July 2019

ABRSM High Achiever – March 2016 Practical Exam

Congratulations to Jolene Chow Kit Mun for her recent achievement in the March ABRSM Practical Examinations. Jolene received a 135 (Distinction) for her Grade 4 violin. She takes violin, aural and theory lessons at Aureus Academy. Jolene took a few minutes from her daily practice routine to answer a few of our questions:
Q1. At what age did you start learning the violin? 
I started learning the violin at 6 years old.
Q2. How old are you now? 
I am now 8 years old.
Q3. Was violin your choice of instrument to learn?
Yes, when I was first awarded Student of The Month from Aureus in 2013, I say that I would like to learn a second instrument, either cello or violin. Violin is a smaller instrument to carry around, and that is important because I am also part of my school’s string ensemble.
Q4. Tell us a little about your recent performing experience. 
My most recent violin performance is during my school’s Founder’s Day. There was a black out when I was at backstage. Fortunately, the lights came back on before I went on stage.
Q5. What do you do when you get nervous before going on a stage? 
I imagine everyone in the audience to have watermelon heads.
Q6. We know you play more than one instrument. How do you manage your academic work along with violin practice? 
Actually, I do not practise much on the violin, as piano is my main instrument. I spend about 30 minutes to practise on violin at home, 3 times a week. However, the string ensemble requires me to practise about 3 hours in school each week.
I wake up early in the morning to practise on the piano before going to school. I try to do my  homework in school, and in the evenings before my daddy comes home. I also start to practise piano while daddy is having his dinner, and I spend about two hours on the piano daily. After that, I will practise on the violin before going to bed.
Q7. Who is your favourite composer? 
My Favourite composer used to be Kabalevsky, as he writes many pieces for children. The pieces have very catchy and lively rhythms. Recently, I enjoy the music from Chopin, as I like to express feelings in the pieces. I love to play the rubato on romantic pieces.
Q8. Do you have a favourite violinist?
No, I do not have a favourite violinist.
Q9. What have you learned in Aureus Academy? 
I learn how to play the violin in Aureus Academy. I also learn about harmonisation of chords in theory class. I receive aural training, where I learn to listen to music from different genres and to describe their characteristics.
Q10. Tell us something about your violin teacher at Aureus Academy. 
Teacher Shaojie is very friendly and he likes to joke. He can play the violin very well.
Q11. What are the cons/pros of being a violinist? 
Sight reading is very easy on the violin because I only need to read notes on the treble clef, unlike piano which includes the bass clef. However, it is very tiring to play the violin as I have to stand up most of the time.
Q12. Do you have a short/long term goal(s) for your musical journey? 
I want to score a high distinction for my grade 8 piano exam in 4 months time, and go on to do DipABRSM in piano this year. I want to finish grade 8 violin soon, and start on a third instrument. This time, I hope to learn a woodwind instrument like flute or clarinet.

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