Trinity College Online Piano Examinations
For anyone wanting to sit piano exams and gain qualifications, I am able to enter students for digital piano exams with the Trinity College London examination board. Students are now able to submit their exam entries online without needing to travel to a centre.
For your digital piano exam, you will need to video yourself playing three pieces, three exercises, and a selection of scales. I will then submit your video for marking by the exam board, and you will receive your result within a few weeks. Each successful candidate receives an official certificate recognising their achievement.
Why Choose Digital Exams?
1. You don't need any special recording equipment to film your video submission.
2. You can submit the performance video you are happiest with.
3. Digital exams are constructed in a unique way, designed to support online teaching and learning.
4. They are regulated and recognised in exactly the same way as face-to-face exams. This also includes UCAS points for the higher graded exams.
5. You can record your video at a time and place that suits you.
6. You don't need to travel to an exam centre, which means less time away from learning, and no need to book time off school or work!
7. Recording yourself provides a great opportunity for you to see and hear what you are doing well, and any areas for improvement.
8. You can prepare your scales, exercises and pieces in advance. You will know exactly what you are going to perform, and will have no surprises in the exam.
9. Enter for the exam when you feel ready to do so. You don't need to wait for a set time or date - when you sit the exam is completely up to you!
10. Recording the exam at a location chosen by you, such as in your own home, means you will be comfortable in your surroundings and playing a piano you are familiar with.
How To Film Your Piano Exam
Useful Tips for Your Exam Video
1. Copy out the list of scales in the correct order onto a sheet of paper. Write it big enough for the examiner to be able to read it. Capital letters in a black felt tip would look best.
2. Before you start filming, make sure that there is nothing else on top of the piano except the exam book and scales sheet. Keep the exam book closed and on the side while playing the scales.
2. At the beginning of the video before you start playing anything, you need to hold the list of scales up to the camera so the examiner can read the scales clearly. Show the front and back of the sheet, then put it on the piano and play through them all.
3. When you've finished the scales, hold the Exam Book up to the camera so that you show which Grade Exam you are doing. Play through the exercises first and then the pieces. You don't need to say anything at all, just play through your scales, exercises and pieces.
4. Don't rush from one piece into the next. Leave little breaks in between your exercises and pieces.
Lighting, Sound & Orientation
1. Mobile phone video and audio will be fine. Turn off the HD setting, or select the lowest setting for recording.
2. Your video should be in mp4 or mov format, and 1GB or smaller. If you need to compress your video, there are plenty of free sites and programs that can do this. See list below for more information.
2. Make sure you film in landscape mode (16:9, like you are watching yourself on a widescreen TV), and NOT in portrait setting.
3. Check that there is no background noise, no hissing on the video, and that the piano is loud enough but not distorting.
4. Ensure that you have good lighting - it can be helpful to film before it gets dark outside while you have natural lighting.
5. Listen back through headphones once you have filmed a trial video to check the sound and picture quality.
The Correct Video Angle
Spend some time experimenting to ensure you get the right angle for your video.
It would be advisable to use a stand or prop your phone/tablet up against something. Do not ask someone to hold the device or the video will be shaky.
The student's face, hands and all of the piano keys need to be seen clearly. Long hair should be tied back and away from the face.
Film from a side angle where no piano keys are cut off.
Here are some photos showing good angles for your video:
Naming Your Video File For Upload
Before submitting your video file for marking, check that you have included the candidate's name, syllabus (and instrument for music), and grade/diploma level.
Make sure the file is named correctly in the following format:
Classical & Jazz: ForenameSurname_Classical(instrument)_Grade(number)
Rock & Pop: ForenameSurname_Rock&Pop(instument)_Grade(number)
ForenameSurname_instrument_DiplomaLevel (eg _Piano_ATCL)
Compress & Convert Your Video
If your video is over 1GB or an incorrect format, you may need to compress or convert it. Here are some free programs to check out:
Miro Video Converter mirovideoconverter.com
Online video converter videoconverter.com
Video Smaller www.videosmaller.com
Compress and resize videos
Video Shrinker https://apps.apple.com/us/app/video-shrinker/id777747502
For Android devices
Video Transcoder https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=protect.videoeditor
Biplabs Video Compressor https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Biplabs.videocompressor
Video to MP3 Converter & Compressor https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.inverseai.video_converter
Mobileidea studio video compressor https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.idea.videocompress