Planning your Program
Careful planning is required for a practical examination. The examination program requires prior approval by the Faculty. You must obtain and complete a Practical Examination Program Approval Form, which must be signed by your teacher and returned to the Faculty no later than week 8 of semester. Note that these examinations are of solo repertoire: ensemble skills are examined in other subjects. Reliable estimates of playing times for each work are required, and your teacher will be able to guide you concerning the maximum and minimum allowable program times. Your teacher also submits a report to the Faculty which includes details of all repertoire you have studied in the current year. Duplicate copies of the music must also be arranged and brought to the examination room for the examiners. If part or all of the program is to be performed from memory (and this is standard on some instruments), you should discuss this well in advance with your teacher, so sufficient time for memorisation is allowed.
Music Performance 3 and 4 examinations are open to the public. For all other examinations, students may invite a small audience.
Examination Practice Allowances
Prior to their examinations, Practical Study students may book to rehearse on their examination piano for one hour. Students appearing in Concert Class may rehearse in Melba Hall for 20 minutes on the morning of the class. However, while every effort will be made to accommodate requests for examination or Concert Class practice, the Faculty cannot guarantee availability of pianos or venues.
The concert instruments in Melba Hall are among the finest in Melbourne and are reserved strictly for professional recordings and public concerts; only Music Performance 3 and 4 students may book one of the three Concert Steinways in Melba Hall prior to their examinations for one 1-hour and one 90-minute rehearsal respectively. Note that the same restrictions apply to professionals performing in Melba Hall; the Faculty is determined to maintain the hall’s reputation as the finest recital and chamber venue in the State. The Building Supervisor is instructed to eject students using Conservatorium Steinways without approval, and the Faculty will take disciplinary action against a student making unauthorised use of Melba Hall. Booking of the pianos in Melba Hall should be arranged with the Concert Office. Booking of the pianos in the Tallis Wing and the Heinze Room should be arranged with the Building Supervisor. If a student with a booking finds a piano is locked, a key is available from the Building Supervisor or the Front Office. This should be returned immediately the piano has been opened.
Deferment of Practical Examination
The Faculty will not normally defer a practical examination, which it regards as equivalent to a public performance commitment. Students who are unwell should seek Special Consideration, and proceed on the normal date, confident that allowances will be made for their health.
Applications for deferment will only be considered if there are very unusual circumstances documented by a medical certificate and involving physical impairment that actually prevents a student performing on the normal date.
Students seeking deferment should contact the Academic Programs Manager at the earliest possible opportunity.
Special Consideration in Practical Examinations
Special consideration is based on your performance at the regularly scheduled examination: it does not include the deferral of a practical examination.
Unless you are physically prevented, by injury, from being able to attend the practical examination, you must proceed, and the matter of special consideration will be considered by the Board of Examiners afterwards.