While I was away in a mobile phone blackspot last week my post was opened and a message left on my mobile (which I could just about pick up if I held the thing upside down while standing next to the external kitchen door of the Harby Centre, so long as I didn't move my head at any point!) by the lovely post-opener to the effect that I had passed a music exam with distinction.
I was quite chuffed, as it was the Associated Board's LRSM, the second-highest diploma one can get round here, and I'd had to wait about 7 nervy weeks to hear the result. In fact, I was awarded a distinction, which was extremely pleasing, since when I took the exam in the heady summer of 1998 (the last time I did anything exam-like on the piano) I failed!
I don't think I've got all that much better over the last 12 years, but I am sure that the ABRSM's diplomas have got a lot easier. Just compare the syllabus pre- and post-2005. Back in the good old days there was a 3-hour essay-based repertoire paper and a long listening test that included fiendish 4-part dictation... before you could get anywhere near the recital! This time it was just a long programme note and viva that was required in addition to the keyboar-based stuff.
So, chuffed indeed, but well aware that the value of the piece of paper has been roughly in keeping with the value of sterling over the past decade!