Frances Wilson (AKA The Cross-Eyed Pianist) has written detailed notes on all aspects of taking a diploma, from choosing a syllabus and constructing a programme to writing programme notes and presentation skills. The document includes live links to selected resources, including all the main exam board performance diploma websites.

The PDF document is available to download here

If you have any questions about performance diplomas or would like specific help or advice, please feel free to contact Frances Wilson

I played my Licentiate Diploma programme through to a pianist colleague/friend last week and received some very useful and positive feedback on my performance (the first time my playing has been described as “authoritative” and “convincing”, something I’ve striven very hard for since I embarked on this whole Diploma pèlerinage).

With four weeks to go until the exam, much of what I need to do now is simply “housekeeping”, finessing and tidying, and making sure all cadenzas and other fiddly places are absolutely secure. It was helpful to have a different, critical set of ears on my pieces as this has enabled me to refocus my practising. The only piece which still requires some serious attention is the E flat Étude-Tableau (Rachmaninov) but between us we devised a strategy, and I think it will be all right come exam day. Curiously, in my last Diploma, the piece which I felt was least secure (the Schubert E flat Impromptu, D899) was the one I did best with. Such is life…..!

This week I will have another rehearsal with the page turner, ahead of my concert for the NPL Musical Society. This will be the “dress rehearsal”, for both of us.

My friend’s grand piano made everything sound lovely, and I’m pretty pleased with the recording. You can hear what I feel is the best stuff on my SoundCloud: