The past year has transformed the way we socialise and learn beyond recognition. As we had back to some degree of normality, some students might find it harder than others to adjust; whether this is because of pre-existing anxiety or concerns around socialising and stepping outside of their comfort zone that have developed over lockdown.
Rockschool’s digital exams can help ease the pressure on your students who may otherwise feel uncomfortable in a face to face setting. Read on to find out how our free downloadable Practise with Purpose Diary can keep your students on track to achieve their goals in the face of anxiety.
Keep a healthy balance
Even though the exam setting may not be as formal as in a face to face exam, students will still need to prepare with the same level of intensity and thoroughness. The daily practise planner inside our Practise with Purpose Diary will certainly help your students develop a carefully regimented routine, but it’s just as important that they factor in regular breaks!
We’ve all been there, where we’ve locked ourselves away for 10 hours, with the aim of doing nothing but practise, practise, practise. We may have done great for the first hour, but for the last nine hours we’ve procrastinated and not made much further progress! This is why taking regular breaks is so imperative. Stepping away from the practice space will refresh the mind and reduce stress. Just like you might set a timer for your practice, make sure your students set a timer for their breaks so they don’t cut them short (or take too long!).
It’s also important to emphasise to your students the important of maintaining your physical health while preparing for an exam. Generally, practising for an exam requires a lot of sitting down, but whilst it is lovely to get comfortable and play your instrument, we still need to get up and move around every once in a while. If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that even going for a walk can sharpen your brain, boost your mood and bolster your memory.
Keep an eye out for signs of depression in your students
Anxieties around performing may stem from longer term mental health issues. Make sure you're sensitive to issues your students may be facing in their lives. We've compiled a list of symptoms of depression that may help you identify students who are struggling with their mental health.
- Becoming quiet and withdrawn.
- A loss of interest and enthusiasm in the things that they enjoy doing and talking about.
- A lack of concentration and competence in what they are doing.
- Looking tired, and moving or talking slower than usual.
- Being tearful or emotional for little or no reason.
- Neglecting their appearance or personal hygiene
- Low confidence and self-esteem – constantly putting themselves down.
- Having a hopeless attitude or being negative about the future.
For a more detailed description of the symptoms you can visit the NHS website.
You can check out James Banfield's tips for dealing with performance anxiety in the video below!
How can I practise with purpose for my Video Exam?
Those of you who have completed a Video Exam in the last year will know that once you’ve submitted your entry to us, you have a 3 month period to send in your final performance for assessment. This diary covers that period, providing you with everything you’ll need to practise with purpose and smash that final submission.
The Practise with Purpose Video Edition will bring you:
- 12 weeks of dedicated practice diary: document all your successes, your teacher’s comments, and your reflections for the week ahead!
- Tips to optimise your video recording: from the frame to the volume to the reverb, make sure the practicalities of the video exam don’t get in your way.
- Practice pointers: maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing, staying positive and listening LOADS will be key to your success!
- Notes from the examiners: they’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt. They watch and examine loads of video exams, so their knowledge is power!
We can’t wait to see the Practise with Purpose Video Edition help you thrive in 2021!
That’s it for today! Download your free Practise with Purpose Diary now.