ABRSM Practice app
ABRSM's Practice app is designed to help you monitor your practice sessions and progress using a simple set of tools.
You will need an internet connection whenever you use the app.
Use the app to:
- Track and time practice sessions
- Set countdowns to goals
- Make audio recordings of your practice
- Reflect on your practice
- Help you pick what to practise
- Map your own progress against that of other users
Logging your practice sessions
- Tap “Track me” if you want to start practising without a specific focus or time frame in mind.
- Tap “Help me” if you want the app to help you pick what to practise and for how long.
If you’re working towards an ABRSM exam you can choose from the list of pieces and technical requirements for your grade. Alternatively, you can add any piece or activity that you’re practising for any purpose.
Both options also allow you to make a summary recording, review this and reflect on the session using five criteria - Pitch, Time, Tone, Shape and Performance (see Reflecting on your session for further help).
Reviewing your progress
- Tap the practice chart to see your practice history, which logs all of your sessions, summary recordings and reflections. (See Reading your practice chart for an explanation of this feature).
Viewing other users’ progress
- Tap “Others” to see other users' individual practice profiles
You can also view who has been practising most recently or the most overall.
- Tap “Leaderboards” to see the instruments and grades that are being practised most
Recording yourself is a valuable way of helping you analyse your practice and focus on strengths and areas for improvement for next time. ABRSM’s Chief Examiner, John Holmes, talks in the video below about the importance of recording yourself when you practise.
- It is always best to be connected to Wi-Fi if you want to make a recording. The Practice app uploads your recording to a server, which could require a lot of time and data if you are using a 3G/4G connection. Always use the Practice app with a Wi-Fi connection to make sure you avoid charges for data use.
- Although your device’s video camera function is used to make your summary recording, only the audio component of the recording will be kept and stored. No video or static images taken from the recording are kept.
Pitch, time, tone, shape and performance form the basis of ABRSM’s marking criteria, but they are elements at the heart of all music. Use these categories at the end of a session to decide what you felt was a strength (tick), weakness (cross) or neither (no mark). Listen closely to your recording (if you made one) to help you decide, but make sure you think about the practice session as a whole.
Here’s an explanation of each category to guide you:
Accuracy, clarity and definition of notes and/or intonation
Suitability of tempo, stability of pulse, sense of rhythm
Control and projection of the sound, sensitivity and awareness in use of tonal qualities
Effectiveness and clarity of musical shaping and detailing
Overall command, involvement with the music, musical communication
Use the text field to add any short (140 characters) notes of thoughts on your session or reminders for next time.
Your practice chart shows your progress in these five musical areas. It is formed from all the ratings you’ve made after each session. It will help you identify your overall strengths and areas for improvement based on all practices.
When you reach the perimeter of the chart, your data is re-plotted against a new perimeter, but the pattern of your progress up to that point is kept intact. The more perimeter marks you cross, the more improvement you’ve made.
Here is an example of how a user’s chart might grow over an extended period of time: