Can Music Exams Be Fun? Some tips to excel.

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The second music exam season of the year is here! So fast?! I am not ready! Parents and students alike start to panic at any looming examination. Fret not, your music teachers are here to help you present your best selves for optimum results. 

We must always try to prepare as much as we can for any exam. With the ABRSM exams commencing 3rd July 2018, D-Flat Studios outlines some tips and tricks for candidates to have a smooth and positive exam experience.

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1. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

Feeling ill-prepared is normal, but being aware of your level of preparedness allows you to better tackle the urgent issues. Chiefly, make sure you know the exam format clearly before entering the room. Exam formats are fixed with little deviation, so a clear grasp of the format takes away the element of surprise and ill-preparedness. 

Normally the examiner will present candidates the choice to start with Scales or Pieces. We recommend that candidates start with scales, as playing through the different octaves on the piano will give them an immediate feedback on the touch of the piano, its weight and response. This will allow candidates to calibrate their touch when they start to play their pieces. 

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2. Focus On The Music

A lot of students get nervous upon hearing the word - exam. However, you must remember that music exams are different from your typical school examinations where you go in, sit down, complete the test and go home. In a music exam, you are presenting musical ideas and techniques that you have practiced so hard for the past few months. At its core, it is much more of a performance rather than an examination. Therefore, don’t be discouraged by the exam and just go for it!

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3. Be Punctual

Time management is key. Always arrive at your exam venue 20 minutes before the scheduled time. Being early allows you to calm yourself and centre your mind at the task at hand. Do some simple exercises to regulate your breathing, and take the time to warm-up. Being late and rushing to the exam venue flustered will not facilitate a good start. 


4. Stay Healthy

You cannot do much with an unhealthy body. Health has always and will always be the number one priority for all of us. Therefore, remember to take care of yourselves during the examination period so that you will be tip-top on exam day.

 

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5. Enjoy Yourself

This is important - The Examiner Is On Your Side! Almost all of ABRSM examiners are educators who over the years have prepared hundreds of candidates for exams. They completely understand the challenges students face, and their desire to excel. Remember that examiners are not there to deduct points from your score sheet, they are merely required to when you make a mistake. So enjoy the process and show your best, they always want to give well-deserved high marks! As educators, examiners know that a good result will always spur students to achieve more and take on new and more difficult challenges. 

 

Examinations are tremendously enjoyable if you are well-prepared and have the right attitude. A good result is affirmation for a job well done. D-Flat Studios would like to wish all students the best in the upcoming ABRSM Graded Piano Exams. May all your efforts be fruitful!

Play on and Tinkle Away!!!