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Latest exam updates

Grade 5 Music Theory waiver (not applicable in the UK & Ireland)

We are extending our Grade 5 Music Theory waiver until 23 May 2021. This means that candidates with a Grade 6 to 8 Performance Grade exam submission date up to and including 23 May can take their exam without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. We are making this exceptional arrangement to allow candidates who have been unable to take an exam in recent months to progress with their learning. From 24 May, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return. For exam dates/exam submission dates after 23 May, all candidates taking a Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical Grade must first pass Grade 5 Music Theory.

Performance Grade exams

We are pleased to confirm that we will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check here for dates and fees. We are extending the introductory 15% discount for these exams so that it applies to all remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams in 2021. Just enter code ABPG15MO when you book using our online service. Please also read our discount information and terms and conditions here.

Inspiring Musical Achievement for Everyone

Our Diversity Statement (June 2020)

ABRSM exists to inspire musical achievement for everyone, from all backgrounds. We are committed to a world in which people are inspired to play, make, and teach music from a rich diversity of traditions and contemporary practice.

The murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement have made us, like many organisations, stop and think about prejudice and bias. As one of the UK’s leading music education organisations and a significant commissioner of music, we have a responsibility to challenge any practices that allow prejudice to persist, and to embed sustainable change.

In doing so, we will work with partners to draw on their perspectives, experience, insight, balance and focus.

We already have a targeted programme of scholarships, sponsorship, and partnerships with great music education organisations founded on an intention to increase the opportunities for people of all backgrounds to progress with their music.

We are also working to make our syllabuses and publications more inclusive. For example, our new Piano syllabus 2021 & 2022, launching on 9 July, includes a far greater number of pieces by female composers, and a far greater variety of pieces from many different countries and traditions, than ever before.

We hope that this signals our commitment to reflect, through our commissioning and products, a world of underrepresented talent and musical stories.

But we recognise there is much more we can do.

We have already begun a wide-ranging strategic review of diversity and inclusion across our organisation, and we will develop and implement a fuller strategic programme, with clear targets to monitor our progress, to increase representation of diversity across all areas of our work.

As part of this work, we are today announcing our commitment to:

  • Produce clear recommendations for increasing the inclusion of underrepresented composers in our syllabuses and products, through close engagement with individuals from the music sector.
  • Launch a mentorship scheme in September, partnering with leading composers, musicians, and music education groups, to develop the emerging careers of composers of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse descent, specifically to write for educational purposes and to increase the pool of published music we can draw on in future.

Because we know that we can only serve everyone – and inspire musical achievement – if we include everyone.

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