Exam season is upon us, and it’s time to look for some efficient ways of preparing for your piano exam to make your practice session work a little harder. Once you’ve learned your pieces, it’s difficult to know how to practice. I have 2 students taking exams in a few weeks, so here are some reminders for them and for you!
When preparing for an exam or any performance, you need to keep practising slowly. In your exam, you will probably be nervous, and so you will play just a bit quicker. So, keep practicing slowly so your fingers have a little room to speed up.
Practice little and often.
It’s more effective to practice 3 times a day for 15 minutes than to practice an hour all at once. Why? Because your concentration begins to fade after about 15 minutes. So, why not sit down a little here and there instead of cramming everything into one session.
Practice individual difficult bars 3 times perfect.
Did you make a mistake? Go back and play that bar again slowly until you can play it three times perfectly. Then speed up until you can play it three times perfectly at normal speed. This is also a great way to learn a new song, one bar at a time.
Reward perfect runs.
I am a piano teacher. I also teach my children, which means I get to listen to them practice. Let me just say from experience that it is difficult to get them to practice effectively. So, yesterday I dumped a handful of chocolate chips on the side for my son. Every time he practiced a song perfectly, he could help himself to a chocolate chip. Bingo! All of a sudden he connected the above tips with instant gratification. My son has been practicing slowly and effectively for 2 days. One happy mama here!
I hope these tips are a help. Have fun practising and preparing for your piano exam!