Complete ABRSM Piano Practical Exam Guide For Singaporean Students


As everyone already knows, the ABRSM piano practical exam consists of several portions. They are namely, the pieces, scales, sight reading and aural. In this article, I will share with you and break down the complete step by step guide on how to ace the upcoming 2019 ABRSM piano practical exams. Make sure to save this post. It will help you ace your exams and potentially get a distinction!

Piano pieces – you will be graded on your playing prowess of 3 prior selected piano pieces.

You are basically allowed to choose 1 song out of 3 per segment, and pick a total of 3 piano pieces. These take up the largest portion of your exam scores. As a result, you must score well here. Thankfully, it is also usually the easiest place to score for Singaporean students.

There is not much I have here to give you tips on. This is because most Singaporean students are great here. Also, most great piano teachers will already be able to help you out heavily here. To find a great piano teacher for free in Singapore, click here.

There is only one tip I have for you – ensure to practise the harder portions more often than the easier portions.

Scales – you will be required to play scales based on what the examiner wishes to examine you on.

Many Singaporean students feel that this the 2nd easiest portion of the examination. This is because memory and hard core practice will make you great at scales.

Since many Singaporean students score quite well here, I shall not over elaborate. However, for those who are weak at scales, here is a tip. During your practice session, never practice in order. Many students who score poorly during the scales portion of the ABRSM piano practical exam in Singapore practise the scales from their scales book exactly in order. However, the examiner usually likes to ask you in random order. When you practise in random order, just like how the examiner likely would test you on, you will become better prepared for your piano exam scales portion.

Sight reading – you are required to play a relatively short piano piece which you are only provided 30 seconds prior to playing it.

Many Singaporean students have a perfectionist attitude due to their upbringing in local Singapore schools. While that may be fantastic for the piano pieces portion above, it usually is detrimental for sight reading. In fact, being too much of a perfectionist will work against you for the sight reading portion.

Many local music students tend to get highly flustered when they play one single wrong key, and try to correct it at the expense of the tempo and rhythm of the entire sight reading piece! However, because the ABRSM marking scheme heavily rewards great rhythm and dynamics over the perfect hitting of every note for the higher piano exam grades, doing anything at the expense of rhythm and dynamics will cause your ABRSM piano practical exam scores to plummet.

Make sure that you always focus on the rhythm, dynamics and flow above others.

Aural – you are required to sing out loud whatever the examiner so wishes to play. The examiner will also ask you questions and answers about a particular piece he or she would have just played.

What I find is that many Singaporean students excel in the question and answer portion. However, many tend to falter when it comes to the singing part. In fact, I realized that is usually due to a simple lack of confidence of singing out loud. Add in complete strangers in an awkward environment and you will probably become too nervous.

Some of the low scores scored by Singaporean students in the aural segment may make you think that their singing is bad. However, that is not true. In fact, many Singaporean pianists are great at recognizing the right rhythm and tone. The thing is that they may not dare to truly sing out loud or feel too nervous and start having a seriously shaky voice.

A big tip I have for you here is to always drink a warm or hot glass of water right before the examination. The examination rooms in Singapore are usually freezing cold. By the time it reaches the aural segment, you will be freezing sometimes even with a jacket on. This can also cause your voice to quiver and you to feel unconfident. Therefore, keep yourself warm and drink a warm glass of water right before the ABRSM piano practical exam. It does wonders for your nerves!

An additional tip I have for you is to practise singing in awkward situations. For instance, you can purchase ABRSM aural CDs and practise singing in front of your family or friends and ask them to stare at you awkwardly while you are singing. If you do this often enough, you would not care who was there and how they looked at you. You simply do not care about anyone else other than singing out loud. This is a great way to overcome aural nerves for Singaporean piano students.


Make sure to use all of the above tips. Ensure that you save this article’s link somewhere and share it with your nervous friends who are having the ABRSM piano exams soon!

ABRSM Piano Theory Exam Tips For Students

Most people and blogs online only give you tips on how to pass your piano practicals examination. However, few people actually give you tips on how to pass the theory portion of the piano exams in Singapore! So let me give you some powerful tips and advice so you can ace your theory exams too!

Always use a pencil for your exams. I know there are some students out there who actually use a pen for their exams. This is not that common in Singapore, and is a bad practice. If you write the wrong chords down, it will be impossible to erase without making a complete mess. You will then start to panic and affect your mental state during the piano theory exams. Do not let that happen to you.

There will be people who will leave the exam venue at different timings from you. This is because some students are taking easier grades while some are taking others. Some leave early because they gave up. Most people see other students leaving the exam hall earlier than normal and think that they must be doing something wrong because they have not yet complete the exams. However, that cannot be more wrong. Do not care about others. Go into the piano examination hall thinking that you must utilize every second of the provided time to score well, and you will feel good being slower.

At Grade 5, there are actually 150 foreign musical terms required. You want to memorize these words from the start. Did you know that by writing the words down and explaining verbally out loud to yourself what the word means actually help you memorize a foreign word better? 

Well, for more tips, please watch the video below! If you are looking for a good piano teacher in Singapore, then contact Sg Learn Piano here, one of Singapore’s top piano teacher agency. A suitable teacher in Singapore will be able to guide you on all these exam tips and more!

How Much Do Piano Lessons Really Cost In Singapore – An In-depth Look

How Much Do Piano Lessons Really Cost In Singapore?

Many people think that the only costs related to learning the piano are just that of the piano purchase price and the teacher’s hourly cost. However, there are lots of hidden costs that many Singaporean parents may not know about. I want to share these piano learning costs with you. This is so that you are more aware of it. With this knowledge, you can make a more informed financial decision before deciding to get your child enrolled in piano classes in Singapore.

Piano exam registration and application costs

Whenever your child registers for a practical or theory ABRSM piano examination in Singapore, you will need to pay a certain fee to ABRSM. ABRSM is basically the internationally recognized music board. It is widely used as a way to certify a student’s piano playing proficiency. It is similar to the IB system or the O and A level systems in many countries around the world for academia.

Each exam application and attempt for the exam will cost you money.

It generally starts around $180 for grade 1 and up to around $500 for grade 8 for the practical piano examination.

Theory examinations are cheaper to apply for and sit for. They start around $110 for grade 1 up till approximately $200 for grade 8.

The above mentioned rates are in Singapore Dollars.

Piano books costs

Piano theory and practical books are necessary whether your child wants to learn for leisure or for ABRSM proficiency levels. These books are around $10 to $20 per book in Singapore. There will usually be three to four official ABRSM piano exam practical books, and several more for theory. If your child also wants to learn pop music songs, then there will be more books required.

Examination piano studio rental costs

Before your child goes for the official ABRSM practical examinations, practicing on the exact piano which will be used during the exams is necessary. To do this, the teacher will usually rent the studio for several sessions. Your child will be having the few lessons prior to the examinations at the rented studio instead.

These costs varies. It depends on the music school in Singapore that your child is deployed to for the practical piano exams.

Travelling costs (if applicable)

If your child is not having the private piano teacher go to your house for piano lessons, then travelling costs will be required. Either your child needs to take the public transport, or you will be fetching him or her to and fro. These are travelling costs that you need take into consideration.

I strongly recommend that if your child wants to take piano lessons, to hire a private piano home teacher in Singapore to go to your house instead.

Private Piano Teachers In Singapore Near You – How To Find Them?

Looking for a private home piano teacher who lives near your place makes scheduling for lessons much easier. This is because if you travel to the teacher’s studio, the commute is way shorter. For cases where the teacher travels to your house instead, it is also easier for you and the tutor to liaise for lesson dates and timings. If the teacher stays very far from you, traveling and scheduling lessons can be a problem.

How to find a teacher who is near you?

However, with all that said, how do you find a private piano teacher near you in Singapore? You cannot exactly knock on people’s doors and ask if they are a piano teacher.

Thankfully with the Internet, there are a few places through which you can easily find a music tutor in Singapore who lives near you.

Find a teacher through an agency

First of all, you could engage a company such as sglearnpiano who could help you find a qualified piano teacher who stays near you from their database of teachers. These companies usually do not charge students anything as part of their service. They only charge the tutors. So, as a student, you get the best of both worlds when you go through them. This is because you will save time and effort and are also not required to spend any extra money by engaging their services. Of course, not all agencies are equally good. You need to do your research.

Ask a friend for a referral

Second of all,  if you know a student who lives near you and he or she has a teacher who also lives near you, good! You could ask your friend for a referral. I am sure the teacher will be more than happy to teach you as well as long as the teacher has the time. Teachers usually love client referrals. This is an easy way to find a private piano teacher in Singapore who is near you. However, this method only works if you have such a friend.

Piano Teachers Singapore Review – How To Best Find One!

If you are looking for reviews of piano teachers in Singapore, and how to best find them in Singapore, then you are at the right spot!

In this post, I will review the various different ways to find a private home piano teacher in Singapore.

Why it is so difficult to find individual reviews of music teachers in Singapore

Before that, I will explain why it is only possible to do the above, but not give you actual reviews of individual piano teachers locally.

One of the reasons it is so difficult to find actual reviews of individual piano teachers is because there is no statutory board governing music teachers in Singapore.

Second of all, different students have different needs. There are students who simply want teachers who teach them how to play the piano leisurely, while there are many other students who want teachers to help them pass the ABRSM examinations. All these means that there is no way there can be a website with reviews out of 5 or 10 stars of piano teachers in Singapore. Additionally, some teachers come and go quite fast.

Comparison of methods you can find music teachers in Singapore

Now with that out of the way, let us review some of the common methods with which you can find a good teacher with in Singapore.

  1. One of the most recommended methods to look for a teacher in Singapore is to go to an agency such as SG Learn Piano agency and get matched up. They simply work like a match making agency, and you are to provide them with your requirements. They will then automatically recommend you the best teacher most suited to your demands and requirements.In my opinion, going through an agency IS one of the easiest ways to find a teacher because there is nothing you need to do, and there is no fees you will need to pay to the piano teacher agency. They only charge the teachers if they match you up with the teacher.
  2. Another great way to find music teachers is actually through recommendations and referrals from friends or family members.This method is strongly recommended IF you know students who scored well in their ABRSM piano exams or can play the piano very well.On the other hand, if you do not know such people or music students, then this method is probably useless to you.
  3. There is also another method used by some Singaporean parents, and that is asking around in forums such as or However, there lies one big problem with this method. If you were to look for individual music teachers through this method, you will get lots of messages from those individual piano teachers all telling you that they are the best. Problem is, not all of them are great.Unlike agencies which are incentivized to recommend you the best teachers, individual music teachers on forums do not have incentives to recommend you someone else if they are lousy.

    This method is the least recommended out of all the methods listed here.

  4. You can try looking for piano teachers in Singapore on classified ads in the Straits Times as well. However, in this day and age, far fewer teachers and agencies advertise there because it is way too expensive, and reach is too little.This is not recommended, and the easy alternative is to simply Google for these agencies or teachers.

How To Sound Like A Professional Pianist Fast Without Years Of Practice

Have you ever been to a random place and heard someone unassuming to walk up to the piano and suddenly play an extremely nice sounding melody? Perhaps you are a student in a Singapore school (since most Singapore schools have a piano) and have heard someone play the piano expressively and nicely yet it does not appear to be any particular song?

The secret behind what they are doing is that these pianists are actually playing chords, and not actual songs. It sounds equally good to the listener and the layman will be non the wiser.

If you are a student in Singapore and want to impress a random girl or guy in school, then you should learn how to play piano chords!

Check out the following short tutorial on how to master playing piano chords easily so you can be the talk of the school quick!