What the examiner will say and do

Here is a short section of melody you will use as the basis for your improvisation.

I will now play it through twice.

You now have 30 seconds to prepare your improvisation. You may practise aloud if you wish.

You may now begin.


What you need to do

Look at the music carefully and follow it as the examiner plays it

Use the 30 seconds preparation time to practice and prepare your improvisation

When the examiner asks you to begin, perform your improvisation


Hints and tips

Look at the melody carefully:

  • The key signature will be:

  • What is the starting note?
  • Do the notes move by step or a jump?
  • Look at the rhythm of the melody
  • Follow the music as the examiner plays it

In the 30 second preparation time:

  • Practice out loud. Don’t worry – you are not being marked
  • Try out your ideas and make a melody 4 to 8 bars long
  • Use the given melody and rhythm given to help you
  • If you are playing a keyboard instrument you can use both hands if you wish

When you perform your improvisation:

  • Start with the given melody or a part of it
  • keep a steady pulse in 4 time to make a total of 4-8 bars
  • Bring your improvisation to a suitable finish at the end
  • play confidently,  fluently and without hesitations


Example Responses

Here are some possible responses to this test. You can see many others on the Motivic tests with sample responses page.



Very Good



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