Applying to BIMM

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS DOS AND DON’TS

4th December 2017

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Right… you’re now officially booked in for your BIMM assessment and we know you must be feeling a mixture of excitement and nerves! But don’t worry – we’re here to help. We want you to do as well as you possibly can on the day, because we’d love you to come and study with us. So… our Admissions Team has put together a list of handy dos and don’ts to take notice of in order to help get you through the assessment process.

DO:

  • Ensure you receive email confirmation of your booking – if you don’t… please contact us.
  • Read the assessment guidelines you’re emailed THOROUGHLY! They’re there for a reason, and this way you won’t get caught out.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse – this is your time to shine, so make sure you’re prepared.
  • Make sure your guitar or bass is in tune!
  • Relax! Although you might feel under pressure, your assessor is as keen for you to do well as you are.
  • Contact us if you have any questions about the assessments or the guidelines – there are assessors and musicians on our team who can definitely answer your queries, whatever they may be.
  • Understand that the assessments cover all courses (both degrees and diplomas) within one discipline, and be prepared that you may not be recommended for the course you initially applied for.
  • Ensure you’re able to perform your pieces without lyrics or lead sheets.
  • Let us know as soon as possible if you need to extend your deadline… and make sure you have a good reason for this too!
  • Make sure you contact our staff over the phone or via email to make sure they’re aware of any support needs you may have. The sooner we know what you want, the sooner we can help!
  • Treat your assessment as a performance – there may be no audience, but give it the same energy and passion as you would if there was one in front of you.

DON’T:

  • Forget to read the guidelines!
  • Cancel your assessment at the last minute or leave your audition preparation until just before your appointment.
  • Sing in a key that doesn’t sit quite right within your vocal range (Vocals, Songwriting) – instead, change the arrangement accordingly or use another backing track.
  • Forget to practise your techniques exercises, as per the guidelines.
  • Assume that a recommendation means you have a definite place on the course. An official offer will be sent by the Admissions Team, which is often subject to meeting our academic requirements.
  • Be disheartened if you’re asked to re-assess. Feedback will be provided by the assessor to help you, and you’re always welcome to ask more questions about how to prepare for your reassessment.

If you’re doing your assessment by video submission there are a few other things for you to remember…

DO:

  • Make the most of your time – you’ll usually have two weeks to submit your demo, so make sure you get plenty of practice in before you record yourself.
  • Make sure your video is clear and the sound quality is audible. If you’re using a backing track, make sure that the sound is well balanced and clearly audible for the assessor – not overpowering.
  • Make sure you take re-assessment feedback into consideration when re-submitting your demos. Submitting the same videos or new videos without addressing previous feedback means the outcome will be the same.

DON’T:

  • Proceed with recording your video if you’re not sure of the process – clarify this first with BIMM staff if you’re in doubt.
  • Submit your video in an inaccessible format. And don’t forget to adjust the video’s ‘private’ settings so the assessor can gain access to it.
  • Submit your video late without letting us know of a valid reason for this.
  • Use a microphone for your vocal assessment or use ‘autotune’ or any other effects that can alter your voice and tone. Please ensure it’s unamplified.
  • Use headphones for the backing tracks or techniques assignments.

One final don’t… Don’t forget that our admissions team are always available to answer any more questions you might have. Just call 08442 646666 or email admissions@bimm.co.uk

Good luck! We know you’ll give it your all… and we can’t wait to see what you’re made of!

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Author

James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.