Preparing Students for Exams

As music teachers, we want our students not just to learn their pieces but also to perform and pass if not ace their exams!

Preparing students for exams is actually an added service that we as teachers can give, if we know how. To tell you more about adding value to your music teaching business, feel free to connect with me as I offer coaching and online courses. I will give you trade secrets on how to make your music school a success as much as mine. You can choose from a variety of courses here. Most teachers can teach the technical part of playing their instrument(s) and some teach the theory of music but it is not a natural skill to teach the art of preparing for Performance exams. So here I will share to you some tips for those without the experience because after all, the success of our students is also our success as teachers. 

Tips for Preparing Students for Exams

1. Check the syllabus

Before we proceed to anything else, it is of utmost importance to ensure students have covered every area of the syllabus to avoid missing any components. Have a checklist on each part of the syllabus that both you and the student refer to weekly to ensure that they have learnt everything in a timely fashion. Technical work, Repertoire, Aural, Sight reading, General Knowledge, each of these ares should be made known to the student and have a system of marking the stages of progress – learning – in progress -mastered.

2. Make a schedule

Although you don’t know your exam date exactly when you enrol, you can usually guess an approximate date. From this it is useful to set a timeline of what needs to be covered and when it should be done.

Schedule when new technical work needs to be started and mastered, when to start the next piece of repertoire, when to finalise General Knowledge lists, sight reading and aural etc. and set a date for your mock exam.

3. Practice, practice, practice

For performance exams, provide your students with practice and progress charts that they can use during daily sessions at home. Encourage them to schedule practice at a regular times and days and to use their chart to monitor their achievements. This will help them feel and see their own progress. This is because the brain, ears, hands, and eyes would remember and learn better gradually than if it is crammed in just one or a few days or weeks.

4. Conduct mock exams

One of the best techniques to establish confidence directly prior to an exam is conducting mock exams. This will give them a feel of how it is like to be in the actual exam. Review centers normally do this for students who will undergo University entrance exams or State licensure exams. Have a run of at least one but possibly more mock exams for your students. You can use other local teachers as mock examiners and swap students! You can even give written comments and gradings after each mock exam.


So here we have the 4 basic exam tips you can give to your students as an added value service to them. You can also watch my monthly Music School Success TV for free.

If you feel the need for assistance particularly in this subject matter, let me personally mentor you in my coaching sessions so that you avoid the trial and error cycle that usually occurs in startup music teaching businesses or if you do feel you want to grow your business at a higher success rate.

Start by booking a FREE session with Wendy to discuss your specific goals and needs.

If you are keen to receive more free resources and help you can also subscribe to my newsletter / updates . You will receive there updates about the Music School Success TV (MSSTV), helpful blogs, promos, and discounts.

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Wendy Brentnall-Wood

Wendy Brentnall-Wood

I am passionate about encouraging and inspiring people to begin to experience the heart filling joy of making music in a simple, easy and systematic way, enabling them to enrich their lives and the lives of those around them.


Rhys Lett

Rhys is the director/owner of the Eastern Suburbs School of Music in Boronia and Carrum Downs, suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. He is also a guitar tutor and a music educator for 26 years. Rhys taught in a lot of different spaces, in private music schools, state primary school and as well with refugee

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Mat Creedon

Mat Creedon is a multi-Instrumental Teacher @ Mat Creedon School of Music. He has been teaching music for 30 years now. He also has a private studio in Balwyn North (Melbourne, Eastern Suburbs) and teaches total beginners, as well as intermediate & advanced students. Mat teach most instruments as well as some sound healing and meditation practices.

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