Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ABRSM's top tips for exam success

I was searching on the ABRSM website and found this handy tips for exam:

Ten top tips for practising

  1. Always have a practice plan and decide what you want to achieve in each practice time
  2. Sometimes, begin with the 'difficult bits' rather than starting at the beginning of a piece
  3. Check your posture – the way you stand or sit and the way you hold your instrument – using a mirror
  4. Practise small sections of music slowly and thoroughly before you speed them up. Remember – what you can’t play slowly, you can’t play fast!
  5. If you make a mistake, correct it immediately. Don’t simply go back to the beginning for another ‘run up’
  6. Be aware of the pulse of the music - it's dangerously easy to slow up for tricky bits!
  7. Practise the whole ‘performance’ experience – play your exam pieces to friends and family so you experience a few nerves and learn how to cope with them
  8. Listen to your tuning and always aim for a beautiful tone quality
  9. Try practising your scales to a different rhythm or, for a change, start at the top note, descend and finish at the top again
  10. Enjoy what you play – vary the styles of pieces that you practise to avoid getting bored

Ten top tips for exam success

  1. Arrive in the waiting room at least 10 minutes before your exam is due to start. Last-minute panics do not help the playing or singing
  2. Use the time before your exam to get your music and instrument ready – you can warm up silently by moving your fingers or blowing though your instrument
  3. Feeling nervous before an exam is natural. Try smiling as you go into the exam room – it will help you relax
  4. Make sure you are comfortable before you begin. If the stool or music stand is the wrong height, don’t be afraid to adjust it or ask for help
  5. It’s fine to ask the examiner if you can warm up by playing a scale or a few bars of a piece
  6. You can choose to do your exam in any order. Just let the examiner know
  7. Try to keep going in the exam even if you make a mistake – it probably won’t be as disastrous as you think
  8. Don't worry about pauses between your pieces – the examiner will be writing and will tell you when to start your next piece
  9. Your examiner may stop you during a piece if he or she has heard enough to make a judgement
  10. Remember – the examiner is on your side and is looking forward to hearing you perform

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