Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Grade Exam Preparation

Grade exams occur every term and while they aren't the be all and end all of playing the piano, they are a good way to measure progress, to explore new repertoire and to perform.

These guidelines are for parents and pupils:

1. Practise every day: I suggest a minimum of 30 mins for grades 1-3, 45 mins for grades for 4 and 5 and 60 mins for grade 6 +. Parents will need to remind and supervise. What to practise will be in the piano diary.
2. Don't forget your scales and arpeggios etc: Use the scales in a jar method, a tick box chart or the scales tricks list.
3. Make sight-reading a part of your daily practice: play from your official books, play from your earlier tutor books and play duets, songs, hymns, anything and everything!
4. Practise aural tests via either ABRSM's Aural App, e-musicmaestro's aural training or Hofnote.com.
5. Listen to your pieces, read ABRSM's exam tips and look at sample exams on their YouTube channel http://gb.abrsm.org/en/exam-support/audio-and-video-resources/
6. Practise performing: play to your friends and family, record yourself, come and play at my concerts and get togethers, volunteer to play in assembly and in church.
7. Plan the day of your exam; how you will get there, what to wear (including the right shoes for pedals) and what you will eat when etc.

We will work out a countdown and have a mock-test so that you are as well prepared as possible. Higher grade exam pupils may also have the opportunity for a short practice session on the exam piano.
Results usually come within 2 weeks and then you can celebrate!

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