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Music Examinations Preparation

Top Tips From Professional Music Teachers

Pieces and Studies

~ Choose the pieces you really like with your teacher.

~ Practice slowly. Once you know the piece, practice it through without stopping, keep going and even if you make a mistake.

~ Tackle on short section you encounter with difficulties at a time with patience.

~ Practice with metronome, always work on a slower pace and gradually increase the tempo as you practiced on.

~ Prepare in good time – do not practice last minute before your exam. Practice regularly.

Suggested Books: Abrsm Exam Pieces Book  (Abrsm Publishing)

Grade 8 Piano Anthology (Edition Peters)

Josephine Koh Teachers’ Choice 2011-2012 (Wells Music Publishing)


Scales And Arpeggios

~ Practice daily as they are essential for building good technique.

~ Practice slowly with metronome.

Suggested Books: Piano Scales & Arpeggios (Abrsm)

Improve your scales! (Faber ff)

Hanon (Alfred / RhythmMp / Schirmer Performance Editions)

Czerny (Alfred / RhythmMp / Schirmer Performance Editions)



~ Keep going without stop is the key to a Pass

~ Watch out for the key and other details.

~ Do more

Suggested Books: Piano Specimen Sight Reading Tests (Abrsm)

Joining the Dots (Abrsm)

Sight Reading (Alfred)

Sight Reading For Today (Bosworth)

The Sight-Reading Sourcebook For Piano (Chester Music)

Right@Sight Piano (Edition Peters)

Improve Your Sight-reading! Piano (Faber ff)

Perfect Your Sight-reading! (Faber ff)

Piano Time Sight-Reading Book (Oxford)

Sight Reading for Young Pianists (Poco Studio)

Progressive Sight Reading Pre-Grade One (Simon Soh)



~ Listen to as much music as possible and attend live concerts whenever you can.

~Sing more or back to the tunes you have heard for the first time you on the Television or radio.

~ Join choir, band, chamber group or orchestra.

~ Read more books on the composers, their background, style and their work.

Suggested Books: (NEW) Specimen Aural Tests Grades (Abrsm)

Aural Training in Practice (Abrsm)

Ear Training Book (Alfred)

Prep Course For the Young Beginner Activity & Ear Training Book (Alfred)

Aural Time! (Bosworth)

Aural Test Survival Book (Edition Peters)

Improve your Aural ! (Faber ff)

ABC Of Aural Awareness (RhythmMp)


Other Advice From Professional Musicians

~ Practice separate hand at slow pace (be patient) , only speed up when you are “note perfect”

~ Practice everyday, of course. Everybody says “Practice make perfect!”

~ Concentrate and ignore any distractions

~ Warm up 10-15 mins before lesson, try to include scales, arpeggios, and sight reading each time you practise

~ Perform more often to family and friends, play with confidents.

~ Keep your instrument tuned and clean all the time

~ Ask if you do not understand, and jot it down

~ Listen to lots of music – pop, classical, jazz etc..

~Take good care of yourself by – eating a healthy, varied diet

– drink lots of water

– getting lots of sleep

– aiming for a good posture

– avoid real loud music that could damage your hearing

~ Enjoy and appreciate all kinds of music