At ABRSM we love a musical challenge and Amy Morrow-Plant’s #grade8athon caught our attention.
Amy, a clarinettist and clarinet teacher, wanted to do something different and challenging for a fundraising event. This summer, she will complete a marathon of music examinations to raise money for Petals, a charity that offer specialised counselling for parents who have experienced trauma or loss during pregnancy and birth. To raise money for this fantastic charity, Amy will take grades one to eight in one day, and to make things more challenging, she will be examined on eight different instruments.Amy has chosen a mixture of brass, woodwind, keyboard and string instruments to be examined on, some of which she will be learning from scratch. The grades and instrumentation are as follows: 1. Guitar
4. French Horn
5. Flugel Horn
8. Alto Saxophone
So far, Amy has chosen the repertoire for each instrument and begun attempting to learn them alongside the scales and arpeggios. To make things even more challenging, Amy is juggling practice time with the demands of caring for an almost one year old and working 3 days a week, so practice time is being squeezed in between lessons and during the ever reducing nap times. As a clarinettist, Amy has a slight advantage for the higher grades but this comes with the added pressure of being expected to do very well in these exams! To help her succeed, Amy has enlisted some of her colleagues, who play and teach the instruments that she is unfamiliar with, to answer all of her questions and listen to her new music attempts.
A bit about Amy
Amy has always been involved in music and was brought up in a musical family. She started learning the clarinet at the age of ten and went on to study the clarinet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After graduating in 2012, she began peripatetic teaching in the Hertfordshire/Essex working in primary and secondary education settings.Last year, in the later stages of pregnancy, Amy joined an NCT class where she met seven other couples who had similar due dates. Louise and Andrew Judd, one of the couples from Amy’s class, were expecting twins, a boy and a girl. Whilst we were all excited anticipating meeting our new arrivals, Louise and Andrew were given the awful news that one of their twins, Noah, no longer had a heartbeat. At 37 weeks, Louise gave birth to their daughter Esme and their son Noah who had passed away during the 28th week of pregnancy. Petals have supported Andrew and Louise through every step of their bereavement process and continue to do so now. Amy is undertaking this challenge so that she can raise money so that others in this heart breaking situation can access vital support, as well as raise awareness of stillbirth and the fantastic work that Petals do.Amy’s exams are scheduled for 2nd July 2019! Her justgiving page has raised over £2500 so far and if you’d like to support Amy’s #grade8athon please see her Justgiving page for details."