A very happy new year to all of you!
As a child growing up in India, I learnt classical piano. My teacher made me take examinations with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (www.abrsm.org) to evaluate how I’d progressed with our lessons. These exams involved performing scales, sheet music, and aural tests for an examiner from London. To help me overcome the stress of playing the piano in front of a complete stranger, to achieve a grade, my teacher would take me to the examination hall a week in advance of my exam, and make me practice my pieces on the grand piano that had been dedicated for all the exams being held that year. The purpose of the exercise was to give me a sense of what the examination experience was like—and it worked! I didn’t fail a single exam that I appeared for.