Everyone who has gotten a distinction in a singing exam have done so because they prepared for the exams. On the contrary, not being fully prepared is responsible for why many people have failed the exams. Learn about the various singing grades in Canada.
First of all, it is essential to state that taking a singing grades exam is not compulsory for everyone. You can take online singing lessons without taking the singing grade exams that accompany them. Just desiring to improve on your voice, singing performance, or overall ability to play the piano might be reasons why you take online singing lessons in the first place.
If any of these is why you are taking singing lessons, you may not have to take the examination. If you are looking to go through a music certification program, then the exam becomes compulsory. If the exam is a must-take for you, then preparation is essential.
Steps to Get a Distinction in Singing Exams
Here, we shall be examining the best ways to prepare for a singing exam to make a distinction in it.
Identify Your Flaws and Work On Them
Preparing for any examination always starts with the candidate that is taking the exam. While several external factors must be considered to attain success in your singing tests, the first step is to work on yourself.
Working on yourself in preparation for an exam starts with you identifying your flaws. Not so many people want to admit that they have a flaw, and this ends up causing many people not to perform well when they take singing tests. From previous practice on the five parts being tested, you should identify the areas that need improvement.
To effectively identify and address these flaws, you may need to outline them one after the other. This way, it becomes easy for you to pick one and address it per time. Please do not rush to handle all the flaws at a time, as you may not get the desired results.
While working on the shortcomings you have identified, create a system that allows you to measure improvement. If you can identify possible flaws and work on them, you can prepare yourself for the next phase of preparing for a singing exam, which is planning a strategy.
Plan Your Strategy
A strategy that works for one candidate in an exam may not work for you. This, perhaps, is why many of the boards that prepare and grade this examination always measure a candidate's performance based on specific standards. For singing grades exam, you do not have to focus on doing well than others. Instead, your focus should be on understanding the syllabus, the laid down criteria for assessment, and designing a strategy that works for you.
In planning a strategy, you have to make some primary considerations. The most important of these considerations is your mode of learning. How best do you learn while preparing for an exam? What materials do you understand best, and what time of the day do you like to study best?
All of these will help you to design a learning model that plays to your strength. Another consideration to make is how well you understand the examiner. The best way to plan a strategy when preparing for a music theory exam is to understand the examiner. That way, you can know their expectations as a candidate and meet them accordingly.
Study for the Exam
Identifying your flaws, addressing them, planning a strategy are reasonable steps to follow in preparation for a singing exam. Still, these are not enough to guarantee success if you do not study. The best guarantee you have that you will pass any singing exam is when you study hard for it.
There are several ways to study, and you should always choose the method that works best for you per time. Studying for exams goes beyond reading for it. Instead, it entails the whole process of reading and understanding the basics of the lessons.
The more you study for an exam, the higher your chances of making a distinction in it. When studying, pay attention to the syllabus – theory and the practical. You may need to continually practice by singing the song for the practical, working on your voice tone, strength, and other elements considered by the examiner.
Follow These Singing Exam Best Practices
Asides from the steps that have been discussed above to help you prepare for a singing exam, there are some best practices that you must know. These practices complement what has been discussed above, and they can help you be at your best while going into the exam.
- Prepare the night before the test
Preparing a night before the test can help save you all the stress and rush ups that on the test day. The things to get together the night before the exam include props and costumes that you might need if you will have to put up a performance. It is also best for you to gather up all the materials required if it is music theory exams. Preparing a night before the test is the best way to go into the exams with a clear head and a clear mind.
- Arrive early to the test venue
You don't want to get to the test venue a minute when you will be called in for the test. This can affect your composure and overall delivery. To avoid this, make sure you arrive at the venue at least thirty minutes before the exam commences. By doing this, you will prepare yourself mentally and avoid tension.
- Go with a bottle of water
Though not a much-talked tip, going with a water bottle can be very helpful. As much as you are prepared mentally, it would be best if you also were prepared physically. With a bottle of water, you can keep your body hydrated.
- Don't appear ruffled and wear a smile
Your examiner immediately starts examining you the moment you walk in. To avoid being interrogated with questions that will alter your composure, you should appear well dressed and wear a smile throughout the test. With this, you can appear to the examiner as confident in your abilities and ready to deliver maximally.
- Be patient and enduring
Singing exam is more like an audition than it is a performance. Just like every audition, you should expect some starts and stops. While this can be a bit challenging for your composure, you need to be patient and enduring. It is okay to be nervous when asked some questions, but don't rush, stay calm, and try to answer the questions in the best possible way.
Exam Preparation Mistakes To Avoid
Knowing exam preparation mistakes to avoid is as good as knowing the best practices to pass a singing test. While the effect these mistakes have on candidates may differ from one candidate to another, it is always best to avoid them as much as you can. So, what are the common singing examination mistakes to avoid?
- Not studying with a strategy
One common mistake that many students make is studying without a strategy. If you want to distinguish yourself in your singing grade exam, you must have a study strategy that works for you. Create a student study strategy based on the syllabus of the singing lessons that you are taking. A strategy helps to keep you in check and makes you accountable through the studying process.
- Not taking breaks
Studying for long without taking breaks in-between is an exam preparation mistake that you must avoid. When creating a strategy, leave room for break to help you relax your body, mind, and voice. Calculated intervals when preparing for an exam will help any student make a distinction in the test.
- Leaving preparation till the last minute
It doesn't matter how good you think you are; leaving preparation till the last minute is a mistake you should avoid. The rush that comes with last-minute preparation can cause you to skip or forget some vital things you learnt. The last-minute should be for perfecting what you have learned over time. Students who leave preparation till the last minute may end up with poor performance, especially in music theory exams.
- Straining your voice
In whatever you do, while preparing for a musical performance, avoid straining your voice. If there is anything you should work on going into a practical music test, it should preserve your voice and prevent any possible strain. Remember that your voice's quality is one of the significant factors that is considered when grading you.
If you are running a music certification program in Canada and you are preparing to take a singing exam, this article has provided you with everything you need to know. Making a distinction in a singing grade exam is what many candidates look forward to. By following the suggestions in this guide, you can take the test, and make a distinction in it. See whether you can skip a singing grade.
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