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When are you taking your exam, Lisa?


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
When are you taking your exam, Lisa?
I’m shooting for theory in June; practical before the end of summer, it depends on how ready I am. It’s my first exam ever! 😱

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Ahh ok, so the August exam before the new syllabus goes into effect? You'll do great!


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Ahh ok, so the August exam before the new syllabus goes into effect? You'll do great!
I'll be doing the practical remotely, so apparently you can schedule them year-round, which is very convenient. smile

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anyone ever start getting worse at the pieces as the exam gets closer?? sick

I'm 1 month out from exam day, and I seem to be makign really dumb errors, which I was not making before. not sure if its due to:

  • I made the error ONCE and now its on my mind and Im' pscyching myself out every time that part comes
  • these pieces are super easy, so Im not really "trying", playing all by muscle memory
  • I learned these pieces originally over a year ago, then forgot them as they cancelled exams... and now re-learned them VERY quickly (which was surprising to me). I didn't have to look at the sheet music that much to re-learn them... it was more like muscle memory coming back from a year ago


I have a strong feeling its becuase I forgot these pieces from long ago, and re-learned them quickly via muscle memory. but still I'm getting really surprised at the stupid errors that are coming. really silly stuff. and then I keep thinking about them lol...


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Originally Posted by JosephW
I learned these pieces originally over a year ago, then forgot them as they cancelled exams... and now re-learned them VERY quickly (which was surprising to me). I didn't have to look at the sheet music that much to re-learn them... it was more like muscle memory coming back from a year ago

I have a strong feeling its becuase I forgot these pieces from long ago, and re-learned them quickly via muscle memory. but still I'm getting really surprised at the stupid errors that are coming. really silly stuff. and then I keep thinking about them lol...

Hi Joseph, I think that your analysis is quite right. I think that the errors are an inevitable part of the relearning process. So every time you make a stupid error, there is a part of your brain that doesn't know how to play these particular notes well enough yet. Instead of thinking, such a stupid error, I know how to play these notes, you'll need to practise those notes slowly and deliberately, so all parts of your brain re-learn how to play them.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Originally Posted by JosephW
anyone ever start getting worse at the pieces as the exam gets closer?? sick

I'm 1 month out from exam day, and I seem to be makign really dumb errors, which I was not making before. not sure if its due to:

  • I made the error ONCE and now its on my mind and Im' pscyching myself out every time that part comes
  • these pieces are super easy, so Im not really "trying", playing all by muscle memory
  • I learned these pieces originally over a year ago, then forgot them as they cancelled exams... and now re-learned them VERY quickly (which was surprising to me). I didn't have to look at the sheet music that much to re-learn them... it was more like muscle memory coming back from a year ago


I have a strong feeling its becuase I forgot these pieces from long ago, and re-learned them quickly via muscle memory. but still I'm getting really surprised at the stupid errors that are coming. really silly stuff. and then I keep thinking about them lol...



the best solution I have found is to slow the piece(s) down to a point where you need to concentrate on reading the score, rather than rely on pure muscle memory. I do this for several days in a row to re-cement the piece in my mind before bringing the piece back up to speed.

Memory slips are an uncomfortable reality in performance for many of us. If you cannot play through your mistake, make sure you have some emergency start points throughout the score where you can easily pick the piece back up.


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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slow practice on these is a great idea, I will do that, thank you both.


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It looks like musicbookplus have the new RCM books for those interested.
I ordered one yesterday.
They either ship from Canada or USA, depending on where you live.

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Originally Posted by ~~Handel~~
It looks like musicbookplus have the new RCM books for those interested.
I ordered one yesterday.
They either ship from Canada or USA, depending on where you live.

And if you are a teacher (or RCM teacher), you can get the entire deck for free! That's what I saw on the Music Teachers FB group.


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Oh cool!

I forgot to mention, the lady on the phone gave me a code that took 20% off.

Can you link the Facebook group?

Last edited by ~~Handel~~; 04/30/22 02:20 PM.
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  • switched from ABRSM Practical to ABRSM Performance
  • just did the recording for ABRSM Grade 1, and submitted
  • recording all 4 pieces in one is more challenging than I thought it be lol


first attempt - Made it through the whole program, but had 2 tiny errors / sloppy notes. was very smooth overall, no bad nerves or anything going on. confidently said "Ah I'll just record it again!"

2nd attempt - made it all the way to the end nicely, and then messed up blatantly on the last piece almost towards the end of it. GRR mad

Ok after that is when the errors really started flowing it seemed lol. every recording had some dumb error, missed note, blanking out, thinking too much, etc. nerves were definitely building up, started getting hot. could feel sweat effecting the fingertip feel on the keys... shiiiit.

finally got a clean recording on attempt #9. it was a real nice one, and have successfully submitted it. I just signed up for the exam today (BEFORE recording, won't do that again I don't think), and it was is due in 3 days on 5/19. they say you get the results back within 1 week of the due date, so sounds like 1.5 weeks till I get the result which would be sweet cool

Programme, btw:

The Detective
Gavotte in C
Down by the Salley Gardens
After the Ball (Op 98 no 13, Gretchaninov)

After The Ball was the "choice" piece, which is from RCM Level 3.

these pieces were all super easy... so I can now imagine people trying to record 4 challenging pieces in one take. yowch cry


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Originally Posted by JosephW
these pieces were all super easy... so I can now imagine people trying to record 4 challenging pieces in one take. yowch cry

congratulations on getting through your performance exam. I can attest it is very hard to capture four pieces (five in my case) as a continuous performance, so kudos to you.


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Well done JosephW. Check out ABRSM facebook page, there are monthly webinar on performance exam. The latest one is very useful.

Results will come in about 3 days after the ‘exam’ date you booked.

Ya, my personal experience, I had a few takes to get a good one without all the urban noises of jungle living.

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I've become vaguely inspired to pick up the RCM exams where I left off a few years ago. I completed level 6 in theory and performance but was underwhelmed with my score...passing but not with merit. LOL. So...I've been enjoying playing pieces new and old from levels 6-9 and performing monthly in two groups (one is a zoom group). I've pulled out the RCM theory book and feel like I'm starting over. Any advice to speeding up my interaction with all the spelling out of the scales and transposing and naming and identifying intervals by sound. It's feeling a bit tedious today working through level 6 as a refresher.


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Originally Posted by JosephW
  • switched from ABRSM Practical to ABRSM Performance
  • just did the recording for ABRSM Grade 1, and submitted
  • recording all 4 pieces in one is more challenging than I thought it be lol


first attempt - Made it through the whole program, but had 2 tiny errors / sloppy notes. was very smooth overall, no bad nerves or anything going on. confidently said "Ah I'll just record it again!"

2nd attempt - made it all the way to the end nicely, and then messed up blatantly on the last piece almost towards the end of it. GRR mad

Ok after that is when the errors really started flowing it seemed lol. every recording had some dumb error, missed note, blanking out, thinking too much, etc. nerves were definitely building up, started getting hot. could feel sweat effecting the fingertip feel on the keys... shiiiit.

finally got a clean recording on attempt #9. it was a real nice one, and have successfully submitted it. I just signed up for the exam today (BEFORE recording, won't do that again I don't think), and it was is due in 3 days on 5/19. they say you get the results back within 1 week of the due date, so sounds like 1.5 weeks till I get the result which would be sweet cool

Programme, btw:

The Detective
Gavotte in C
Down by the Salley Gardens
After the Ball (Op 98 no 13, Gretchaninov)

After The Ball was the "choice" piece, which is from RCM Level 3.

these pieces were all super easy... so I can now imagine people trying to record 4 challenging pieces in one take. yowch cry

exam results back 3 days after "due date" of exam, right on the dot. got a 135 Distinction, yay

26/30 - The Detective
27/30 - Gavotte in C
28/30 - Down by the Salley Gardens
26/30 - After the Ball (Op 98 no 13, Gretchaninov)
28/30 - "Performance as a whole"
135/150

I'll take it!!!!! grin


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Originally Posted by JosephW
exam results back 3 days after "due date" of exam, right on the dot. got a 135 Distinction, yay



I'll take it!!!!! grin

congratulations. Every exam is tough no matter the level, and a distinction is such a great motivator as well. You should be proud of yourself.


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Very well done! Upward and onward 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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thank you both. yes very pleased! yes exactly, motivation, upward and onward. started Grade 2 exam pieces which fit in nicely right now exactly. Lets goooooo cool


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Congrats!! What great exam scores 😊


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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