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.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

To mark International Women’s Day 2021, here are some of the wonderful ABRSM staff, celebrating the same day in 2019. We wish we could be together today. 

Celebrating the work of women in music

Composer Nikki Iles shares some highlights from her exciting freelance career and shares news of what she is currently working on.

Nikki’s busy composition schedule has not prevented her from developing a parallel career as a widely respected teacher and she has acted as a tutor at numerous workshops and summer schools around the world while lecturing for The Royal Academy of Music and Middlesex University. Her education work was recognised in nominations at the 2007 and 2009 Parliamentary Jazz Awards for Services to Jazz education.

It took until 2013 for a female conductor to lead the BBC Prom’s Last Night celebrations. Only 3 women in the last 30 years have been principal conductors of British orchestras. Less than 10% of the conductors represented by artist managers are female. Conductor and Artistic Director of Women Conductors at the Royal Philharmonic Society, Alice Farnham talks leadership, the role of a conductor and how Women Conductors is addressing the current gender imbalance on the podium.

Katie Chatburn, lecturer in popular music at the Royal Northern College of Music, talks about the barriers women face in the industry and shares her advice on how to succeed as a budding pop musician.

Thalia Myers, pianist and commissioner of Spectrum, ABRSM’s award winning contemporary music series, gives her insight into the performance and teaching of new music for all level of performer.

Cheryl Frances-Hoad, composer, highlights the delight and responsibility involved in writing music for learners. Cheryl’s music is featured in ABRSM’s 2019-2020 piano syllabus.

Chelsea Carmichael, Artistic Director of the Jazz Messengers reflects on collaborative leadership, making jazz relevant for the younger generation and how teaching makes the teacher a better performer. Jazz Messengers is an education programme run by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, in partnership with ABRSM.

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