Passing your ABRSM piano exams on your first try and with distinctions is what every single music student in Singapore wants. Here are some tips to help you achieve that. If you are looking for a home piano teacher in Singapore, then click here instead.
First of all, you want to practise on your piano without using the pedals so that you can make sure that your finger playing is really connecting well. A lot of people depend too much on the pedals, and do not actually play the piano well. To the layman, it may all sound the same. However, for your piano exams and especially to a professional examiner, he or she will be able to easily spot such weaknesses which you are covering up. Therefore, always practise without using the pedals from time to time during your practice sessions.
Second of all, you want to play mentally. One of the best tricks to play the piano well and ace the ABRSM piano exams is to play the pieces away from the piano. This is because if you can conceptualise the music, the playing, the fingering, the pedal work and everything else without even moving your fingers and without looking at a keyboard, this means that you really know your scores. If you have your pieces and scales mastered to this level, you will be able to be very confident during your actual piano exam. Some people over-depend on muscle memory alone, and can run into trouble if they press one wrong key. Mishaps can happen to even the best concert pianists! But, if you can master your pieces and scales till this level for your exam, you are definitely at least the same level as professional pianists in this regard, and will be able to overcome any accidental mishits during your playing.
Third of all, before you even have your exam, make sure to play through your exams for your friends or family. Have the setting be comfortable but formal. For example, have your friends or family to sit next to you stoned-face and asking you to play. In fact, you can even ask them to be rude. When you are used to such harsh environments during your practice, nothing during the actual piano exam can throw you off your guard!
For more tips, make sure to refer to the following video which teaches you how to prepare for a piano exam!
Many Singaporean piano students lead a very busy and hectic lifestyle in Singapore. Whether you are a student or a working adult, you lead a busy life. Therefore, all the following tips are very easy to implement and specific to Singaporean pianists. The following tips will require minimal effort yet still help you become a master pianist!
First and foremost, get a piano teacher. The reason for this instead of trying to fully self learn is that you shortcut the learning curve. There is no doubt that you can master becoming a great pianist without a teacher. However, a teacher can help you navigate the difficulties and help you get there in less than half or even a quarter of the time! There are two ways you can get a piano teacher in Singapore. You can either go to a physical music school such as Yamaha or Cristofori or Lowrey or you can go to hire a private music teacher in Singapore from a piano teacher agency in Singapore such as SGLearnPiano or The Happy Pianist. With a piano teacher, you will need to experiment. The teacher will tell you exactly what to do and what not to do to become a great pianist.
Second of all, it is more important to practise consistently than it is to practise intensely each time. What I mean is that you should not overkill during your practice sessions. You do not want to get overly excited and perform 5 hour practice sessions daily because it is your school holiday now, and then be unable to keep to the exact same schedule once your school or work starts. It is more important to think long term and keep each practice session short. You want to keep the piano practice sessions short enough such that you can play it regardless of the day throughout the entire year in Singapore. Think about the typical busy periods of your life. If you are a student in Singapore, how much can you practise during your school exam periods of busy project periods? If you are a working adult in Singapore, how much can you practise on the piano during the work busy crunch periods of the year? Make sure that you account for the busiest days, and work backwards. You want to practise every day. Keep the amount of time you practise the same, even if it means that it will be only 10 or 20 minutes each day.
Thirdly, due to most Singaporeans staying in either a HDB flat, an executive condominium or a condominium in Singapore, you will always have neighbours all around you. This means that if you are always busy in the day until evening, and can only practise at night, it may not be considerate. You could try putting on the dampers at night, but you will not be able to catch your playing mistakes easily. Therefore, I strongly recommend that all students in Singapore to actually get a silent piano. A silent piano is basically a piano which allows you to practise or play on it and listening to the actual musical tunes that comes from your playing directly through a earphone or headphone. This is ideal for learning and practising the piano in Singapore for local Singaporeans with our busy lifestyles.
So there you go, the above are three of my very best tips for helping Singaporean pianists become great ones. What do you think of the above tips? Let me know in the comment section below!
Also, make sure to share this post with your other pianist friends if you found this post useful!