Here are a few of our top tips for those preparing for ABRSM or Trinity exams - whether you're getting ready for grade 1 or grade 8!
1) Start early! There is nothing more stressful than last minute exam preparation – and it seldom gets good results! There is an old saying we like to quote: 'Don't practise until you get it right. Practise until you can't get it wrong'.
2) Build up your scales slowly and gradually, practise them every day and introduce a few new ones each week. Once they are in your fingertips it's important to rotate the scales in both separate and slurred versions to ensure familiarity.
3) Practise in front of your family and friends! This is so important on the run up to an exam and will help you get used to performing your exam material in public. In our experience family and friends are the toughest audience of all and this is a great way to work through exam nerves.
4) It doesn't matter if you make a mistake – continue playing to the very end of the piece even if something happens. Remember that you may not get marked down if you don't let it affect your performance.
5) Make sure you have at least a couple of sessions with your exam accompanist so you can become familiar with the piano part.
Finally...keep smiling and enjoy it!