First exam in 7 or 8 years

Posted by: Fordsnack

First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/18/13 02:55 PM

Im taking my grade 8 in march after not playing classical music for a fair while. I had done my grade 5 in 2005 and then I went to university to study guitar and contemporary music. Then a couple of years ago I landed myself a job teaching piano in schools and I thought it was about time I got my grade 8.
I am a little bit worried about the exam. I have never scraped more than a pass due to crippling nerves but I am feeling a little more confident this time round. I have never been as prepared as I am this time, but we shall see. Anyway, I thought I would post a video of one of my pieces Ive just recorded. What do you think, do I have a chance?!

Posted by: samasap

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/19/13 10:51 AM

Sounds like you have every chance of passing! Go for it! I know its really hard but try to switch of from the examiners and imagine you are playing to yourself!
Posted by: Fordsnack

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/19/13 04:39 PM

Thanks. Will see what I can do. That internal dialogue is not my friend!
Posted by: malkin

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/19/13 10:20 PM

Rewrite your internal dialogue!
Posted by: EdwardianPiano

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/20/13 12:57 PM

I like your playing- I wish you success in your exam.
Posted by: itsahobbie

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/20/13 02:48 PM

nice hat!!
Posted by: Fordsnack

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/20/13 07:49 PM

Thank you smile I shall try my best.
Ha it is a good hat, keeps my ears warm in this british winter!
Posted by: Okanagan Musician

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/20/13 10:45 PM

Good luck on the exam!

May I suggest reading the Inner Game of Music by Barry Green and W. Timothy Gallwey...it has some sound tips in there on how to maintain "relaxed concentration" in pressure situations.

If interested, it also contains a bit on why we as musicians struggle with nerves in the first place, and how the body is reacting - it makes it much easier to understand potential solutions when we fully understand the problem in the first place.

If not available in a bookstore in the UK (not sure, I'm in Canada) you can pick it up on Amazon.

Hope this helps.
Posted by: Fordsnack

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/21/13 02:39 PM

Thank you I will definitely check out that book. Sounds interesting
Posted by: EdwardianPiano

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/21/13 07:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Fordsnack
Thank you smile I shall try my best.
Ha it is a good hat, keeps my ears warm in this british winter!



Should have put my beanie on yesterday afternoon...my ears hurt!

Good luck with your exam!
Posted by: The Hound

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/24/13 10:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Okanagan Musician
Good luck on the exam!

May I suggest reading the Inner Game of Music by Barry Green and W. Timothy Gallwey...it has some sound tips in there on how to maintain "relaxed concentration" in pressure situations.

If interested, it also contains a bit on why we as musicians struggle with nerves in the first place, and how the body is reacting - it makes it much easier to understand potential solutions when we fully understand the problem in the first place.

If not available in a bookstore in the UK (not sure, I'm in Canada) you can pick it up on Amazon.

Hope this helps.


I've had this on my shelf for a few years (not sure how I got it), and thanks to your recommendation am probably going to start reading it pretty soon, pretty much for the same reasons as the OP.

Fordsnack, am I right in thinking you're going with Trinity Guildhall? My assumption is based on the fact that Fig Leaf Rag is on the list for their Grade 8 this year (I'm looking at them too).
Posted by: Fordsnack

Re: First exam in 7 or 8 years - 02/24/13 10:54 AM

Yes im going with Trinity. Firstly because I lost my grade 5 theory certificate when my parents moved house (although I have since retaken it) and secondly because there are a lot less scales than ABRSM however more variations such as staccato and crescendo diminuendo... Third reason was the pieces get changed less frequently, and I wasn't sure how long it would take me to learn the grade 8 stuff.
Theres quite a nice selection to choose from. The three I am doing you can see on my youtube channel in my signature.

Hmmm, something frustrating has happened. With 2 and a half weeks to go till my exam, I have started getting wrist pain! So needless to say I have been taking it easy and not playing the piano the last couple of days. Will make an app with the doc on monday... Anyway so far Im doing a good job of not panicking just yet...