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Status: 12/04/24 21:04
I'm unavailable for calls at the moment but if you leave a message, I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

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Burton Albion Football Club


In December 2023, I went along to The Pirelli Stadium in Burton-Upon-Trent, the venue for ABRSM exams.

I like to attend exam sessions whenever possible to support my pupils, but on this occasion, I was also interested to see how well a football stadium would work as an exam venue. The answer, was very well indeed.

It was a very wet and miserable morning when I arrived in the car park and pulled up just outside the main entrance. The first positive was that there was plenty of parking so no need to search for a space, the parking was free, and also close to the building so no long walk in the rain and wind to get inside.

Indoors
In the main reception, a large screen on the far wall gave directions to those arriving, easy to follow and one minute later, I was at Box 7, the waiting room. Warm, dry, quiet and welcoming, with a view over the pitch and stand opposite. The warm-up room was similar, next door in Box 8, with a keyboard set up on a stand. Again a quiet, warm, room that was adequate to spend a few minutes making sure fingers were warmed up and flexible. A keyboard is ok, but for pianists, something better would have been nice. Those that know me will know that I am a bit of a purist with these matters, but I do understand the realities and that a keyboard is better than nothing, and there are venues that don't even have a warm-up room.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the exam room, but I heard nothing bad about it and have trust in the examiners who, as part of their routine, make sure that everything, including the piano, is up to the required standard. They, of course, get to play the piano during every exam as they carry out the aural tests.

Negatives
Burton-Upon-Trent is obviously a longer journey for most of my pupils, and depending upon the time of day, traffic can be heavy especially at places such as the Markeaton Roundabout. One surprising queue of traffic was on the slip road off of the A38 into Burton itself. Apparently, at the time that I was arriving (around 9:30), this is common.


Summary
Overall, a good experience.

Exams can be a stressful time for candidates (and their parents!) and anything that can lessen that stress and put them at their ease is good news.

Although a longer journey than other centres, it is a straightforward journey, and parking is free and easy once you get there. Allow plenty of time and all should be good.

A nicer piano in the warm-up room would have been nice, but apart from that, a good venue that's calm and welcoming.




Last Updated: 21st January 2024

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Burton Albion Football Club



In December 2023, I went along to The Pirelli Stadium in Burton-Upon-Trent, the venue for ABRSM exams.

I like to attend exam sessions whenever possible to support my pupils, but on this occasion, I was also interested to see how well a football stadium would work as an exam venue. The answer, was very well indeed.

It was a very wet and miserable morning when I arrived in the car park and pulled up just outside the main entrance. The first positive was that there was plenty of parking so no need to search for a space, the parking was free, and also close to the building so no long walk in the rain and wind to get inside.

Indoors
In the main reception, a large screen on the far wall gave directions to those arriving, easy to follow and one minute later, I was at Box 7, the waiting room. Warm, dry, quiet and welcoming, with a view over the pitch and stand opposite. The warm-up room was similar, next door in Box 8, with a keyboard set up on a stand. Again a quiet, warm, room that was adequate to spend a few minutes making sure fingers were warmed up and flexible. A keyboard is ok, but for pianists, something better would have been nice. Those that know me will know that I am a bit of a purist with these matters, but I do understand the realities and that a keyboard is better than nothing, and there are venues that don't even have a warm-up room.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the exam room, but I heard nothing bad about it and have trust in the examiners who, as part of their routine, make sure that everything, including the piano, is up to the required standard. They, of course, get to play the piano during every exam as they carry out the aural tests.

Negatives
Burton-Upon-Trent is obviously a longer journey for most of my pupils, and depending upon the time of day, traffic can be heavy especially at places such as the Markeaton Roundabout. One surprising queue of traffic was on the slip road off of the A38 into Burton itself. Apparently, at the time that I was arriving (around 9:30), this is common.



Summary
Overall, a good experience.

Exams can be a stressful time for candidates (and their parents!) and anything that can lessen that stress and put them at their ease is good news.

Although a longer journey than other centres, it is a straightforward journey, and parking is free and easy once you get there. Allow plenty of time and all should be good.

A nicer piano in the warm-up room would have been nice, but apart from that, a good venue that's calm and welcoming.




Last Updated: 21st January 2024

Back

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