[quote name='davidenglish' date='Nov 30 2005, 02:07 PM' post='200794']
I received the LRSM with Distinction this past June. My program consisted of
Bach, Partita No. 2 in C minor
Mozart, Rondo in A minor, k 511
Schumann, Fantasy Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 73
[I elected the keyboard accompanying specialist option]
Ginastera, Danzas Argentinas No. 2, "Danza de la moza donosa"
I did not try to memorize the recital. As an adult amateur player, I only have so much time for practice. The lack of memorization appears to have had no impact on my grade on the LRSM exam.
Sometimes I practice straight through, but I mostly practice in shorter sessions. It depends on my available time and on what I find most productive that particular day. Oftentimes, I divide my practice based on the piece, with breaks in between, which I can do because I work mostly at home. I am currently preparing for the LTCL, playing pieces by Bach, Mozart, and Hindemith. Consequently, I often divide my practice sessions into three, with perhaps a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes devoted to each piece. But I do not necessarily play the whole piece but usually work on particular movements or sections.
You should listen to recordings. Here is where I pick up ideas about tempo, articulation, and ornamentation. For the Bach Partita No. 2 I found the CD by Angela Hewitt to be particularly instructive.
Some thoughts for exam day. Don't overpractice on that day. Simply take 10-15 minutes to warmup. Most important, see if you can try out the piano on which the exam will actually be given. Pianos vary greatly in terms of touch, depth of pedal, etc. I was able to try out the piano for both Grade 8 and LRSM, which made a big difference. For the DipABRSM, I didn't get a good feel for the piano until midway through the first piece.
Take time a couple of days before the performance to review your program notes in detail. Also review some of the sources used to prepare the program notes. For both my DipABRSM and LRSM exams, the viva consisted almost entirely of questions based on the program notes.
Try to sightread some each day. I found the Bartok Mikrokosmos helpful for this purpose. Lots of unexpected rhythmic, key signature, pedal changes etc. I started at Book 2 and got about halfway through Book 4 at which point the pieces became too difficult. There are also a number of piano collection books published in both the US and UK that are directed at the late intermediate or early advanced player and are good practice.
Simply play the best that you can and try not to be too nervous on the exam day. I actually tried to pretend that I was playing at home, which also helped to calm the nerves.
thank you david ........thank you