What the examiner will say and do

Here is some music we are going to use as the basis for your improvisation:

I’m going to play it through twice.


When we perform it together I’ll play the first two bars on my own and you should join in after that.

We’re going to play the repeated section two times.

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

Let’s begin now.


What you need to do

Look at the music. Listen and read it as the examiner plays it


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

Join in with the examiner after the two-bar introduction to perform your improvisation.


Hints and tips

Look at the melody carefully:

  • The key signature will be one of these:

  • These are the chords to use:

The word at the beginning will describe the style:

  • March: a strong marching beat
  • Lullaby: a gentle sleeping song
  • Fanfare: a bright call to attention
  • Moderato: a steady and moderate pace

In the 30 second preparation time:

  • Practice out loud. Don’t worry – you are not being marked
  • Use the notes from the chords to help make a melody
  • Listen to the introduction for ideas
  • If you are playing a keyboard instrument you can use one or both hands
  • Try and capture the style shown at the start

When you perform your improvisation:

  • Listen to the two-bar introduction carefully so you start at the correct time
  • Don’t forget the chord sequence is repeated – so you play through twice
  • Try to make your improvisation slightly different on the repeat.
  • Bring your improvisation to a suitable finish at the end
  • Play confidently and keep in time with the examiner


Example responses

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



Very Good 



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