It has been a pleasure to examine again in Hong Kong after
7 years, and my impression is that the standard of playing
has risen considerably. A few points may I hope contribute
to your success íV they are the result of my experience
as I travel round the world taking exam candidates.
In Grade Exams: DoníŽt forget that the
supporting tests after playing your pieces, account
for 40 percent of your marks. Good marks, or even the
exam itself are often lost through lack of preparation.
Scales must be practiced daily and
develop technique, fingerings, touch, tone, evenness,
and intonation in wind and strings instruments.
Sight Reading should be developed daily
for the skill of reading ahead of the fingers, training
the eyes and brain.
Vivo Voce & Performance from memory
íV be sure you understand all marks and directions in
your music and make their audible in your performance
even if you are doing the memory option íV your performance
will certainly be more effective and successful. Memory
must really be very secure - knowing your keys, modulations,
form and all details íV merely memorizing, automatically
by feel you let you down in different circumstances,
and playing a different piano.
Ear tests or Aural Awareness: DoníŽt
leave these to the last lessons before your exam. The
ear must be developed, it is the most important part
of a musicians equipment íV get someone to practise with
ATCL, Performers Certificate, Diplomas
Performance Certificate is an important and helpful
introduction to the diplomas, which demand a much greater
awareness of style. This requires a real performance
íV to give interest and pleasure to your hearers. Choice
of programme needs variety and contrast and this you
must express in your playing, with variety of tone and
dynamic and having done your research into your composers,
a varied sense of style. This of course is specially
important to research carefully if you are doing the
viva option. At home, practice walking in, sitting at
the instrument íV adjusting your music as tidily as you
can. Think about what you will wear and give the sort
of impression which would look good in a public performance.
Ms. Averil Carmalt December 2003