Singing is an art, and just like every other aspect art, it needs to be mastered. Good music is a series of sounds that is pleasant to the ears. However, several factors come to play for you to enjoy good music, which includes a good singing voice and the right instrument like the piano.
To help you learn better, you can enroll for any of the many online singing lessons available on Superprof. After a series of lessons, you can sit for any singing exam, and with the right preparation, get a good grade.
While you can take singing exams from anywhere you are in the world, especially when using a platform like Superprof, our focus here is on Canada. In this article, we shall be providing you with details on everything you need to know about singing exams in Canada. This includes the number of singing grades available, tips on getting good grades in your singing examination, and the best ways to prepare for the exams.
How Many Singing Grades Are There in Canada?
Eight singing grades in Canada make up the singing lessons for students that enroll for it. Each of these grades has been carefully designed to help singers grow through the singing ranks. At the lower grades, you will be exposed to the basics of singing as a beginner. At the higher grades, you will learn about the complexities involved in singing, especially how to train your vocal.
Every grade ends with an exam that qualifies you to progress to the next grade. The exams get more challenging as you advance through the grades. To better understand what to expect from each grade with regards to lessons and examination, let us discuss the singing grades.
- Grades 1 – 4
These grades focus on grooming novice singers. Lessons made available at these grades are basic and give new singers the formal training they need to advance to the other grades. While you can go through grades 1 to 4 in one sitting, you should brace up for the demands that come with it. The exams that qualify you to move through these grades are not as difficult as those of other grades but can get complicated.
Worthy of note is Grade 3, where candidates are expected to practice some songs by singing them for about six minutes against the four and five minutes expected of Grades 1 and 2 students, respectively.
- Grade 5
Grade 5 stands out because it is the line that differentiates those who want to remain novice singers from those who want to be professionals. The exams taken at the end of this grade is essential as it serves as a prerequisite if you are looking to advance your singing career. For many music schools in Canada, you must take the Grade 5 examination to qualify to take the Grade 8 exams. In this Grade, you will learn and be tested on singing's practical components, including understanding accompanied pieces, sight-reading, and taking oral tests.
Grade 5 ends with a music theory exam that tests your knowledge of what you learned from the grade and what you know from Grades 1 to 4.
- Grades 6 – 8
These grades are referred to as the higher levels, and they are more challenging than the other grades discussed above. Here, the primary focus is on the practical aspect of singing. At this stage, you are permitted to choose songs from five different lists against the three allowed in the other grades. While you will find these grades helpful in understanding how to sing like a professional, you must realize that the exams are always tricky. The technical elements of the exams will test your knowledge of harmonic vocabulary and modulation and how well you can combine melodies.
Is It Possible To Skip A Singing Grade?
The simple and straightforward answer to this is yes, it is possible to skip a singing grade. However, there are instances where skipping singing grades are acceptable, and there are instances where they are not. You have to understand that singing grades have been designed to help you progress through the learning process. So, as a novice singer ready to take up the challenge, you can take all the grades.
However, if you have some knowledge of singing, mostly its basics, you can skip the lower grade exams. Other instances where you can skip a singing grade include:
- When you are unable to register for the singing lessons on time.
- When you miss a deadline given for the lessons.
- When you have progressed beyond the requirements of the lower grades.
While you can skip any of the lower singing grades, including Grades 1 to 4, it is not advisable to skip Grades 5 to 8. Skipping the higher singing grades might limit your chances of registering for an undergraduate degree to study music in any university in Canada.
You should also note that while every higher grade is essential, the most important is Grade 5. You are advised not to skip Grade 5 because you will be tested on both music theory and the vital component of music education.
Skipping a singing grade can be good or bad depending on why and when you are doing so. To make the right decision on time, you should speak to your music teacher. You can also talk to other students who have taken similar online singing lessons and are ahead of you in their singing lessons.
How to Get Good Grades in Your Singing Exams
Considering that it is a music certification program, you must know how to get good grades. Getting a good grade in your singing exams means that you are getting a distinction. A distinction doesn’t happen by accident; you have to know how best to get it. Some of the ways to go about getting a good grade in your singing exams include:
- Practice very often
It is common to understand that the best way to get better at anything is by constant practice. The better you know how to sing, the better you will do in a singing exam. Do not just go through the grades and the many lessons it offers without putting into practice what you learned.
There are many questions you will need to provide answers to, especially in the higher grade exams, and they require a practical understanding of singing. With constant practice of the things you learned, you can make a distinction. Read more about singing grades.
- Know what you can improve on and work on it
As a student who is learning how to sing, play the piano, or improve on a voice selection with exams in sight, you have to know your strengths and weaknesses. You can identify the areas you have to improve upon in readiness for the exams. When you know what to improve on and how to do it, it is almost certain that you will pass the exam.
- Introduce yourself and the music of your choice calmly
Taking an examination is not always easy, and sometimes, it doesn’t matter how well you are prepared. However, if you want to get good grades in a practical exam against music theory exams, you must know the best way to present your singing skills to your examiner calmly. While you may not know it, presentation is key to making a distinction in a singing exam.
What Are The Best Ways To Prepare For A Singing Exam?
If you are about to take a singing exam in Canada, chances you want to discover the best ways to prepare for the exam. This applies to music theory exams, but it is much needed when it is a practical exam. See more exam preparation tips.
- Get a good night sleep before the exam day
Though not something many people talk about when preparing for a singing exam, a good night's sleep before the exam day is essential. It will help you relax your body, mind, and brain to be in a healthy mind frame the exam commences.
- Protect your voice
To protect your voice in readiness for a singing exam, you must watch what you eat and drink. If there would be a performance, then dietary considerations are necessary. Instead of taking foods that hinder good vocal performance, focus on eating healthy meals that will protect your voice. Also, make sure to drink a lot of water to keep you hydrated. Discover an easy way to pass singing exams.
- Be confident, but not over-confident
After you must have done all you need to do, which includes going through the syllabus for the music theory exams and warming up your voice for the practical, try and add some confidence.
Go into the exam, confident in your abilities and preparation. However, you need to understand that there is a difference between being confident and overconfident. While the former will help you do well in the exam, the latter can affect you negatively.
There are different stages for singing exams in Canada, which are classified into grades. These grades are available in eight different levels that address the learning needs of beginner singers and professionals. While you can skip the lower grades, it is important to know that Grade 5 is necessary. Learning how to sing in Canada comes as a music certification program. To be certified, you need to pass the examinations.
Superprof is an online platform that you can register with to take online singing lessons in preparation for singing exams in Canada.