Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Grade exam performance tips.

For those of you who have exams on Friday...
Mrs Lau’s Guide to Surviving Exams

Before the exam:

·         Make sure you have chosen pieces you enjoy from the correct syllabus.

·         Be sure that you know your pieces inside out and, if possible, from memory (even if you have the music), that you know 4 bars either side of page turns and that the starts and endings are particularly secure.

·         Practise your scales, arpeggios etc really thoroughly; they are the first element of your exam and a good chance to get it started well.

·         Try to play some sight reading every day.

·         Make sure that you are familiar with the aural tests. You can buy a CD of them or register on www.hofnote.co.uk for extra practice.

·         Play your pieces on different pianos and get used to adapting to them.

·         Practise performing- to yourself with no stops, to family and to friends.

·         Make sure that you know where the exam is to be held. Have a dummy run of the journey.

On the day:

  • Have a countdown plan; think about what you are going to do, if you are going to practice, what you are going to wear, what you are going to eat etc.
  • Arrive in plenty of time but not so early that you jitter!

At the exam:

  • Keep your fingers warm(gloves in Autumn and Winter) and do some deep breathing.
  • Smile at the examiner and talk clearly and confidently to him/her.
  • Take your time adjusting the piano stool and your music.
  • Focus and concentrate. Play each piece with character, style and confidence.

All done! That wasn’t so bad was it? Now go and treat yourself. Well done!

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