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Exam Refunds – Practical Session 1 & 2

We are currently working to issue refunds for all exams cancelled due to COVID-19.

For entries submitted online, exam fees will be refunded to the original payment card automatically. If you card has been replaced since you made the entry, the refund should be redirected to your new card automatically in most cases and we will contact you directly if there are any issues processing your refund. Your refund will be processed from September onwards and we will provide more precise dates in due course. 

Please note that we are unable to refund online entries directly to your bank account. If you have concerns about the amount being refunded to your credit card, please contact your bank for advice as local reports suggest they have been quite helpful in these situations, given the current circumstances. 

If you submitted a paper entry form to your State Education Department, you must submit a refund request to the Examinations Syndicate in Malaysia with complete documentation attached by 14 September 2020. Manual refunds may take between 1 to 2 months to process. Any queries relating to manual refunds should be sent to [email protected]. Thank you for your patience.

You're signed into Music Case as a Teacher or Parent. As a teacher or parent user you'll be able to see your student's notebooks, goals and effort in the 'students' section of the app. This is a simple way of getting a snap shot of your student's practice in the week before their next lesson.

To share notebooks you will need to scan your student's share code using the scan a new code button. Instructions on how to share a notebook as a student can be found in the student view of the app.

To get the most from Music Case encourage your students to download the app and use it each time they practice. The student version of Music Case is where all the tracking, stats and goal setting tools are!

In this support section you'll find tips on how to set really good goals and get your students making the most of their practice session.

You might begin by giving a rough structure for each day's practice and encourage them to create goals to remind them what they need to do.

For example:

  • Before playing a note decide how long you will practise for and plan out your practice session into 5 or 10 min slots
  • Decide what you will work at in each slot
  • Think about what you will start with and what you will finish with 

As a guide:

  • Warm up with a bar or a few bars you CAN'T yet play fluently very slowly
  • Work at specific bars, pieces or passages that you have agreed to work at with your teacher
  • Finish by performing a piece or passage as if in a concert, make a note of areas that need improvement and use this to plan the FIRST bit of your next practice

Divide each piece into sections:

Think of working at each section in stages...

  • Divide each piece into sections or bars
  • Isolate the bars to be practised so you don't start before or continue afterwards
  • Sort the fingering, notes and rhythm
  • Repeat these passages slowly focussing on tone, shape and articulation
  • Experiment with different tempos 
  • Play the passage as if performing it at tempo a few times and isolate areas/notes for specific work
  • Use given practice strategies for sorting out problems (these need to be offered by the teacher and built upon)
  • Put the passage back into context

Before you leave your practice session, make a little summary about what you are proud of achieving and one thing you really want to sort out or improve the next time you practise. Music Case can help students to prioritise their next session.

Remember that you can do a lot of useful practice by imagining the performance in your head away from the instrument.

For example:

  • Making a recording of yourself demonstrating 
  • Taking a photo of good posture 
  • Linking to YouTube videos of performances

It will help them to ask themselves:

  • How effective is my practice? 
  • Which skills do I need to work on?
  • What do I need to do to get better? 
  • What do I know already that can help me?

Discuss their progress at the next lesson and ask them specifically about new ways they have discovered of structuring their practice, practice strategies etc. Looking at their Music Case stats before or during a lesson can make a good way in to this.

You might consider asking them to:

  • Make a recording every time they work on a particular goal
  • Make a recording every practice session with the idea that they play their best effort next lesson
  • Make a recording as the very first and last thing they do in a practice session

Music Case allows students to record audio at any time and attach it to the goal they are working on. 

They might want to think about the following aspects of music and their strengths and weakness in each area when they evaluate their own recordings: 

Pitch: Accuracy, clarity and definition of notes and/or intonation

Time: Suitability of tempo, stability of pulse, sense of rhythm

Tone: Control and projection of the sound, sensitivity and awareness in use of tonal qualities

Shape: Effectiveness and clarity of musical shaping and detailing

Performance: Overall command, involvement with the music, musical communication

  • Students will usually only save or record something they are proud of or need help with so make sure feedback is appropriately positive and recognises what is good.
  • Keep feedback simple and attainable. Prioritise those areas that make the most difference to a performance, Limit yourself to two perhaps.
  • Make sure you reward or comment on musical, expressive playing before commenting on inaccuracy so that musical playing becomes a focus.
  • If they are unfairly harsh on their progress and playing focus on areas they have not considered that are praiseworthy to help them put this into context. Give the strategies to help improve.
  • 'Work in progress' is always hard to present to a teacher and for some students it can be quite a brave move to put a recording on or present their evaluation.

Effective feedback:

  • Describes and evaluates control of the skills they are learning.
  • Follows on from what has been said in the previous lesson.
  • Gives a balanced assessment of strengths and weaknesses of their playing.
  • Takes into account a range of skills - at least 3! You might want to consider these skills when working with your students to set the goals for next week and tag them appropriately in Music Case to add value to your student's stats.

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