Please note: as of 1st September 2017 EMS will no longer run its exam entry service. This is due to the fact that parents and teachers obtain more flexibility over arrangements if organised themselves and the entry processes are now easy to follow and largely online.
The following page intends to help teachers and parents, choose, prepare for and apply for music exams.
Music examinations are a method of formally assessing the accomplishments of pupils learning musical instruments. These are often called grades. There are a number of organisations who provide assessment in musical ability which are open to all.
Music exams are set in both theory and practical aspects. The theory examinations are taken by pupils of all instruments and typically cover areas such as musical notation, construction of scales and composition. The practical exams concentrate on the particular instrument favoured by the pupil, for example piano, guitar or flute. They cover elements such as playing set pieces, technical work including scales, sight reading, aural, musical knowledge and improvisation.
Music exams are graded from 1 to 8, with Grade 1 being the entry level, and Grade 8 being the standard required for entry to higher study in a music college. Additionally, most exam boards offer Initial level qualifications as a useful preparation before the Grade 1 exam.
|London College of Music including Registry of Guitar Tutors||lcme.uwl.ac.uk|
|Trinity College of Music||trinitycollege.co.uk|
|Victoria College Exams||vcmexams.co.uk|
|National College of Music & Arts||nat-col-music.org.uk|
All exam boards are different and this can be very daunting for a new pupil, parent and even teacher. The best advice will come from your teacher, although we hope to give you some help below.
Please note these points:
Click on the charts to zoom in.
Things to remember once you have chosen which board and exam to go for:
The day of the exam can be quite a stressful time for a pupil who is not prepared for the experience. However, if your child knows what will happen, knows the pieces, scales etc. really well and is looking forward to the experience, things should go well.
As a parent, make sure you know where you are going, where to park, what time the exam is etc. There is nothing worse than feeling apprehensive about an exam with a super-stressed parent getting frustrated with the satnav!
To help prepare your child, take them through the procedure for the day, discuss how well they think they will do and make sure they know that failing is an acceptable option. Advice on taking exams can be found in “These Music Exams“, as published by ABRSM.
The following pianists may be available for exam accompaniment and pre-examination rehearsals. Please feel free to contact them should you require their services. This is purely a list of local accompanists. EMS do not guarantee the quality or DBS status of these accompanists.
We request sight of DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) certificates before sign-posting private individuals**, however, the safety and well-being of your child(ren) remains your responsibility at all times. We also recommend that you ask for sight of their DBS certificate and satisfy yourselves of the their identity.
** Apart from staff employed by Ealing Council, we do not require private individuals to refresh their DBS checks every 3 years and, therefore, any subsequent offences may not be brought to our attention.
Tel: 07779 105 537
You may also search for accompanists at musicteachers.co.uk