Nathan DeJaeghere, G5 Student


“Three years ago, I started my musical journey with a simple yet ambitious goal: to learn how to play the piano. The piano became a regular part of my life, with twice-weekly lessons and daily practice sessions at home. This routine allowed me to learn piano skills piece by piece.

As the summer break rolled around, I decided to put my piano skills to the test by aiming for a Level 3 piano exam with the Association Board of the Royal Schools of Music in London. This exam required recording four pieces and submitting them as a video for evaluation by a panel of experts. I had to choose three of the pieces from their books, but one was left to my choice. Naturally, I picked my favorite: “T-Rex Hungry,” a composition by Sonny Chua.

I was very eager to pursue this challenge, and super excited to receive a “Distinction” rating for my Level 3 piano exam. This achievement is very special to me because “T-Rex Hungry” is no walk in the park. It demands agility and precision, with rapid passages that require hand crossovers during play.

In my piano journey, one constant has been my approach to learning any piece. I begin by mastering the notes, painstakingly practicing at a slow pace until my fingers are well-used to the sequence of the keys. Once I feel confident in my grasp of the notes or receive the teacher’s confirmation, I gradually increase the tempo. It’s at this point that the magic happens. I infuse the piece with emotion, letting my feelings guide my performance. I add dynamics by emphasizing certain moments, making them louder, then gently pulling back or slowing down to captivate my audience.”

We celebrate Nathan’s remarkable accomplishment and wish him a fulfilling music career ahead. If you’re interested in embarking on your own musical adventure, the FIS website’s Instrumental Program page offers a list of dedicated teachers to guide you on your path. More information on the Association Board of the Royal Schools of Music is available here.

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