Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Q1. What age range do you teach?

Reshmi teaches both children and adults. The age restriction for children is currently 7 years old and above.

Q2. What if I've already learnt from another teacher?

That’s totally fine! We have a variety of students come and learn from other teachers as well as having complete beginners.

Q3. What is ABRSM?

ABRSM is an internationally recognised and very successful exam board. They are able to carry out exams in exam centres all around the world which music teachers and parents are able to enter them for. For each instrument this exam board works from Grades 1 up to Grade 8 as well as working with students preparing for their Diplomas, Jazz Exams and Music Medal Exams. As the grades go up, the difficulty and the requirements of the exam increases but the main structure of the exam stays the same. The students have to play a series of scales and arpeggios, three pieces, sight-reading and answer questions through a series of aural tests. Each music exam is scored out of 150 marks. Marks scored below 100 mark are a fail, 100-119 marks are a pass, 120-129 marks is a merit and 130-150 marks is a distinction.

The exam content can be see using the link below:

https://gb.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/piano

https://us.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/music-theory-exams/

The marking scheme can be seen using the link below:

https://gb.abrsm.org/en/exam-support/your-guide-to-abrsm-exams/how-we-mark-exams/#

Q4. Which exam board do you use?

Reshmi teaches and prepares students for exams with the Associated Board of Royals Schools of Music (ABRSM). Although there are a variety of exam boards out there this is one that is the most beneficial to the students as it is an exam board that is recognised internationally. This exam board allows students to gain credits which can be contributed to their UCAS points when applying for forms of Higher Education. Also, for both students and and adults, they are able to to add this to both their CV (professional development) and their skill set (personal development).

Q5. Do you take the exams?

Reshmi is eligible to become an ABRSM examiner however, she cannot be both a teacher and an examiner for the same exam board as this can be seen as cheating. Reshmi enters each student for the exams once she has prepared them and the student/parent feels ready to be entered. Reshmi uses a bespoke exam pack which she creates for each student in order to focus on:

1. Getting the content completed in time for their exam

2. Carrying out mock tests

3. Working on the students individual weaknesses.

Q6. How much do the exams cost?

The cost of the exam is dependent of the grade rather than the instrument. The cost of each exam can be seen using the link below:

https://gb.abrsm.org/en/exam-booking/exam-dates-and-fees/

Q7. When do the exams take place?

The Practical Music Exams take place three times per year. For the UK these are as follows:

  1. January to March

  2. April to June

  3. October to December

The Music Theory Exams also take place three times per year. For the UK these are as follows:

  1. March

  2. June

  3. November

Q8. What is music theory and why do students usually sit these exams too?

Music theory is developing musical literacy which is a key aspect when finding the relation between written symbols and the elements of music.

In addition to this, one will develop skills which they can then interpret and translate into sounds which empowers us to communicate and experience music in a meaningful way.

In order for students to enter Grade 6 Practical Music Exams of any instrument they must have at least passed their Grade 5 Music Theory Exam. Reshmi includes music theory in each piano lesson to ensure the general musical knowledge of the students improves as their playing improves.

The exam content for this can be seen using the link below:

https://us.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/music-theory-exams/

Q9. What experience do you have with teaching and ABRSM exams?

Reshmi has been teaching the piano and music theory since July 2017 and has so far entered almost a dozen students for music exams, so far achieving a 97% pass rate. After each exam Reshmi and her teacher, Sebastian Stanley (an International Concert Pianist, former ABRSM Examiner, Accompanist and Teacher who is currently one of the greatest pianists in England) go through the comments and identify how each exam student and non-exam students can improve and how Reshmi can effectively demonstrate the necessary techniques for the students to set them up for long-term success. Reshmi herself has completed Grades 1-6 in the Piano, Grades 1-8 in the Trumpet and Grade 5 Music Theory with ABRSM. Currently, Reshmi is working on her Grade 8 Piano and Grades 6-8 Music Theory. Furthermore, she has worked with several other music teachers, conductors, artists and professionals who have mentored her to gain a greater understanding of music.

Q10. Where is the best place for me to buy the exam books?

Amazon or Ebay as you can get the same books at a lower price compared to the standard music shops!

Q11. Where would you recommend purchasing a piano or keyboard?

I would recommend any standard sized piano or keyboard with 88 keys in the ‘P’ or ‘B’ range. The best brands are Yamaha, Kawai and Roland. The best places to buy these are: www.gear4music.com and www.normans.co.uk as they come with guarantees and communicate well if anything goes wrong during the delivery or after purchase. An example of what you could buy is: Yamaha P115 Keyboard with 88 keys from Gear4Music.

Q12. What would be your top exam / performance tips?

1. Keeping healthy

In the run-up to the performance, eating and resting properly are essential. If a performer is tired and run down they will start to doubt their abilities which can lead to excess nervousness.

2. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Ensure that you have arranged transport in advance and ensure you reach there 15 minutes before you are due to begin. This allows you to have extra time to sign in and stay calm before your exam/performance begins.

3. Visualise success

This is something top athletes and musicians do before taking part in competitions and is a powerful way to focus the mind! These are also emotions you can replicate during your exam/performance.

4. Practice performing in front of friends, family or in a concert

Playing in front of an audience is a completely different experience to practicing in private. Even a small audience is enough to make most people feel a little on the edge so is therefore excellent preparation for the real thing.

5. Smile

When you walk into the exam room/on stage, smile at the audience/examiner. This may sound easier than done but you’ll be amazed at how much better this can make you feel. The act of smiling encouraged the release of endorphins (the body’s feel-good chemicals). These endorphins improve your state of mind and help you to relax.

6. Don’t worry about mistakes

Everyone makes them! They are naturally going to happen, but instead of worrying about them keep going and enjoy them performance rather than trying to go back and fix it. This will allow your performance to flow better, making it a more professional performance.