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What is the best way to practise for your piano ABRSM examinations?
- You always want to ensure that you practise for 15 minutes per day on the piano. It could be scales, it could be a series of sight reading tests or it could even be your examination piano pieces. You want to make sure that you drill into yourself the habit of practising daily regardless of your schedule. Consistency is key to the rest of the following tips.
- Practise what you are good at first, before going on to the other aspects of the piano examinations which you are not so good at. For instance, if you are best at the first piano piece, then always practise that first. This goes in direct opposition to the common advice dished out by common folks. However, the reason for this is psychological. When you practise what you are good at first, not only does it mean that the chances of you scoring nearly perfect in that area is significantly increased, it sharply increases your level of confidence in improving your weak areas later on. If you started off with improving your weakest area during each practice session, you will end up dreading every practice session, and always think of what is next instead of focusing on the task at hand!
- Make yourself stressed during the piano practice sessions. A good piano teacher will always teach you to practise in this manner. Some people think that it is better to be relaxed and play without pressure. But the truth is, if you are in the examination room and you suddenly tense up mentally and physically on the exam date itself, you will not know how to cope with it. Instead, practise every session as though you are being judged constantly by a fierce pair of ears and eyes. Take every practice session very seriously, and you will be so relaxed during the actual ABRSM piano exams in Singapore and score better easily.
- Many Singaporean students score poorly in the aural segment, not because they are bad at singing, but because they are shy about singing out loud. Singapore has a conservative culture, and as a result of that, some Singaporean music students are afraid of singing out loud when it comes to the aural segment in fear of being laughed at. In fact, not being confident and singing softly will kill your exam scores. Just sing out loud as though you are at the karaoke session with your friends or colleagues and do your best to match the tonality and rhythm.