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Believe to Achieve – Roshni’s musical journey

Want to play music? Or looking at taking up a new hobby but not sure where to start? Worried you can’t play music?

Check out Roshni’s story about passing her Grade 8 piano exam and her top tips for getting into music!

Getting into piano

I started my musical journey when I was in primary school at the age of 9. I have always been interested in the piano because I loved watching the pianist (someone who plays music) at our Christmas carol.

She was so elegant moving up and down the piano creating such beautiful music.

When I first started, I was just playing for fun. I enjoyed playing famous tunes that we all recognised like ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and ‘London Bridge’.

Starting lessons!

I really enjoyed my lessons and was able to learn the basics of music.

This led my teacher to believe I should start taking graded exams. So this is where my musical journey truly began!

I enjoyed playing scales because it was a nice way to warm my fingers up, and especially useful to get used to the skills need for exams. You also have to play 3 pieces.

Doing exams!

I spent about 4 months learning my 3 pieces and getting them ready for the exam.

Of course, the higher the grade you are, the longer it can take to get ready. But this is really important because the music pieces make up the majority of the marks.

Luckily you can choose your music which allows you to explore different types of music and styles to suit you.

After playing your pieces to the examiner, you are asked to do some sight reading. With practice, this usually isn’t a problem.

The last part of the exam, but not least, is listening to music and singing the notes you hear back.

However, fear not, it is not as scary as it sounds.

Music examiners understands that for deaf young people this could be a struggle, and so there is a version which is a lot more accessible.
What does compose mean?

Compose means writing or creating a bit of music!

Roshni’s top tips and advice:

  • I didn’t know that lots of music examiners can make changes if you just ask.
  • The examiners are nice – they know you are nervous, and it does get easier with each grade. Remember there is no age limit, the person next to you could easily be an adult or a 4 year old.
  • I’ve enjoyed music so much that I am now doing a Diploma (higher learning).
  • Some helpful advice for other young deaf people who want to learn the piano, don’t let anyone or anything stop you.
  • Believe in yourself, I am profoundly deaf in both ears and really struggle to hear high-frequency sounds. But I believe you can feel the music. It’s fun! It’s challenging! It’s rewarding! Have a go!

Let us know if you are learning to play music or have done exams, what experience you have had!


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National Deaf Children's Society

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