Festival, exam and competition season is upon us. How do you prepare your students for these events? I take this part of my teaching very seriously, mostly because I had a negative experience at a music exam as a student myself. My first piano teacher registered me for a piano exam and I had absolutely no idea what to expect, was not coached on any of the components of the exam, and left feeling like a failure. Luckily, I did not lose my drive for music and instead found a much more competent teacher who took the time to make sure I was prepared. What I learned from her was invaluable to me as both a performer and teacher. Most of this is common sense, but I would like to share some of my ideas.