How to take the panic out of preparing for a music exam

Exams of any kind can be extremely nerve-wracking, but
music exams can take stress to a new level. This is because they usually
involve an element of performance, where you’re put on the spot in front of a
keenly observing examiner.

He already has a drum set and an electric guitar, is he going to want a #harp next!!! #music x

A photo posted by Karen (@missingsleep) on Mar 13, 2016 at 10:14am PDT

However, there are plenty of tactics you can employ
in order to prepare for your music exam without too much worry.


Trust in a good quality instrument

You only have one ally in the exam room and that is
your instrument. You may make an occasional mistake, but the last thing you
want is for the instrument to let you down. This is why it is crucial to invest
in the best quality instrument you can in advance of your exam, and get in some
solid practice on it. Find a quality purveyor that specialises in your
particular category of instrument. You can visit shops in person or make your
purchase online. For example, if you are looking for string instruments like
violins, violas or cellos, you can visit websites like Caswell’s Strings. It
also helps to have a spare set of strings handy in case the unmentionable
breakage happens – and make sure you know how to change a string!

Concentrating #guitar #learningtoplayguitar x

A photo posted by Karen (@missingsleep) on Jan 31, 2016 at 6:24am PST



Practice… in front of other people


It
simply can’t be stressed enough that practice is absolutely the best way to
prepare for a music exam. You need to know your chosen pieces, as well as
exactly what the examiner is marking you on, inside out. However, practice on
your own is not enough. It can really help to calm your nerves and get you
ready for the exam room if you can practice and perform in front of other people
too. 



Look after yourself

This means lots of sleep, a healthy diet and plenty
of exercise. A music exam can be far more physical than other types of exams,
so you need to make sure you’re healthy and alert in order to perform well. If
you stress too much and sleep too little, it could increase the risk that you
catch a cold or a virus. 

Arrive early

Along with getting lots of practice in the weeks
leading up to the exam, arriving early on the day is also a good way to calm
your nerves. It means you don’t have to stress about being late or finding the
venue and you’ll have lots of time to tune up. 

Keep your composure

If you make a mistake, move past it. If you’re not
feeling confident, put on a smile and try to convince yourself that you’re
confident. The key to success is to relax, keep your composure and believe in
yourself. 

These
tips should help you to get through your music exam unscathed. The very best of
luck!

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