While this may not be the case in other cities or countries, a huge majority of the students who learn to play the piano in Singapore do so with the goal of taking the ABRSM piano examinations and acing them. Therefore, in this article, we will explore the key aspects of piano exam preparation in Singapore. Whether you are preparing for ABRSM, Trinity College London, or other piano exams in Singapore, proper preparation is essential for success.
Familiarize yourself with the requirements and syllabus
First and foremost, it is important to familiarize yourself with the exam requirements and syllabus. Each piano exam board has its own set of criteria, including specific repertoire selections, technical exercises, sight-reading and aural tests. Take the time to thoroughly understand these requirements and ensure that you choose appropriate pieces which best showcase your abilities and meet the specific criteria for your exam level.
Learning from a good teacher
Working with a qualified piano tutor is very important during your exam preparation process. A skilled piano teacher in Singapore can guide you through the exam syllabus, provide valuable feedback on your playing. They can also assist you in selecting suitable repertoire and provide guidance on interpretation and performance techniques on the piano. In fact, everyone who has scored excellent grades for their ABRSM exams and progressed quickly through the grades had a good tutor to guide them.
Have consistent practice sessions
Next, you want to create a consistent practice schedule that allows for regular, focused practice sessions. These sessions should be relatively short in time, so that you can perform it on a regular basis regardless of your school or work schedule. Aim for daily practice and allocate specific time for technical exercises, sight-reading, aural training, and practicing the exam pieces. Quality over quantity is important, so ensure that your practice sessions are focused, purposeful, and efficient.
Practice sight reading vigorously
Sight-reading and aural training are integral components of piano exams. Unfortunately, most Singaporeans perform poorly at the sight reading portion of the exams. Develop your sight-reading skills by regularly practicing new pieces from a variety of genres and difficulty levels. Focus on reading ahead, recognizing patterns, and maintaining a steady tempo. Aural training can be improved through activities such as identifying intervals, recognizing chord progressions, and developing a keen sense of rhythm and pitch.
Take mock exams
Taking mock exams is also a good idea. You can organize mock exams with your piano instructor or participate in recitals and competitions to gain performance experience. This will help you develop stage presence, manage nerves, and become comfortable with performing in front of others.