To enable students to keep working towards their musical goals while keeping everyone safe during this time, AMEB NSW is offering Repertoire video exams in most instruments. In this type of exam, students perform repertoire requirements only. There’s no technical work, general knowledge, aural or sight-reading test. However, a Repertoire exam generally requires an additional piece of music.
In this blog we’ll take you through some of the rules and our tips for a successful video exam.
Planning your recording
Film in landscape with good visual and audio quality. Most smartphones and tablets are suitable for recording your exam but be sure to test to check the quality of the audio and video before your final recording. Also check that your device doesn’t reverse the image.
The examiner will need to see your face, both hands and the instrument. They will also need to see your posture, so film from the waist upwards. It might be tricky to position the camera at the right height, so try using a table, books or a music stand to set it to the best height and angle.
If your instrument requires an accompaniment, you can use a live or pre-recorded one. AMEB has recorded accompaniments for most instruments. If a pre-recorded or live accompaniment is to be used, you’ll need to check the balance of sound between your solo and the accompaniment and make any necessary adjustments.
We recommend having all your music lined up in order and any recorded accompaniments queued up so you can easily navigate to the next piece.
Filming your exam
When you are ready to film, find a location that is quiet and well lit. Avoid cluttered backgrounds and interruptions like people or pets walking around.
Filming must be captured as a single unedited continuous shot. This means you can’t pause the camera between pieces or use video editing software in any way. Filming may seem easier than an in-person exam or audition, but they are still challenging. We recommend you do several practise runs so you are confident in the exam and filming process.
Although you can wear whatever you want, we recommend dressing as if you are attending a face-to-face exam. This not only portrays professionalism, but it will help you get in the right mindset for your exam.
When you start recording, you’ll need to introduce yourself, the date of recording, grade and syllabus of the exam. After that you’ll introduce your first piece of music and begin playing. If you find you’re nervous speaking to the camera, write a ‘script’ on a piece of paper to make it easier and less for you to remember.
Submitting your exam
Before submitting your exam, double-check the recording carefully. Make sure that you’ve introduced each piece, the picture and sound are of a reasonable quality, the full exam has been captured so the examiner can see you and your instrument.
Finally, know when the submission deadline for your exam is and aim to be early. Things can go wrong at the last minute which may lead to you being unable to submit in time.
Of course, at IWIM we’ll be here to guide our students through the video exam process and requirements from beginning to end.
If you’d like to talk to us about the new video exams, please email us here.