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Rock & Pop Exam Day: ‘The Gig’ (Performance)

When I’m performing, I like to arrive for the gig early. For the Rock & Pop performance, I think you should arrive at least 30 minutes early. This gives you time to relax, focus and warm-up before you walk on to the stage (exam room).  Before you leave for the gig, make sure you have your music and the gear that you need; back up stuff like strings, sticks, picks, cables etc., just in case something breaks. Make sure you also have your original Rock & Pop book and CD with you (you will use your CD to warm up with). If you have transposed vocal pieces or have an own choice song (song 2) for any instrument, I suggest you bring that on a USB stick or flash drive. That’s what we will use in the exam room.

Now that you have arrived:

  • You should check in with the stage manager; we call them the Rock & Pop steward.
  • Give them your appointment slip (set list), already filled in. They will talk to you about warm-up time and when you will play based upon the other acts or candidates performing that day.
  • You will be taken to the warm-up room about 10-15 minutes before your exam to focus and get in the zone. This not time for a lesson, but as I said, a warm-up. When I go play, I use the time before I hit the stage to get my voice, fingers and mind ready for the show.
  • When it’s time for your performance, the steward will take you to the Rock & Pop room and introduce you.
  • Enter the exam room like you own it. You’re on stage; this is your performance.
  • To start, once you’re on stage you should make sure your gear is set, tuned and do a sound check for your first piece. Put your original music on the stand open to your first piece. Make sure you are happy with the sound and the balance. If you want adjustments to your sound check just ask the engineer (the examiner, who is a player just like you).
  • You will then be asked to perform each piece of your set as listed on the appointment slip, including the Session Skill that you have ticked.
  • Once you exit, the steward will confirm the dates when marks and certificates will be released.

So that’s it! The next thing I do after a gig is go out and eat some food, hang out and talk to my friends about the performance, have some fun. That’s what musicians do – we work hard, play music and have fun!

Now that you know what is happening the day of your performance (exam), I would go check out some of our Rock & Pop demos for your instrument:


Tyler Smith, Trinity Rock & Pop Czar

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