Both kids had "exams*" over the weekend - Rockstar took the ABRSM Grade 4 in piano while Hamster Ninja sat for her Green Belt in taekwondo...
That's them horsing around outside the little exam centre because everyone was so reserved and well behaved inside - including that dog under the receptionists' table.. I think everyone periodically takes their little kids outside to dance about and push each other around before going back in to sit quietly for their turn 😀
Meantime, we've been running around trying to navigate Siberia for exam venue rehearsals and practice because we still don't have a real piano and this year even the local cabbie had problems bringing us to the exam venue for rehearsal. (Both kids don't want a real piano because they say they would probably have to be wayy more careful with it.)
*Not... to be confused with how some of our friends whose "thing" is music - from Boy Band/ Girl Group-style to Classical - might approach this, Rockstar takes the ABRSM every two years "just" to have a piece of paper to show for all those music lessons (as in, someday under "hobbies," "grade 2 in piano" is more specific than "plays the piano"). The rest of the time he's doing all manner of things like searching out Megalovania on Youtube, and then as it gets closer to exam time he starts cramming on the actual test material (aural, sight-reading etc), for as-respectable-a-pass-as-possible, on the ABRSM.
This round Rockstar then also proposed a wager: if he makes "Merit or above," we throw in "Thor's Hammer" - some magnetised gadget you can use to make the aforementioned comic book hero's weapon of choice stick to the ground (well any metal plate) as though you are not Odin's Chosen One and therefore unworthy to lift it. So basically rather than a real piano, he wants a real hammer.
Hamster Ninja -
She took her yellow-green belt the night before her first day of Y1 at Kennedy School, and it was kind of a little "goal" for us because I didn't expect her to make any more gradings for maybe a year, once she started full-day school. They're quite particular about whether the kids actually know their stuff before they're called for gradings (better than being failed in the exam hall, they don't let you sit for the test if you don't have a good chance of passing), and she had initially struggled to get down all the moves for the Taegeuk 1 pattern. Took her about a year to qualify, over summer break leading up to yellow-green we even doubled her lessons, thinking for her to clear the test and then concentrate on adjusting to primary school life.
So you can imagine what a pleasant surprise it was, that while "adjusting to full day big school for first time" she made Green Belt grading. She's super in love with the sport now - Taegeuk 2 has substantially more turns, long and short stances, middle and upper punches.
...And just in case we mistook her for someone else, she then put everything on - the standard Green Belt Issue shin and forearm guards almost covering her entire limbs - and went jigging about madly in the empty quiet street last night.
Primary school life must be good for her, with also the Games and PE Fundamental Movement Skills et al.