ExamsAs every musician knows, learning to play a musical instrument is both hard work and immensely rewarding. Satisfaction, and the celebration of hard-won progress, can take many forms. It has always been my belief that people should be free to engage with the piano in whatever way they prefer. As such, around half of those I teach choose to take exams and the rest learn purely for pleasure.
Exams are, as much as anything, a question of personality, and suit some learners better than others. Some are entirely self-motivated and, driven by the pieces they want to play, work hard to achieve the goals they set themselves. Others prefer a more specific goal to work towards, with an independent assessment of their progress and demonstrable proof that they have reached a recognised level of playing.
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music is the world's leading music examining board, and over 600,000 candidates (of all ages!) take their exams each year. If you think you might enjoy the challenge of an exam and want to learn more, former Chief Examiner Clara Taylor has written an excellent guide entitled 'These Music Exams'. It tells you everything you could possibly want to know before, during and after your exam. You can download a copy here.