Let’s face it. No one really likes exams, they can be scary. And music exams are no different. Luckily Music Rooms’ student Amber Monahan is here to give us her advice for practising for and taking music exams.
To prepare for exams it’s best to practise as much as possible. Try to practise every day even if only for a short time.
Practise the parts you find difficult instead of the parts you like or even try the piece as a whole. The only way to improve is to correct mistakes and make sure the piece is at a standard you are happy with.
Practise for fun. It will seem less of a chore and will enhance your ability. If you find you are not enjoying playing that much, try to make it fun by finding songs you like.
Perform for people at every opportunity. You will find it becomes easier the more often you do this and you will be less nervous in the exam. You will be less aware of the examiner and more able to concentrate.
Wake up early before your exam to go over your pieces. You will feel more confident if you are prepared and warmed up.
Choose your session skill based on what you are best at. If you are good under pressure and can learn quickly I would suggest the playback option. If you are creative and can think quickly I would suggest improvisation.
It’s not as bad as you think
The examiners are really friendly and they want you to do well. It sometimes helps to remember this.
Always try to stay calm. Even if the exam goes badly you are able to retake it. With this in mind you should be able to keep the nerves at bay as even if something does go wrong you can relax knowing that you will always be able to take the exam again.