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More than 100,000 students complete radical new exam designed to reach broader range of musicians

2 years ago

More than 100,000 students complete radical new exam designed to reach broader range of musicians

More than 100,000 students have now completed a radical new music exam designed to appeal to a broader range of musicians by focussing on their performance skills and assessing them by submitted video recordings.

The ABRSM Performance Grade was launched last autumn and excludes traditional scales and aural and sight-reading tests and instead focuses entirely on candidates’ performance of their chosen music and their use of essential skills, including communication, interpretation and storytelling that sit at the heart of every successful musical performance.

It is designed to appeal to musicians who, beyond the performance focus, want the freedom and flexibility that comes with recording a performance when and where they choose and, as of this week, has been completed by more than 100,000 students across more than 30 countries since its launch in October.

ABRSM Chief Executive Chris Cobb said: “We wanted the Performance Grade to complement traditional practical exams but to appeal to a broader range of musicians by offering them more choice and flexibility.

“Even allowing for the pandemic-related suspension of practical exam alternatives, the level of interest in the new exam is incredible and a clear sign of the appeal of this new type of assessment which also suits various specific needs and preferences of the learner.

“It is also pleasing to see that the rigour of the Performance Grade is worthy of the ABRSM brand and that analysis shows that there has been no discernible grade inflation.”

The Performance Grade is a regulated qualification and is available at Grades 1 to 8. It carries the same value as traditional Practical Grades and students can switch between Practical and Performance Grades as they progress. Candidates will be awarded the same UCAS points for Performance Grades at Grades 6 to 8 as they would have received for Practical Grades for the same levels.

The assessment is currently available in more than 30 countries around the world and will be made available later this year to candidates in all 93 nations in which ABRSM operates.


Note to editors

  1. Established in 1889, ABRSM is one of the UK’s leading music education organisations, one of its largest music publishers and the world’s leading provider of music exams, offering assessments to more than 600,000 candidates in over 90 countries every year. ABRSM’s mission is to inspire achievement in music. It does this globally by supporting music teaching and learning worldwide in partnership with four Royal Schools of Music: the Royal Academy of Music; Royal College of Music; Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Media enquiries to Jon Flinn on 07811 397122

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