Category: Piano Performance

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Piano Diploma Exam (ATCL/dipABRSM)

Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for your piano diploma exam:

 

1. Read the Official Syllabus

Read the syllabus carefully: everything is written out very clearly in the syllabus provided by the music exam board you’re taking exam with, from the repertoire list, to time limit, writing format and word count. Go to the relevant link for your piano diploma:

ABRSM

Trinity College of Music

 

2. Choose a Well-balanced Program

It is advised to choose a program that includes pieces of not only from different musical periods but also varieties in musical styles and technical command. So think tempo contrast, different genres and structures (sonata/character piece/technical piece/fugue).

3. Show Your Strength and Hide Your Weakness

The recital program is for you to SHINE, to show your performance ability and musical understanding, rather than displaying your shortcomings in commanding a piece or two. Know your strength – usually your teacher (if you have one) would know quite well what that would be. Explore your ability and learn to perform pieces of higher level of difficulties is commendable, but knowing your limit is worth noting especially for exam purpose.

 

4. Combine Interest and Mastery in Your Exam Pieces

Choosing pieces you would like to learn is very important – but so is choosing pieces you CAN perform them technically and musically to the level of the diploma exam required. Do not choose pieces just because they are popular or technically demanding, but at the same time do not choose some music simply because they are obscure thinking the examiners have never heard and do not know how to mark them (think “new music”) – if that ever happens I suppose you as the candidate would not understand how to play it either! And don’t forget you have to talk about them if you’re taking any diploma exams with the ABRSM!

 

5. Understand the Difficulty when Preparing for a Diploma Exam

Preparing for a performance exam at a diploma level (whether ATCL/dipABRSM or higher) is a huge step up from grade 8 level – you have to not only learn how to play the piece but also really present the pieces at the performance level that a diploma requires. It’s a PERFORMANCE not just an exam.

Give time to prepare for it. Listen to a lot of performances, read a lot about the music, the history and the composer (you can find a lot of information online or at your local library). Find a great teacher to help you: even if it’s not regular lessons, take some lessons from a teacher or two to get advice and suggestions on your performance would really help you improve and be prepared for the exam.

Good luck to all of you who are preparing for your upcoming piano diploma. Enjoy the process and have fun with it!

 

Teresa Wong

Trinity College London- Music Diploma Updates (Performance Diploma Syllabus)

News: Trinity College London- Music Diplomas (Performance Diploma Syllabus)

The new 2019 Trinity Performance Diplomas syllabus will be published on 18 October 2018.

The new syllabus features the majority of the pieces from the current 2009-2018 syllabus*, which means candidates can continue to prepare for their examination whichever date they choose. We have also added a wealth of new pieces that we know candidates will want to play and teachers want to teach. In addition the new syllabus features revised written programme requirements at ATCL and LTCL levels, and updated assessment criteria providing more detailed guidance on how exams are marked. Performance requirements, including own-choice options, will remain largely unchanged. Further details about syllabus changes will be released soon.

The 2009-2018 syllabus will be extended until 31 July 2019. The new syllabus will be used from 1 August 2019 onwards.

Please note that there will be no overlap between syllabuses, so all exams from 1 August 2019 onwards will follow the 2019 syllabus.

*A small number of existing pieces from the 2009-2018 syllabus are being removed.

 

Words of Encouragement for You

I just want to write a quick note for all of you out there, who might be feeling a bit down or frustrated because you didn’t have the better result than you expected in your exam/concert/teaching/building your studio. Please read this:

You didn’t fail.

You tried your best and it wasn’t the result you wanted.

You can try again. But before you take that exam/performance/the next project, think about what went wrong.

Looking into yourself is very important, but most people don’t want to do it. Because it’s hard. It can be embarrassing to see why you made that mistake.

And, you are only human.

What you can do now is to think how to move forward and be better next time around. And to reach that goal you need a much better planning this time.

Because most likely, what didn’t work last time will not work next time either. And if you are just going to do the same thing again, you are simply setting yourself up for error and mistake one more time. Who does that? Some people do. You don’t want to be one of them.

Now, get up and tell yourself, you are setting up for success this time. And you are going to do your best you know how for it – this requires very careful and detailed planning and execution of what your plan is.

Stick with your plan is very important, second to having a great plan. But even if you have a great plan, if you don’t do what you plan to do, nothing will work for you, so remember that.

Great reward comes from great effort with persistence and time. Nothing substantial is achieved within a very short period of time. Teaching and playing is building knowledge, that’s very similar to building wealth, no one can do it in one day or even a year. It’s constant work and struggle. I have had my fair share of work and struggle. I get frustrated myself sometimes. But every time I get beat up by life and I get back up faster and faster. Because I know deep inside me there’s no point wasting more time on anything even slightly negative and unproductive, that is not contributing to my growth and success.

So here I encourage you to just step back, relax, take a deep breath, and get back up on your feet. I know you can do this and you have that power within you to make this work.

Stay motivated,
Teresa Wong

[:en]How to perfect your scales (Part II)[:]

[:en]<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/R7AdlDomDkA” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>[:]

[:en]One-off Piano Consultation Session[:zh]鋼琴資詢課堂[:]

[:en]Do you want to play scales faster? Do you have a problem with arpeggios? Are you preparing for your graded exam in April/May? Do you want some advice for your ATCL/DipABRSM exam preparation?

Now it’s the time to contact me!

I offer a one-off consultation session for any non-students of mine. So whether you are piano students preparing for your graded exam, or improve your basic piano skills, or you are piano teachers helping your students to be successful in their exams, I welcome you.

This service can be provided in person at my studio or via skype.

Contact me at twsomusic@gmail.com for scheduling and more details.

TW[:zh]你有否彈鋼琴上的問題呢?你想彈音階快和準確一點嗎?還是對琶音技巧有問題呢?或者你是預備四五月的鋼琴考試?你想有一些文憑考試上的指引?

現在是時候找我幫手啦!

我現在提供一次鋼琴資詢課堂。無論你是鋼琴學生需要預備考試,或者改善基本彈奏技巧,又或者是鋼琴老師需要幫助學生考取好的成績,我也歡迎你來跟我學習。現在就是時候聯絡我了!

歡迎直接和我聯絡。電郵地址是twsomusic@gmail.com.

黄穎妍[:]