Exam season once again upon us and whether or not it’s your first exam experience, it can still be a stressful time. Twelve months of work (or longer for Preliminary students) are culminating in this moment, giving you an opportunity to showcase everything you have learnt and practised.
The AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) have put together a list of ten things you should consider before an exam. You can read the full article here but in summary the points are:
- Don’t slack off on your practise and then cram it all in during the week before. Playing piano is a (cumulative) physical skill as well as mental; you wouldn’t run a marathon if you had only been training for a week.
- Use your nerves to create nervous energy that can heighten your performance.
- No stimulants – energy drinks, caffeine etc can have the opposite of the desired effect and can make you jittery.
- Don’t compare yourself to other candidates; all you can control is your own performance.
- Celebrate your hard work instead of downplaying its significance. You have spent all year working for this, so be proud of your effort.
- Be sure of your general knowledge and practise your aural tests and sight reading well in advance of your exam date.
- Be outfitted classily and comfortably and in clothes that don’t restrict your movement.
- Have your closest supporters with you.
- Remember to show the examiner a beautifully musical performance (not just a display of technique).
- Do your best and be proud of it rather than stressing over your final grade.
For most people, exams are a stressful time. The best thing you can do is know that you are walking in there as prepared as you can possibly be. If you know you have put in the necessary work, you should be able to enjoy – or at least appreciate – the experience through the haze of nerves.
If you are considering music lessons for your child or for yourself, please contact me to discuss the options. Piano lessons are conducted at my studio in Wallsend, NSW.