Latest exam updates

Practical Update 

We appreciate how much the cancellation of our exams has affected learners and we are working hard on solutions to ensure learners can gain their qualifications at the earliest opportunity.

However, on the basis of official and local advice due to COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel all Practical exams in Macau until further notice. This decision affects all 2020 bookings for Graded Music Exams, ARSM, Diploma, Choral Singing and Ensemble exams, but does not currently affect any bookings for Music Theory exams. Following this decision, we will process 100% refunds for all existing Practical exam bookings and our Representatives will provide further guidance in due course.

We are sorry for the impact on teachers and candidates and thank you for your loyalty and support while these restrictions remain in place. We are continuing to review when live Practical exams can resume in Macau and will offer them again at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our new remotely-assessed Performance Grades provide an alternative progression route for students during this period of disruption. The Performance Grades are equivalent to our Practical Grades in demand, recognition and value. They are based on the same repertoire and syllabuses, assessment criteria and quality assurance measures as our existing exams and will be assessed by the same highly trained examiners. Booking will open in Macau before the end of the year and you can record your video submission any time from now on. Find out more here.

New Percussion syllabus from 2020 out now!

Key dates

The new Percussion syllabus and supporting books will be available from 7 November 2019 for use in exams from 1 January 2020.

Syllabus overlap period

Candidates can start presenting repertoire from the new syllabus from 1 January 2020 and can present repertoire from the old syllabus until 31 December 2020 (all pieces and supporting tests must be from the same syllabus).

Exciting new repertoire

Our new Percussion syllabus offers over 80 exciting, newly commissioned pieces by leading percussion composers and educationalists. Learners can immerse themselves in innovative new repertoire, which offers:

  • A variety of genres and styles from baroque and classical to swing, contemporary, jazz and modern.
  • Solos, duets, accompanied and multi-percussion pieces.
  • A flexible and accessible approach to percussion assessment, reflecting the musical and practical realities of the contemporary, multi-skilled world of percussion.

New exam structure

The new syllabus offers more flexibility than ever before and learners can focus on a single subject – Snare Drum, Timpani or Tuned Percussion exams –can perform across all three subjects in the Percussion (Combined) exam. There are also opportunities to play pieces accompanied by both piano and percussion across all subjects, as well as pieces for multi-percussion.

New supporting publications

To accompany the new syllabus we’ve published a suite of supporting books to help learners prepare for their exams. These books cover the four percussion subjects – Snare Drum, Timpani, Tuned Percussion and Percussion (Combined) – and include:

Percussion Exam Pieces and Studies

  • Available for Grades 1 to 5, one book per grade
  • Five pieces per instrument strand, per grade – 15 pieces total per book.
  • Also includes four technical studies for each grade – two Snare Drum, two Timpani
  • Pull-out score containing duet parts and accompaniments

Principal Percussion

  • Available for Grades 6-8, one book for all three grades
  • Feature nine newly commissioned pieces - three per grade, one per instrument strand

Percussion Scales and Arpeggios

  • Available for Grades 1-5 and 6-8
  • Suitable for Tuned Percussion exams, or Tuned Percussion element in combined exam (if a candidate chooses to sit Scales and Arpeggios over a Technical Study)

Percussion Sight-Reading

  • Available books for Grades 1-5 and 6-8
  • Includes Snare Drum, Timpani and Tuned Percussion sight-reading pieces

Percussion Studies

  • Available for Grades 6-8, one book for all three grades
  • Contains four studies per grade - two Snare Drum, two Timpani

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