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The music exam support, questions and ahhh thread! watch

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    There's been quite a few threads asking for help on these recently so thought I'd try and get them all in one place

    When is everyone taking them them? Any tips you've found you can give to other people, from this or other exams? What instrument/grade/pieces are you doing?

    Good luck- I don't envy you at all! Plenty of those done in my time :lol:
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    Hey there . Wonderful thread. Piano. Probably take it in early 2018. 2017-2018 syllabus

    Grade 8
    Bach - Prelude and Fugue D minor from WTC 2
    Beethoven - Movement 1 of Piano Sonata in Fm
    Gershwin - Liza

    I've previously done Grade 3 in 2012 and Grade 5 in 2013. I did Grade 5 theory in 2013 and am working on harmony skills for Grade 8 theory atm. No idea when I'll do the Grade 8 theory exam.
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    There's been quite a few threads asking for help on these recently so thought I'd try and get them all in one place

    When is everyone taking them them? Any tips you've found you can give to other people, from this or other exams? What instrument/grade/pieces are you doing?

    Good luck- I don't envy you at all! Plenty of those done in my time :lol:
    10th December - Grade 6 Violin ABRSM
    Practise
    Learn your scales ! I have written each on a card and slurred or separate bowing on either side. I then have 2 pots. Into 1, I put the ones I know, into the other I put the ones I need to practise still! This really helps so I'd recommend it
    Metronome + peices so you play at the right speed :yep:
    And best of luck :grouphugs:
    We know you can do it :rave:
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    (Original post by Kvothe the Arcane)
    Hey there . Wonderful thread. Piano. Probably take it in early 2018. 2017-2018 syllabus

    Grade 8
    Bach - Prelude and Fugue D minor from WTC 2
    Beethoven - Movement 1 of Piano Sonata in Fm
    Gershwin - Liza

    I've previously done Grade 3 in 2012 and Grade 5 in 2013. I did Grade 5 theory in 2013 and am working on harmony skills for Grade 8 theory atm. No idea when I'll do the Grade 8 theory exam.
    They're hard pieces! You'll do them though, and got time I need to get into playing properly again outside of band rehearsals, and theory. Missing it all, not the exams though!


    (Original post by CheeseIsVeg)
    10th December - Grade 6 Violin ABRSM
    Practise
    Learn your scales ! I have written each on a card and slurred or separate bowing on either side. I then have 2 pots. Into 1, I put the ones I know, into the other I put the ones I need to practise still! This really helps so I'd recommend it
    Metronome + peices so you play at the right speed :yep:
    And best of luck :grouphugs:
    We know you can do it :rave:
    Violin, you're brave! But yeah I did the cards thing too, it helped a lot. I just wrote one scale on each and played it until I got it right then put it back in the bowl, and ticked off on a chart so I knew which I'd done more, same idea though Metronomes really help too, if only to stay at the same speed all the way through as it can be so easy to change.

    I'm not doing one, but you too! One month today :eek: (sorry :getmecoat: just proud of myself cus I actually know the date for once I think )
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    They're hard pieces! You'll do them though, and got time I need to get into playing properly again outside of band rehearsals, and theory. Missing it all, not the exams though!



    Violin, you're brave! But yeah I did the cards thing too, it helped a lot. I just wrote one scale on each and played it until I got it right then put it back in the bowl, and ticked off on a chart so I knew which I'd done more, same idea though Metronomes really help too, if only to stay at the same speed all the way through as it can be so easy to change.

    I'm not doing one, but you too! One month today :eek: (sorry :getmecoat: just proud of myself cus I actually know the date for once I think )
    :five: cool! Might try the chart!
    yep Although in one piece I have to do rubato so obviously I have to turn it off then
    :hide: Don't even have an accompanist yet
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    (Original post by CheeseIsVeg)
    :five: cool! Might try the chart!
    yep Although in one piece I have to do rubato so obviously I have to turn it off then
    :hide: Don't even have an accompanist yet
    Think it guilted me into doing them a bit when I saw it on the wall every time I walked into my room also found if I left my instruments out I tend to play more which is ridiculous but oh well, I'm lazy and yeah, I discovered that with cadenzas once :lol:

    Do you know anyone else that's done music exams that could put you in contact with one? Or does your teacher know someone? I just used the music teacher at school in the end for mine
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Think it guilted me into doing them a bit when I saw it on the wall every time I walked into my room also found if I left my instruments out I tend to play more which is ridiculous but oh well, I'm lazy and yeah, I discovered that with cadenzas once :lol:

    Do you know anyone else that's done music exams that could put you in contact with one? Or does your teacher know someone? I just used the music teacher at school in the end for mine
    My teacher is emailing me some
    When I'm downstairs I'll practise, (where my violin is kept) :five: so lazy :lol:
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    (Original post by CheeseIsVeg)
    My teacher is emailing me some
    When I'm downstairs I'll practise, (where my violin is kept) :five: so lazy :lol:
    That's good then! Glad I'm not the only one at least :lol: you'll be alright
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    That's good then! Glad I'm not the only one at least :lol: you'll be alright
    hahhaha :hugs: I hope so :hide:
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    Might well bite the bullet and take my Grade 8 Harp at some point, I just reaaaally don't want to ^^'

    The best advice I could give anyone is of course practise, but secondary to that, is to really feel the music you're playing. You'll enjoy it a lot more and that will definitely reflect in your playing. The syllabus pieces wouldn't have been selected if there wasn't at least some genius to them; if nothing else focus on the mastery of the composition to inspire you.

    As for nerves, it's entirely understandable - I'd recommend something akin to meditation, finding a way to zone out everyone and everything except the music. Focus on you and your instrument, be confident; if you think to yourself as if the examiners are audience to your expertise, you'll feel much better I've found.

    Realised this is an oldish thread, but the world can always have more advice for Music I'm sure.
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    (Original post by SkyRees)
    Might well bite the bullet and take my Grade 8 Harp at some point, I just reaaaally don't want to ^^'

    The best advice I could give anyone is of course practise, but secondary to that, is to really feel the music you're playing. You'll enjoy it a lot more and that will definitely reflect in your playing. The syllabus pieces wouldn't have been selected if there wasn't at least some genius to them; if nothing else focus on the mastery of the composition to inspire you.

    As for nerves, it's entirely understandable - I'd recommend something akin to meditation, finding a way to zone out everyone and everything except the music. Focus on you and your instrument, be confident; if you think to yourself as if the examiners are audience to your expertise, you'll feel much better I've found.

    Realised this is an oldish thread, but the world can always have more advice for Music I'm sure.
    Go for it! The harp is such a cool instrument, sounds so difficult though with all the pedals and stuff. When is it you'd do it! That's very good advice too- if you can even forget the examiner's there, it's just you and your accompaniest. And yeah, thread's not that old anyway and it's designed as an ongoing thing! Hopefully get some more people in here at some point
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    Ok Grade 8 ABRSM Piano (I just passed Grade 7 with a distinction )

    My pieces are
    A2
    B1
    C3
    I'm sorry i only remember the code, not the names

    My tip for Higher grades is AURAL AURAL AURAL. I have such a problem with sight singing, it did let me down in the exam (albeit me only doing maybe 1 or 2 lessons with my tutor) Also PLEASE practice staccato scales, they too are very important!
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    (Original post by teodor.dimitrov)
    Ok Grade 8 ABRSM Piano (I just passed Grade 7 with a distinction )

    My pieces are
    A2
    B1
    C3
    I'm sorry i only remember the code, not the names

    My tip for Higher grades is AURAL AURAL AURAL. I have such a problem with sight singing, it did let me down in the exam (albeit me only doing maybe 1 or 2 lessons with my tutor) Also PLEASE practice staccato scales, they too are very important!
    Distinction in grade 7 is amazing, well done you! I agree things like aural and scales can make a huge difference, particularly aiming for higher marks. Sightsinging, I find it comes fairly naturally to me but what I've found can help is to go through pieces you know and sing them out loud. Really focus on the intervals, key and relationships between the notes- you know what it should sound like, so you're doing it backwards effectively. Once you're getting better at this you can do it 'properly' and try singing new stuff (starting simple), then playing it, then singing again. Bit harder if you're on a transposing instrument but there's plenty of stuff online will do it for you. Hope that helps!


    On a more random note, mark252623 has written a really good guide to piano exams here https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4478890. Whatever your instrument, it's worth a look!

    People who have just had exams, how did they go?
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    Okay, so I'm not taking any exams at the moment but I have a junior RAM audition on violin soon. I've done quite a few exams though and now that I'm in full blown practice mode, here's a couple of tips:

    - Scales! Pick a few each day to start your practice. For grades 6/7/8 where there's normally lots of scales, I would choose a couple of keys a day and do all the scales/arpps/7ths etc from those keys. For the lower grades, do a few each time so that you end up doing all of them regularly. Then when it gets closer to the exam, write them all down and pick a few out of a hat or something - it gets you used to having scales chosen at random.

    - Ask your school music department or your instrumental teacher to test you on aurals. I cannot stress this enough for grade 8, the aural is HARD. It took me two terms of weekly practice to get 17/18, plus I had the huge advantage of having perfect pitch. There's a great set of apps for ABRSM called Auralbook, with a different app for each grade. You can do practices for each different part of the aural which I found quite useful.

    - Consider keeping a practice diary. I started one this month and it's helped me loads. I've gone from about 20-30 minutes on 3-5 days a week to an average of 41 minutes every day (except violin lesson days). It doesn't have to be much - mine normally looks something like: "11 mins A flat scales, 9 mins Bach Dm, 18 mins Bloch" or something small like that. It might not work for you. But I've found it really useful and I don't think I'm the only one who will.


    Good luck to anyone doing exams this term, I hope you do well!
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    (Original post by Violetmoon)
    Okay, so I'm not taking any exams at the moment but I have a junior RAM audition on violin soon. I've done quite a few exams though and now that I'm in full blown practice mode, here's a couple of tips:

    - Scales! Pick a few each day to start your practice. For grades 6/7/8 where there's normally lots of scales, I would choose a couple of keys a day and do all the scales/arpps/7ths etc from those keys. For the lower grades, do a few each time so that you end up doing all of them regularly. Then when it gets closer to the exam, write them all down and pick a few out of a hat or something - it gets you used to having scales chosen at random.

    - Ask your school music department or your instrumental teacher to test you on aurals. I cannot stress this enough for grade 8, the aural is HARD. It took me two terms of weekly practice to get 17/18, plus I had the huge advantage of having perfect pitch. There's a great set of apps for ABRSM called Auralbook, with a different app for each grade. You can do practices for each different part of the aural which I found quite useful.

    - Consider keeping a practice diary. I started one this month and it's helped me loads. I've gone from about 20-30 minutes on 3-5 days a week to an average of 41 minutes every day (except violin lesson days). It doesn't have to be much - mine normally looks something like: "11 mins A flat scales, 9 mins Bach Dm, 18 mins Bloch" or something small like that. It might not work for you. But I've found it really useful and I don't think I'm the only one who will.


    Good luck to anyone doing exams this term, I hope you do well!
    This advice is great, especially the aural test one! They came pretty naturally to me but a couple of extra goes through definitely helped. Good luck with the audition, you'll do great! :woo:

    No intention of any more exams any time soon, but I really need to get back into practicing again going to try picking up clarinet, need to get back into the habit of the others first though... One day :moon:


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    I didn't know this thread existed :shock:

    Grade 6 guitar = June/July

    Pièces:
    - Bourée (apparently this is the easiest in the book, but it's clearly my weakest )
    - Promise (love this :love: Drop down D tho which I'm hit and miss with and can't use a tuner in exam either
    - Tempo di Zamba (this one going well too :thumbsup:

    Doing technical exercises instead of scales, and then aural (the dreaded aural :eek4:) and sight reading

    I would give advice but I don't have any, i just go on there and go for it. However, don't be too hard on yourself, i was crying after my Grade 2 exam because I thought o messed up........ managed a merit which is my best reudlt
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    IKEAPanda37 how's the practice going? Anyone else taken/taking exams this time?
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    IKEAPanda37 how's the practice going? Anyone else taken/taking exams this time?
    Slowly getting there Its more a case of trying to speed the pieces and technical exercises up which I'm starting to do Compared to Grade 5, I feel more confident bc I can actually play the pieces (G5 was absolutely horrible and I still have no idea how I passed :dontknow:) Only issue = still can't walk my fingers
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    (Original post by IKEAPanda37)
    Slowly getting there Its more a case of trying to speed the pieces and technical exercises up which I'm starting to do Compared to Grade 5, I feel more confident bc I can actually play the pieces (G5 was absolutely horrible and I still have no idea how I passed :dontknow:) Only issue = still can't walk my fingers
    Good! That's good, just go little bit at a time and you'll do it yeah, remember being like that with one of my exams you have no idea what mental images i just got from that though what sort of stuff do you have to do for exams, and which board out of curiosity? Not familiar with guitar ones!
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Good! That's good, just go little bit at a time and you'll do it yeah, remember being like that with one of my exams you have no idea what mental images i just got from that though what sort of stuff do you have to do for exams, and which board out of curiosity? Not familiar with guitar ones!
    Thank you :hugs: Awww, music exams are just the worst tbh and the most nerve racking

    I'm with Trinity Basically, we have to perform 3 pieces, then there is a compulsory technical exercise that you have to do. You then either pick between scales (learnt by heart) or technical exercises (not learnt by heart) and obviously I picked the technical exercises And then I'm also doing sight reading and aural
 
 
 
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