Piano Exam Day: 7 Tips for Smooth Sailing

Piano Exam Day

After going through all the blood, sweat and tears in the practice and preparations, the piano exam day is finally here. Your performance on the exam day is crucial to determine your result and achievement of the grade. Can you sail through it smoothly? Here are some tips for you.

Piano Exam Tips


For smooth sailing through your piano exam, you need to acquire these 7 elements on the exam day:


1. Good Stamina

To be able to give your best performance on your piano exam day, it is very important to have a good stamina and positive energy. Be sure to get enough sleep the night before the big day so that you are alert and do not feel too tired to accept the challenge. You are advised to take some food before the exam to avoid gastric or stomach discomfort too.


2. Be Punctual and Reach Early

It is advisable to reach the exam hall early and settle down at least 30 minutes before the exam. If you’re late, you may feel nervous which will affect your exam performance. You will give the examiner a bad impression too.


3. Give a Good IGive a Good Impression to Examinermpression to the Examiner

Leaving the examiner a good first impression is another important aspect that help you in your piano exam. Dress up in clean and neat attire to show that you are respectful to the exam. You’re also advisable to wear flat and comfortable shoes so that it will not affect your playing when you press the pedal. Remember to knock the door before entering the exam room and greet your examiner with a smile.


4. Keep Your Hands Warm and Dry

When you feel nervous before the exam, your hands may feel cold or even trembling. This can greatly affect your performance so we should avoid it. Try to keep your hands warm by having a hot drink or washing your hands with warm water.


5. Make Sure That the Piano Keyboard is Not Oily

When it’s your turn for the exam, the piano is most probably used by several other candidates. It is not surprising if you find that the piano keyboard is oily because previous candidates may have left some residue of sweat or dirt on it. You can bring along a small piece of cloth or handkerchief to wipe the keyboard before you start playing.


6. Warm Up

It is good if you have time to warm up your hands before the exam. If you wish to try the piano, you can always ask for permission from the examiner to warm up for a few seconds to get a feel of the piano.


7. Be ConfidentPiano Exam Tips

The most important thing of all, stay calm and be confident of yourself. Listen to the examiner’s instruction carefully and respond to it appropriately. Being confident will give examiner an impression that you’re well prepared for the exam.


Besides these tips for the piano exam day, you must make sure that you’re well prepared long before the actual exam. I’ve posted some tips for the piano exam preparation in this page and you’re recommended to read it too. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any question and I’ll be glad to get back to you. Good luck for your piano exam!

Like This Post ? Share It !


  1. Great tips about the piano. I have never learned how to play the piano until about 2 weeks ago. I proposed to my wife and decided to learn how to play the piano and sing so I could sing her a song at the reception. Thank you so much for the awesome tips!

    1. Hi Kyle,
      Thanks for stopping by! How sweet of you to learn piano and singing for your wife. Wish you a great success on your learning process!


  2. This was a really good article on tips for your piano exam day. While I do agree that stay loose and actually warming up is very important. The number one important tip in my opinion would have to be to just stay confident. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you.

  3. I have to agree with all of these. My children are learning piano and they always want to warm up on an unfamiliar piano. They have told me that pianos peddles are often different, or the seat arrangement compared to the pianos feel different.

    By warming up they get a “feel” for that new piano and this helps boost their confidence when performing in front of crowds.

    1. Hi Travis,
      It’s true that each piano gives a different feel in terms of hardness of the keys and pedal. So a pianist should adjust the seat and start playing only after he feels comfortable. Thanks for sharing your children’s experience with us!


  4. I am a music lover, but I don’t play any instruments. I have a niece who is a very accomplished piano player.These are some very good tips for exam or recital day. I will be sure to tell my niece about your site, I am sure she will appreciate these professional tips.

    1. Hi, thanks for reading. Hope that this article can help your niece in her upcoming piano exams and recital!


  5. These tips are really useful for those who undergo their piano exam. Gosh, how I wish that I get to read your tips when I was learning and taking organ exam many years ago. Well, I guess I can use your tips to help those who are going to do their music instrument exam right? Keep on sharing your tips and I will be looking forward for more music tips from you 🙂

    1. Hi Dominic, thanks for visiting and commenting. Do share the tips with your friends who are sitting for their music exam! Stay tuned for more piano learning tips. Looking forward to hear from you again. 🙂

  6. Your journey to Distinction is admirable. I could have used this encouragement a few times when I was learning the guitar many years ago.
    Even though I’ve only ever played for pleasure, the preparation before a performance is similar to your piano recital tips.
    Do you think that the judges scores make allowances for nerves?

    1. Hi Janelle, thanks for your kind words. Yes, these tips can be applied for musicians who are preparing for their performance or recital too. Glad that you find them useful.

      If you are lucky to meet the nice judges or examiners who are not too strict, minor mistakes made due to nerves will still be acceptable. But if mistakes were made again and again, the marks will be greatly affected.


  7. Very nice text about piano exam day. Reading this brings a lot of memory. My both daughters have had music education, one was playing piano. So we were passing many times through some of these steps you describe in the text. The step 7, stay calm, is the most difficult one. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Jovo, glad that you enjoyed reading this article. Hope these tips can help more people to overcome their fear of taking music exam.


  8. I actually do music myself & even though I dont really play the piano I find this article very useful. I feel like I can apply these tips to almost everything I do as a music producer. For example like when I’m playing beats in front of people I have to be confident in myself & that what I am playing is good.

    1. Hi Yves Johnson, it’s my honour that you find these tips useful for your music production. Do check back my website again for other posts about music, composers and more.


  9. Hi Saber, Many thanks for such useful tips and for your comprehensive lists. My daughter is taking her Grade 6 piano exam. She’s a bit spoiled with a lovely sounding piano at home and she when she did Grade 5 she really didn’t like the piano at the exam centre. Do you recommend leaving the three pieces until last so as to ‘feel’ the piano? Thanks again.

    1. Hi Fifi, thanks for sharing your daughter’s experience with us. Different piano has different feel and touch. If possible, you can let her play her exam pieces on different piano such as the piano in church, friend’s house or others. The most important thing is to practice her exam pieces until she can play very fluently with very minimal or no mistake so that the unfamiliar touch of the exam piano wouldn’t affect her playing too much. Examiner can understand this too and I’m sure that she will be fine as long as no major mistake is made. Hope this helps. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *