Does anybody have any tips for my grade 4 piano exam next week?


Posted on : 21-04-2013 | By : My Study Coach | In : Learn to Relax
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Next week I have my ABRSM Grade 4 Piano Exam and I’m super worried! My pieces are okay, and so are my scales but my arpeggios’s are a bit jumpy. However, my sightreading and my aural tests are a whole lot worse. Does anybody have any tips for my exam? I really want to do well, I got a destinction last time.

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Comments (1)

Hi there,

I think it’s important that you spend some time at the piano each day. Not trying to make things perfect, but just playing through your pieces, your scales and arpeggios at a relaxed tempo. If you want to throw in a bit of sight reading, pull out an old book of etudes or studies and read through, just to get your brain thinking that way.

When runners train, the last week before the big race is a very relaxed training week. No huge runs right before the race, because it’s important to save mental and physical energy for the task at hand. Practicing for exams can be the same way. If you practice too much, and worry, and try to make things perfect, you will go into your test day tired and emotionally wrung out. Eat well, sleep well, and do something to help with the nerves like take a walk.

Remember, the judges aren’t looking for perfection. They don’t expect it. It takes a lot of performance experience to get to the point where you can actually play for judges or an audience like you can really play alone in your living room. They are looking for a certain set of skills, that you have a level of knowledge. They can see past your glitches, trust me, and understand that you are nervous. They were all learning once, themselves. They have been there! So don’t think about playing everything perfectly. Consider your exam to be sharing what you have learned.

So get your hands on the piano every day, but not in a frantic way. Walk, sleep, and eat well. Bananas are a good source of potassium which can help with performance anxiety, so they are a good snack an hour or so before you perform.

Best of luck and hope this is helpful for you!

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