Tips for Autumn ABRSM Exam Candidates (Session C)

Distinction, Grade 1
Distinction, Grade 1

Here are a few tips to help you on your way to exam success this term.

1) Wear gloves to keep your hands warm. If there is no warm-up room, ask your parent/guardian to test you on your key signatures for scales. Then look at your pieces and imagine you are playing them and hearing the tune in your head. Mimic playing on a desk in the room, or even your lap and press the notes as you would on a piano. Concert pianists rarely have the luxury of a warm-up piano as they will be spending most of their time travelling around to venues and stuck in a hotel room. They have to use the same methods to warm-up when there is no piano available.

2) Greet the examiner and look them in the eyes when you say hello to them. You will be amazed how many candidates shuffle into the room and stare at their feet. Making eye contact and saying hello makes all the difference and helps you feel confident.

3) The biggest tip for sight-reading is that you must always keep going. Never stop and never go back to correct a wrong note. Make sure you use your 30 seconds to check the key and time signature, and practise playing the first and last bar. If you do anything correctly, make sure you begin and end precisely.

4) Sing loudly – even if you hate singing! Don’t mumble or turn away from the examiner. A clear sound like “la” is better than humming. Also clap loudly and confidently when/if required.

5) Say thank you and goodbye on your way out.

6) Dress smartly – school uniform is fine. Don’t keep your coat on for the exam, ditto hoods and hats! Tie long hair back so your face is not obscured during the exam.

7) Take a big, deep breath before you go into the exam room. Enter the room with a big smile on your face.

Above all, remember the examiner wants you to pass. 

Wishing you the very best of luck for your exam!

Autumn Exam Entry for Piano Students

Here are the steps to make your exam entry for the Autumn ABRSM session.

1. Pass a Mock Exam by September 1st.
Book your mock exam, print out two mock exam sheets and bring all your books to your lesson.

2. Pay the Fee for Exam Entry
Upon successful completion of the mock exam, please bring the Exam Fee as CASH ONLY in a sealed envelope labelled as follows:

Your Name
Date of Birth
Choice of Exam Centre (see below)

Please ensure the envelope goes directly to Lorraine. The deadline for receipt of the fee is Friday 19 September. I will not chase you for exam fees so do make a note to pay this on time or your exam entry will not be processed and entry will be deferred to the next exam session in Easter 2015.

Click to View 2014 ABRSM Exam Fees
Click to View 2014 ABRSM Exam Fees

3. Choose Your Exam Centre:
Central London (Usually Portland Place, nearest tube Oxford Circus; grand piano; no parking available)
An Unspecified Local Exam Centre (Usually Stillness School – upright piano or Camberwell/Denmark Hill – grand piano: we cannot choose which centre is allocated as it varies each time and could be a different venue to the two listed).
Balham (Upright Piano; Private Residence; on-street parking available for a small fee; This exam will be on a set day from 17 – 22 November that cannot be changed so only pick this exam centre if you are available on any day within this range).

4. Await Confirmation of your Exam Date and Time.
These are allocated approximately two weeks before the exam date. Do not chase, I will issue these by email as soon as I receive them. If you require a change of exam date or time, call the Exam Board ASAP on 020 7636 5400 and make the necessary arrangements. The Exam will be some time within this range of dates: 3 November – 6 December.

5. Exam Results
Exam results take around 10 days to be issued. Do not chase, I will issue these by email as soon as I receive them. Certificates and mark sheets will be available to collect from Pellatt Road.


Session C Exam Entrants:

Safiya Grade 6
Hamish Grade 5
Seth Grade 4
Angelie, Theo, Steve Grade 3
Nicole Grade 2
Samson Grade 2 TBC
Gabrielle, Alexander, Amirah Grade 1

EPTA UK Workshop for Piano Teachers, November 23rd

EPTA London Regional Event for Piano Teachers
Open to all teachers, not just EPTA members.
Sunday 23 November, 9.45am to 5pm.
Cecil Sharp House, Regent’s Park

Topics Covered:

  • The new ABRSM syllabus including Alternative List pieces
  • Running an Effective Private Piano Teaching Practice
  • Q&A session focussing on Practising the Piano and methods to motivate your students
EPTA Workshop for Piano Teachers
EPTA Workshop for Piano Teachers – Click to book tickets online.


Online ticket booking now available:
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/277648
£47.50 / £40 (Early Bird, limited stock available).

A one day event for piano teachers with Tim Barratt and Graham Fitch. Pianists and students are welcome too. Please ensure you have emailed us once you have booked your ticket so that we can contact you to finalise arrangements and send you sheet music samples.

Email londonpianoevents@gmail.com once you have booked your ticket or for more information.

9.45am. Registration & Welcome.

A one day event for piano teachers with Tim Barratt and Graham Fitch. Pianists and students are welcome too. Please ensure you have emailed us once you have booked your ticket so that we can contact you to finalise arrangements and send you sheet music samples.

Email londonpianoevents@gmail.com

9.45am. Registration & Welcome.

Note on sessions 1 and 2: Participants are encouraged to prepare the pieces in advance and try out the piece (or small sections for longer pieces) with Tim and Graham for demonstration purposes. Please note it is not a Masterclass format where you will receive individual tuition on the piece.

1) Session with Tim Barratt focussing on the new ABRSM syllabus, Alternative List.
Pieces chosen (please note that not all may be covered due to time constraints)
Grade 1 – Lajos Papp: Waltz No. 5; Kevin Wooding: House on the Hill
Grade 2 – Garscia: Twisters, Mozart: Bird Catcher’s Song; Heather Hammond: On The Ball
Grade 3 – Kullak: Witches’ Dance; Torres: Aurora
Grade 4 – Bortkiewicz: Russian Peasant Girl; Bartok: Standing Still (Romanian Dance)

2) Session with Graham Fitch focussing on the new ABRSM syllabus, Alternative List.
Pieces chosen (please note that not all may be covered due to time constraints)
Grade 4 – Fuchs: Morgenlied
Grade 5 – Jensen: Lied (Song), Op. 33 No. 10
Grade 6 – Schumann Thema mit Variationen: 2nd movt from Sonata in G, Op. 118 No. 1
Grade 7 – Cui: Waltz, Op. 31 No. 2

3) Running an Effective Private Piano Teaching Practice
– Writing watertight Terms and Conditions for lessons. All teachers are invited to submit their Terms and Conditions at the time of registration so we can share these with the other participants if you agree to this. It would be useful to compare and contrast the varying terms that teachers offer. 
– Recruiting Students
– Consultation Lessons and Interviewing New Students
– Organising and maintaining a Waiting List 
– Having an Online Presence and Using Social Media.

4) Informal performance opportunity Teachers/pianists/students that wish to perform may bring along a short piece from the new ABRSM syllabus to play at the closing session of the day. There will be the chance during the day to practice in the break time.

Tea, coffee and biscuits included in event price but please bring your own lunch. The cafe may be available on-site but we will not know this until nearer the time of the event. We will inform all participants accordingly.

The event is sponsored by Casio and a range of their digital pianos will be available on the day. The venue also has an acoustic piano.


wpChatIcon