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!