Instrumental Exams, hate them or luv em???

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Lil Miss, Nov 7, 2004.


Do you hate or luv instrumental exams????

  1. Hate them !!! ( very scary)

    10 vote(s)
  2. Luv them !! (they ain't that bad)

    8 vote(s)
  3. don't mind !!

    14 vote(s)
  4. don't care

    5 vote(s)
  1. Lil Miss

    Lil Miss Active Member

    has anyone got any good tips about exams on a cornet??...i'm doin grade 8 on wednesday!!!!!!
    i've been pretty worried about the aural part of the exam, well i'm pretty scared about the whole exam...... ahhhhh any tips on gettin calm b4 an exam, cause i get really really scared before one and then my playin is really shaky and horrible....:-( :-?
    I hate exams....

  2. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    The thing to remember about nerves, is that you can't get rid of them. You can reduce them, but never get rid of them.

    Personally I find my shoulders get very tense, so I concentrate on not being tense in my shoulders, and although I'm still nervous, I'm not thinking about the music (on auto-pilot by performance time anyway) and therefore my playing doesn't suffer as much.

    Another few things can only come from experience, like some people go sharp or flat when they're nervous, so if you know which you do, then you can use your tuning slide a little, or if you start relaxing after you've tuned, you know (generally) which way to move the slide.

    What always works for me is knowing that I can play the music (hence the auto-pilot thing above) before I go in, so for me the nerves are arbitary. The unfortunate problem with my approach is that if you can't, you don't! without a bit of luck anyway.

    good luck in your grades, I'm sure you'll be fine.
  3. Lil Miss

    Lil Miss Active Member

    thanks for the tips....I think i'm just a lil bit more nervous because i know i should hav put in more practise time, but it's been very busy this year for me..:-( ahhh well i'll feel much better when it's over.:-?
  4. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Just remember the old bloke making notes is not looking for you to play badly (he's not an adjudicator ;)) but rather he is there to help you progress. Often they'll try and be kinder if they can see that nerves are affecting you in your aural exam. Just remember that grade 8 is just one more small step in the quest for world domination... (at least that's how I saw it...)
  5. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    I hated grade exams - maybe because I didn't do a lot (6 I think in total over three instruments). You've just got to try and stay focussed and makes sure you are on top form (lots of practice) I managed to scrape a 102 out of my grade 8 trombone purely because I was a singer and got full marks on the oral.
  6. Big Twigge

    Big Twigge Active Member

    I hated them passionatly! I think my hatred arose from a particularily disasterous grade 2 piano (I got 100, so not a total rightoff). I couldn't understand the importance of scales (i kind of do now you'll be pleased to know) or aural. In the end I used to just play the pieces until they sounded ok and then move on to the next.
    Good Luck though, I'm sure you'll be great. As soon as you start playing I suspect all your nerves will vanish and you can impress him/her lots!
  7. Liz Courts

    Liz Courts Active Member

    I hate them!! I've never done one on the cornet before but I've done 6 on the piano! I get really nervous a my hands go all shakey and sweaty and slip off the keys when I play! It's a nightmare! The piano used for the exam is really weird too - very hard to bring out the dynamics!

    I'm going to be taking a cornet exam sometime next year and am not looking forward to it - I can't see myself being able to get a note out of the instrument when I'm that nervous! :( :( :(

    Good luck! :shock: :D ;)
  8. ComposerAndy

    ComposerAndy Member

    I didn't mind them, but didn't ever work hard enough for them and ended up getting through on sight-reading.
  9. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    i felt like that when i did my exam....but i got grade 8 with honours!

    if you look confident and go into the room thinking "i am going to get full marks" then you can't go wrong...any mistakes wont mater really if you have the right attitude, just try your best!
  10. ComposerAndy

    ComposerAndy Member

    Yeah confidence is the thing. There's a thing up at college that says wrong notes played timidly are mistakes, wrong notes played confidently are interpretation!
  11. stephen2001

    stephen2001 Member

    The important thing is to play your pieces well. If you can do that, then they normally choose the easier scales.
    Obviously, still learn scales like made on the off chance that things do go wrong (& i'm sure they won't! ;)).
    I did abysmally in aural, but still came out with a merit because the pieces had gone so well, and I was given the easier scales.

    Good luck!!
  12. six pints

    six pints Active Member

    and dont forget the great brass trick of just playing a scale that starts on a note somewhere near the one they asked for. i did that and he didnt notice :)

    GOOD LUCK!!!
  13. Lil Miss

    Lil Miss Active Member

    thanks everyone for ur kind words....i feel heaps better :) thankx!!!!
    ahhhh stupid aural exams, i hope i get a great examiner......
    i'll let u guys know as i soon as i get my results!!!!!!!!!!
  14. Sharpy

    Sharpy Member

    Try reading the Inner Game of Music. Ive read it loads of times and its a great help. Ive just done a Trombone exam for promotion at work and I really s@*t my pants!!!! I was drenched in sweat and so nervous I was nearly sick. I passed though which made it all worth it!! And some of the lads at work swear by Beta Blockers!!!!!!!! But if you know all your scales its easy marks for your exam and can compensate for maybe being weak at the Aural side of it, so learn your scales! :cool:
  15. Lil Miss

    Lil Miss Active Member

    I have learned my scales, thing is with A.M.E.B exams ( australian music examination board)
    they have 3 sets to choose from, for scales, set 1 , 2 or 3 and they break up the different scales into each set, so technically i don't need to know all my scales:D ( but i did learn them all......honestly......anywayz it's just aurals, and maybe general knowledge that i'll do bad at......i'm really scared....:-( :-?
  16. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    I managed to do that by mistake - I played a tone low as I was thinking in treble clef whereas the exam was concert (bass/tenor). All I got was "very nice, now please play the one I asked for!" - so you don't always get away with it :-o

    As to the exam: is it that critical to your life? Do you need to get it (to get into music college / get A level / whatever) ? If not, then treat it for what it is: a step in your hobby - do as well as you can whilst still enjoying it! Its "just another" performance, to an audience of one who happens to be choosey about what (s)he wants to hear...

    I only did one grade (VIII) and the only "helpful suggestion" I got was that if I didn't learn all my scales I'd not get a distinction (history knows the answer as to whether I did or not :) )

    Good luck, anyway...

  17. Bex_Euph

    Bex_Euph Member

    I absolutly hate exams so I can empathize with you.
    The best advice that I can give is to try and be confident and feel happy about all of the pieces you are playing.

    A wise person told me the other day "Brass playing is 90% in your head" Which is true, I am a very nervous player at the best of times and exams seem to make things a lot worse. I just try and pretend to be confident and seem it on the outside even if im terrified inside!!

    If you are worried about your aural could you get your music teacher to go through it with you? thats what i did with my exams.
    I nearly cried before my grade 8 cos i was so nervous!!! but i drew smiley faces on the top of all my pieces and wrote "dont worry" which may sound silly but it really helped me!!! Good Luck :) :) :)
  18. Lil Miss

    Lil Miss Active Member

    my teacher isn't a really good piano player ( he can play the basics) ummm.........i guess i'm gonna hav to wing it..really!!!!!!!!
    I'll try to relax but it's hard.
  19. IckleSop

    IckleSop Active Member

    i hate exams and at the age of 15 i decided not to do anymore because i hated scales and i couldnt stand the pieces, just depending if they are going to do you any favours in the future go for it
  20. T-Horn

    T-Horn Member

    Doesn't really bother me anymore. Once you have done a few of them it gets easier. all you can do is prepare. if you have done enough preparation then you should be fine.