I have come to the conclusion that one of the most important things you need when learning an instrument is confidence – confidence in yourself and your ability to learn and play (or sing!). Some of our Shine students had their AMEB examinations this weekend and I was there to experience it all! Same time last year, I was there as well, so this time I was able to compare the two experiences.

Last year, it was their first time going to the Conservatorium of Music, thus having trouble finding the place and coming in slightly later than they should have (which was at least ten minutes before their exam time!). Both parents and students were rushed, nervous and surprised when told that the students were to go into the examination area alone (parents were left in a large waiting area). Some students came out looking frazzled and bewildered (some even crying!) at the entire exam experience, not knowing whether to open their ‘To the Teacher’ envelope or not. Parents waiting outside with me were relatively calm, patiently waiting for their child to come back out.

This year, second time around, the students knew what was going on. All of the students came in ridiculously early (one even came in at 8am when her exam was just before 10am!), knowing that a practice room was available and that being early helped keep the nerves at bay – not that nerves were a problem! All of the students seemed confidence and calm, knowing what to expect. It was the parents who were nervous this time – as they didn’t want their child to fail! However, all of our students passed with flying colours, a few A’s, B+’s and B’s! Congratulations to all of you =).


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