Latest exam updates

Music Theory exams – March 2021

  • Online Music Theory exams (Grades 1 to 5) – we are cancelling the online exams planned for 16 March. Exams in May and June will go ahead as planned.
  • Paper Music Theory exams (Grades 6 to 8) – we will not be offering these exams in March. The next exams at Grades 6 to 8 will be in June 2021.
  • Grade 5 Music Theory requirement - from 1 January to 30 April 2021 only, candidates can take Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical exams without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. From 1 May 2021, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return with flexibility about timing.

For more information click here.

Remotely-assessed Performance Grades and ARSM 

The next booking period for remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams is in February – for details see our dates and fees page.  

Practical Musicianship

Our Practical Musicianship exams give students opportunities to develop their ability to ‘think in sound’ and perform spontaneously. While Performance and Practical Grades focus on aspects of performance and/or supporting tests that are prepared in detail in advance, here the playing (or singing) is in response to immediate challenges and stimuli, presented both aurally and via notation.

From Grades 1–8, the Practical Musicianship exams cover some key skills:

  • The ability to internalise music and to reproduce it
  • Interpreting written music with minimum preparation
  • Exploring the possibilities inherent in a short motif
  • The ability to detect differences between what's heard and what's written

Practical Musicianship exams encourage interconnected development of musical listening, reading and playing skills through a holistic approach.

An alternative to Grade 5 Music Theory

Grade 5 Practical Musicianship is an alternative to Grade 5 Music Theory as a prerequisite for taking ABRSM Grades 6–8 Practical and Performance exams, enabling you to demonstrate your musical knowledge and understanding on your instrument rather than on paper.

Instruments

Practical Musicianship exams are open to singers as well as instrumentalists performing on any instrument(s) included in the current range of subjects offered by ABRSM.

Publications & audio

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