Most of you will be performing in school concerts, our Summer Celebration Recital, and RCM exams over the next few months. Here are some tips on how to prepare so you do your best!
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Performing is STRESSFUL, so you need to know your music inside and out! Memorize if you can, at least the first few bars.
2. Practice in front of others! Play in front of your family and friends as often as possible. Use any opportunity you can: Skype, FaceTime and in person, at school, at home, at friends' and relatives' homes. They will love hearing you play, and you will gain useful performance experience.
3. Use your imagination! When you practice, imagine you are on the stage. Bow and smile before you play. IMAGINE others are listening to you and enjoying your music. IMAGINE they are clapping for you. At the end of practicing, bow again! Your imagination will help you prepare for the real thing.
4. Expect to have fun! Yes, you will be nervous. But sharing your music feels good! It's FUN! Little mistakes really don't matter -- most people don't even notice them. So get out there and enjoy yourself!
Congratulations! Your teacher has recommended that your child take a Royal Conservatory of Music exam. But is your family up for it? Here are a few thoughts before taking on this commitment.
1. RCM exams are a family affair. You are responsible for making sure that your child practices and prepares adequately for lessons, gets to lessons, and for registration and communication with the RCM office.
2. RCM exams cost money. Not only for registration, which is non-refundable, but also for books, accompanist's fees, and extra lessons before the exam.
3. RCM exam preparation is probably the biggest commitment your child has made thus far in life. This is no joke! RCM exams require a student to prepare and refine at least 20 minutes of difficult repertoire, much of it heard in concert halls played by professionals. The exams also require technically expert scales as well as ear-training, sight-reading, and memory work. Passing an exam takes time management skills that few children have developed. They rely on their family to teach them this on a day-to-day basis.
Are the exams worth it? Absolutely! Your child will develop perseverance, self-discipline, and a deep belief in their own ability to accomplish great things! As a family you will develop group time-management skills, discipline, and commitment to a common goal. This is empowering!
So take your time before committing to exams. Look at your family's schedule. Look at your own schedule. Check your finances, your own commitment to the process. Are you ready?
If you are, then take that step and watch you, your child, and your family grow in unexpected and exciting ways!