Pass Your Piano Sight Reading Exam In Singapore – 3 Proven Tips

Are you struggling with sight reading and passing the sight reading segment of your ABRSM grades? The examiner may be relaxed at the lower grades, however, they can be very unforgiving when it comes to the higher ABRSM grades. Therefore, if you want to stand a higher chance to ace your sight reading segment of your piano exam, then read the following article.

If you are looking for a music teacher in Singapore instead, then check out Singapore Learn Piano. They are a pretty highly recommended online based agency which helps you find the ideal private home piano tutor in Singapore for students for free.

  1. When you are playing a sight reading piece for your ABRSM exam, look straight ahead at the piece. Do not look at the score and then down at your hands. When you practise this way, you are building a really good spatial awareness of your piano keyboard.
  2. Learn chord patterns. You want to really familiarize yourself with chord patterns. You will need to see entire chords chunked together as one. For instance, when you see the word ‘piano’, you certainly do not read it out nor think about it as ‘pi-e-a-no’. You simply think ‘piano’. This is similar to when it comes to reading notes for sight reading segment of your ABRSM exam.
  3. Play every chords slowly. Try to play each chord as slowly as you can, especially for difficult looking chords. What you are trying to achieve with this is to fully learn what these chords are all about so that you can get the correct muscle memory during practise session. This means that if you encounter a similar pattern in the actual sight reading exam, you will be able to recognize it and execute it easily.

5 Tips And Methods Of Practising To Ace Your ABRSM Piano Exam

Here are 5 methods and tips to help you better practise on your piano so that you can ace your ABRSM exams easier.

Tip 1: Practise your scales in random order

Many students tend to practise their scales in order, following the format of the official scales book. However, examiners tend to ask in random order and seldom follow the order. If you have only ever practised in order, it may not necessarily mean that you actually remember how to play all the scales if asked to play a particular one randomly. Therefore, during your piano practice sessions, you want to mix up the sequence and order of the scales.

Tip 2: Practise in awkward situations

When it comes to practising for your aural exam, you can even ask a friend or someone you will feel awkward singing in front of to be there. When it comes to the pieces, you can practise playing them at a public piano – these are commonly found in Singapore schools. This can make you intensely awkward and that is fantastic. When you feel awkward during your practice sessions, it desensitizes you. This means that during your exam, you will feel calm or rather – normal.

Tip 3: Focus on the pieces FIRST

If you have heard of the pareto principle, you will know the importance of practising extremely intensely on your pieces. This is because pieces take up a majority of your actual score in the ABRSM practical piano exams. Therefore, putting your effort and focus there first before other segments of the exam is key. You need to score in the pieces. If you score well here, you will be able to breeze through the exam.

Tip 4: Be a musician, not a technician

Many Singaporean students tend to practise and play the piano as though they are an engineer or technician. You are a musician. You need to be able to express the piano pieces effectively to be a true, high quality musician and pianist. Hitting the right keys and the right rhythm alone will get you a merit easily, but not a distinction. You need to truly bring the music to life. Express out the character of the songs. Therefore, it is important to pick piano pieces which you can feel for so that it will be easier for you to bring out the song’s soul.

Tip 5: Get more practice sessions with or without your piano teacher at the actual exam studio

This is extremely important because every piano can feel drastically different. If you noticed, the piano at the exam studios tend to have more slippery keys, and obviously the room temperature is very low. There may also be sound differences to your ear because of the room’s walls which are clearly different from that of any normal house, apartment or bungalow in Singapore. You may not be used to it if you only practise at the actual exam venue once or twice.

Although it costs money each time to rent the exam studio, it is money that is well worth spending. If you fail, or fail to get the results that you so badly desire, you will need to retake the exam which can take many more months or even a year later. You can see that there are only three ABRSM practical piano exam sessions per year in Singapore here. Do not waste that time, invest some money into more studio sessions to get used to the actual exam studio. This way, your chance of acing the ABRSM piano exam is significantly increased.

3 Piano ABRSM Exam Tips To Help You Score On Exam Day!

Everyone feels nervous for the piano ABRSM exams. Even when I was at grade 8, I was still nervous. I just learnt how to deal with the nerves very well. However, it is not just a matter of self persuasion. There are concrete tips to help you achieve that as well. Here are the best tips to help you score fantastically for your piano ABRSM exams!

First of all, always have a mock exam. There is no exception to this rule. You must have a mock exam. Other than just practising leisurely incessantly, you want to set up a mock exam with your teacher. A good piano teacher in Singapore will definitely carry out a few mock exam sessions with you throughout the year. The reason for doing this is to make yourself mentally prepared about what will happen on the actual day.

Second of all, you want to try to play in front of people other than your teacher or parents. Chances are, if you take home piano lessons, both your teacher and parents will be around all the time during the lessons. Therefore, you want to practise in front of people you are not familiar playing the piano in front of. For example, there are many schools in Singapore which has a public piano for use. You can even play your exam pieces there. It will feel awkward. That is the whole point of this tip. You want to feel as awkward as you can now, so that nothing will make you feel weird or out of place during the actual examination.

Third of all, always drink warm or hot drinks only before the examination. Do not drink cold drinks. Also, always wear a jacket and err on the side of keeping yourself too warm. The reason for this is because piano ABRSM exam rooms tend to be overly cold. This means that if you feel cold while playing the pieces, your fingers may tend to either freeze up or you might shiver – both of which will only affect your playing negatively. It will also affect your confidence. Additionally, if you feel cold and shiver, you may not sing as well during the aural exam too!