I'm going to fail my violin exam.
As some of you may know from my most recent discussion post I have a violin exam very soon: a little over a month away. However there is a slight problem; I have been so busy this year that i just have fallen so behind my exam schedule and i just know that there is no way to prepare in time. i'm going to go the exam and i'm going to fail. I haven't learnt even half of my scales yet and my pieces are all sounding absolute rubbish. no matter how much i practice i won't be able to pass and i can only possibly fit 2 hours of practice into a day anyways. i just need as many tips as possible that will help me prepare for my exam, i am desperate at this point. and please don't say "its ok if you fail because you will learn from your mistakes" because it isn't ok and i need to pass this particular exam more than any other for particular reasons. thank you. PS: this post may possibly make no sense because i'm currently freaking out and haven't proof read this thing. thanks
1. Don't freak out.
If you spend the next month with this kind of attitude, I don't see how you could pass. In fact, if you'd spent the last year with this attitude, you'd probably not pass.
So you have six weeks or so, and two hours a day. Have some notion of what your priorities are for that practice time. (It might also help you to add another 30 minutes a day, even if it has to be snatched at odd intervals. That's a 25% increase in your practice time.)
What Leonard said + don't waste time on what you already know/mastered. If you mastered the first 3 bars of a piece, skip them, don't wast time playing from the start. Same for scales, if you stumble on the 3rd octave, don't play the first 2 etc. Keep an optimistic outlook, don't plan to fail it won't get you anywhere.
Failure?? I would not label any musician at any skill level a failure as a person. Not achieving your personal short-term goal? That's something else, almost all of us experience that disappointment. You do not have to advance one grade level every year. In general; for any exam, audition, or solo, make sure your pieces are 100% within your current skill level. Otherwise, one dangerous passage can ruin your composure and confidence for the entire event. Music is supposed to be enjoyable, and you are definitely not having fun now. This might be an example of how our modern system of grade level exams, competitions, auditions, are not right for everyone. The student can loose track of why they are doing this, and drop out. Our music world then looses a lot of middle-level, amateur to semi-pro musicians. I am not talking about the students that intend to be top-level soloists or pro. orchestra players. They have to go through the system.
Also keep in mind that you don't need a perfect score. You just need to score enough to pass. Knowing this will help reduce your stress. Find out what that is and make sure you do enough to pass that score.
First off, change your attitude. As Tim has already stated, there's no way you'll pass if you go in with the belief that you'll fail. Even if you were Hilary Hahn, or Joshua Bell, you'd fail anyway with that attitude. Your mindset is so important and is easily overlooked. Change it and you're set.
What Leonard and Roger said and part of what Jeanette said + general strategies of practice and learning. If I had known of these earlier, maybe my career would have been in a different field... (... and sure, if the piano would not have been located in the living room... or if there would have been silent pianos back then of similar quality like nowadays...)
Part of being a violinist means that you practice on a regular basis. The purpose of exam is to provide a relatively objective feedback on your progress. Failing an exam sometimes it better than passing it knowing that you barely passed.
Rocky Milankov: Camilla wrote "and please don't say "its ok if you fail because you will learn from your mistakes" because it isn't ok and i need to pass this particular exam more than any other"
George, I'm guessing you're talking about first-position scales for the beginner. I'm talking about Flesch three-octave scales for the intermediate and advanced player. Camilla, working on the Mendelssohn concerto, certainly qualifies as advanced.