Sunbury School of Music

Music Exams

Music exams are available through AMEB, ANZCA and ABRSM in a range of musical styles from classical to rock, whether it be piano or electric guitar. Exams encourage children to strive a bit harder, take their music to a higher level and then receive an enormous confidence boost and sense of achievement from their lessons. Exams also provide a sense of progress and include important technical work that might otherwise not receive enough attention during lessons. Music students who have taken exams also benefit when asked to speak in public and in sitting school exams. An exam also allows the student to play in front of an eminent expert who gives an independent assessment of their achievement.

If you are preparing for an exam, you dont have to improve everything at once, break the music development progress into a number of achievable steps with your teacher during your lessons.

  • 1. Start by getting the correct notes figured out.
  • 2. Correct rhythm comes next, check your crotchets, quavers and dotted notes to make sure they are all getting the right time.
  • 3. Next if you are learning piano make sure you have the right fingering, or picking and fingering for guitar.
  • 4. Articulations, the legato and staccato decorations to the music should bs added after that.
  • 5. Now correct the dynamics, the louds and softs
  • 6. Play slowly through the music all the way keeping in time with metronome, as slow as you like so that you get it all right
  • 7. Play gradually faster each time until up to correct speed with metronome.
  • 8. Make sure you know all the necessary theory of your music, all the italian terms and about the composer
  • 9. Give a little test performance in front of a friendly family member
  • 10. Do a mock exam with your teacher during a lesson.

Now you are ready for the real exam

Exams and Performances

  • 1. Have a checklist of your gear and music so that you have everything you need.
  • 2. Warm up beforehand (warmed up but not worn out).
  • 3. Breathe deeply and try to relax.
  • 4. Do not rush the music, when you are nervous you might speed up and make mistakes
  • 5. Keep going if you make a mistake, do not stop.
  • 6. Do not hide behind your music stand, you might have to lower it to let your examiner or audience see you.

It is also worth thinking about what the examiners look for, consider their point of view during your lessons with your teacher well before the exam. Some of these things are obvious, others are not. You certainly need more than just notes!

  • Technical ability: accuracy, skill, coordination and control.
  • Musicality: making notes into music through style, rhythm and dynamics
  • Performance: entertaining the examiner through the spirit and style of the music
  • Variety: chosing a variety of music as evidence of versatility and musical knowledge

If you are looking for lessons with a piano, guitar, singing, flute or saxophone teacher in Sunbury, please make an online enrolment enquiry.