Latest exam updates

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 our Dates and Fees page for details.

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.

Exploring elements of musical playing

In a series of new videos, educator and ABRSM examiner Louise Matthew works with her students on a range of lesson ideas and activities relating to the 2014 marking criteria for our Practical graded music exams. 

The lesson extracts focus upon a piece specially commissioned by ABRSM from composer Dave Stapleton - Whistlin', B3 on our 2014-2017 Grade 3 Flute syllabus. Many of Louise's lesson ideas relate to the five elements of Pitch, Time, Tone, Shape and Performance that examiners assess.

 


Background to Whistlin': interview with the composer Dave Stapleton


Biographies

Louise Matthew

Louise MatthewLouise Matthew studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and then at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Guildhall.

On leaving college Louise quickly established herself as a freelance flautist and teacher and since has worked in a variety of different educational settings including music centres, schools, private teaching practice, regional and national youth orchestras, for the organisation Flutewise, and on specialist flute days and residential courses including her own course, Tuttiflutey, and its associated events.

Louise now enjoys a diverse portfolio career working as an instrumental teacher, class music teacher, ABRSM classical and jazz examiner, flute player, workshop leader and music events co-ordinator.

Dave Stapleton

Dave StapletonIn less than ten years since graduating in classical piano from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Dave Stapleton has established himself as a musician, composer and label boss and become an important figure on the UK jazz scene.

His latest album 'Flight' marks his eighth release under his own name. It’s his most ambitious album to date featuring the Brodowski String Quartet alongside saxophonist Marius Neset, bassist Dave Kane, drummer Olavi Louhivuori and, of course, Stapleton himself on piano.

Already recognised as a writer of beautiful, lyrical tunes, Flight marks a leap forward and establishes him as one of the most ambitious young composers in jazz.

Pitch

Accuracy, clarity and definition of notes and/or intonation

Time

Suitability of tempo, stability of pulse, sense of rhythm

Tone

Control and projection of the sound, sensitivity and awareness in use of tonal qualities

Shape

Effectiveness and clarity of musical shaping and detail

Performance

Overall command, involvement with the music, musical communication

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