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ABRSM Practical exams - what are they like? watch

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    (Original post by rylit91)
    Well, I'm sorry if I caused any offence. I actually carried on with recorder and got to grade two, so I do rate it as an instrument; I just associate it with first 'easing' into music. I must admit I am ignorant and have never listened to professional recorder player.
    Have a listen to Piers Adams, as a soloist or with Red Priest...he's absolutely staggeringly amazing I've never heard virtuosity like it before.

    It's ok, no offence taken. I'm just used to some parents making their children (who are generally extremely enthusiastic, and musical) give up the recorder so they can start a 'proper' instrument, and it winds me up something chronic!
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    Don't worry, its really hard to fail
    I have my grade five on thursday- I'm super practicing my sight reading cause it's bloody awful
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    Did Grade 5 violin today... got a horrible examiner
    He was really impatient and when I played a scale wrong he was quite rude to me! ugh. glad it's the last one I'll be doing haha, I was pretty nervous too, after failing my last exam by a mark...
    The rest of it went pretty well so I hope I've passed
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    I did grade 5 piano and completly failed! My nerves were horrendous! Sat down to do scales and my mind went blank, started crying for some reason (i blame nerves) and messed up the pieces and everything else. I don't know why i got so nervous that time, as i did grades 1-4 on piano before that and flute grades as well.

    Never again!
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    The exams are not that bad i have done 12 abrsm exams (on 2 different instruments) and passed them all . It depends on what mood the examier is. They are mainly really nice or you think they are nice untill you see the comments. The best thing is to just forget they are there and it is like your piano teacher or something that way you wont be so nervous if you seem confident the pieces generally sound better. Any other questions just ask
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    The first one's always a bit nerve-wracking, but the examiners are very friendly - our house has been used as an exam centre for two years, and we haven't had one nasty examiner come through the door. As for the exam format, you play three pieces that you have learned, the scales/arpeggios/exercises as shown in the pieces book, aural tests and sight-reading.

    The pieces and scales etc shouldn't be too much of a problem - they just take practice. The aural will need a little bit of help. Your teacher should cover it for you, but if not there's a website called hofnote which has the tests on the internet to help you. They're not difficult - again, just need a bit of practice. The sight-reading is fairly self-explanatory. In grade 5 I think they give you about 3/4 lines of music, and you have 30 secs to look over it before playing.

    Tips for sight-reading:
    1. Time signature
    2. Key signature
    3. Dynamics
    4. Rhythm

    Notes are important, but rhythm and carrying on if you go wrong are almost more important!

    Ok, so enjoy yourself. Results come 'within 6 weeks' according to AB, but they actually usually come within 2. Sorry for the essay, but I'm rather experienced in the art of ABRSM exams... xxx
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    I've done exams on piano, flute, violin and cornet; and have had a REALLY huge range of examiners! One of them even gave me one of his biscuits at the end of the exam (he was lovely), whereas the worst one replied to my "Good Morning" with "We haven't come to chat, warm up".

    But usually, they're okay :-)

    Play your pieces, followed by sight reading and scales, then some aural.. it's totally normal to be terrified, I still am and I've done 15 practical exams now! Just try your best to relax, and remember that the worst that could happen would be that you didn't pass.. and it really isn't as bad as you might think. Much easier to resit than A Levels, ha ha.
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    (Original post by Gemma :)!)
    IOne of them even gave me one of his biscuits at the end of the exam (he was lovely), whereas the worst one replied to my "Good Morning" with "We haven't come to chat, warm up".
    Ouch. I've never had one that bad...
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    (Original post by cchanuk)
    Ouch. I've never had one that bad...
    I was 6 at the time as well!!! I guess he'd had a bad day..
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    (Original post by Gemma :)!)
    I was 6 at the time as well!!! I guess he'd had a bad day..
    Eeeeeek... I've had examiners who are nice to you on the day and then give you really harsh marks, but that's pretty sick to be nasty to a 6-year-old! OOOoooh though we did have one at our house ('cause we're an exam centre) who gave people the wrong aural tests, and then had to recall them! :O
 
 
 
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