so it’ll take a while to get to Australia. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes though, I’ve already gotten my results.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, for my exam I had to do 3 pieces (two with piano, and one unaccompanied), scales (A flat major, E flat major, E major were 1 octave and B flat major, D minor, D major and A minor were 2 octaves. I also had chromatic on D), sight-reading, and aural tests. In the aural bit I ALWAYS fail at the singing (I cannot hold a tune) but the rest is okay. I’m actually good at sight-reading, which is good because that’s what normally gets me above a pass XD XD XD
    I’m hoping to get my certificate soon, I don’t know when though xx


  5. I know how you feel. In ways. Because I had a…similar situation. Except mine was all in my head. You see, I had awful anxiety (luckily it’s getting better) and I still have awful self-confidence. And no matter what happened, I always thought that whatever I did with the piano wasn’t good enough. That it was lousy in comparison to what other people my age were doing. So in the end I actually stopped playing. And now I sometimes listen back to recordings and I realize that I wasn’t so bad. Just a few slip-ups but they would have been easily fixed and just… The point is, I don’t want you to get stuck. Like you said, take it as a learning experience and don’t beat yourself up over it because you still did perfectly well, okay? I believe in you. –Julia

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I see. I’m sorry about your anxiety, I’ve never experienced something like that but I would probably struggle a lot. My self-confidence is not at its best either, I always feel like an outsider for doing things that I like, because nobody else likes the same things as me. You know, I feel the same way about piano – I just started this year and my friends (who started playing years ago) are on a much higher standard than me (of course) – but I still got worried about it. I like to push myself, which is okay in moderation – but most of the time I take it too far! Would you start playing piano again? I’m sure you would be brilliant ❤ Thank you for the advice, and thank you for visiting. Both mean a lot xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maybe, I don’t know. I want to get back into it, but I haven’t played in months and before that time I didn’t play for months before that… And I haven’t played in front of someone in a year, but… I think I’ll try again one day. Thanks for reading…that. It was a bit much, heh heh. Thanks again xx –Julia

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If you ever wanted to, you could definitely spend some time alone practicing, before you showed someone – just to gain some more confidence in your playing. Haha, no worries. Thank you too ❤


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