ABRSM Grades 1-8
The ABRSM (exam board of the Royal Schools of Music) syllabus consists of eight grades of assessment and my pupils typically work towards passing one of the grade exams. Piano exams consist of three pieces, chosen by the candidate from the appropriate lists in the current syllabus, scales and arpeggios, sight-reading and aural tests. Total marks in all individual Practical exams are 150. 100 marks are required to achieve Pass, 120 marks to pass with Merit and 130 marks to pass with Distinction.
Of course, you do not have to take an exam if you are just wanting to learn for fun. However, the higher grades require more time from you and your teacher. The prices I charge for tuition vary with the grade you are working towards. I recommend you have one hour per week of lessons either in a single session or 2 half-hour lessons for grades 1 through 4 and one hour per week for grades 5 through 8.
If you are intending to pursue a career in music, the ABRSM Diplomas are widely recognised and have 4 levels. ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) that bridges the gap between grade 8 and DipABRSM focusing solely on practical performing skills and requires a 30-minute programme of your own choice to be played and assessed.
Music Performance diplomas (DipABRSM, LRSM and FRSM) – The three levels of Music Performance diplomas are designed to reflect your day-to-day experience as a performer, whether amateur or professional.
The tasks include compiling a balanced recital programme and finding editions that best suit your interpretation, talking with confidence about the music, and putting on the best possible performance on the day.
As well as demonstrating your skills as a soloist, from LRSM level there is the opportunity for you to specialise as an orchestral player, chamber ensemble member or keyboard accompanist. There are also options, at all three levels, to perform on an instrument related to your main instrument for a part of your Recital and to perform repertoire of your own choice.
All 4 diplomas require a lot of work from you and your teacher. Depending on how close to exam time you are, I recommend you have 2 hours per week tuition.