Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) is the world’s leading music exams board with more than 600,000 candidates, in over 90 countries, takeing ABRSM exams every year. It is known for it’s gold standards and highly structured examinations for western classical music.
ABRSM benefits from it’s association with the four leading conservatories of UK, namely, Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Why You Should take Music Exam?
While many young musicians’ education experiences are often marked by winding paths of sporadic practice and scattered repertoire with limited accountability, music exams provide a way to objectively track progress and offer motivation for further self-improvement, validation of skills and recognition of achievement.
As the world’s leading provider of music exams, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) delivers over 650,000 assessments annually in 93 countries. On the official website, the ABRSM states that its mission is to inspire achievement in music; it does so by “help[ing] build musical skills, provid[ing] goals and encourag[ing] progress.”
A range of music exams are offered by the ABRSM; the most commonly taken are the Music Performance exams, available for over 35 instruments. Structured progressively from Grades 1-8, these exams promote holistic musicianship by assessing a range of practical skills - including performance skills through 3 pieces or songs selected from an official syllabus, technical skills through scales and arpeggios, notation skills through a sight-reading test, and listening skills and musical perception through aural tests. The assessments have no age restriction, and students are able to begin at any grade and skip levels if desired. Unlike many other music evaluations, the ABRSMs are not a competitive match judged by an intimidating panel. With one-on-one feedback from an expert professional, the only thing you should worry about is one-upping last year’s self.
Because of the exams’ widespread utility and reputation built up over the course of 100+ years, they have become a sort of global currency for evaluating one’s level of musicianship. While there are not very many music programs that require the ABRSM certificate as part of an application or qualification process, especially outside of the UK, it’s still a good way to objectively demonstrate your ability through a trusted international standard of musicianship. Think of it as a kind of “resume booster”!
Roughly 20% of our students actively participate in two ABRSM tests annually, with a ~80% of them passing with high honors or distinction!
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) include ABRSM Grades 6-8 as "point tariff" towards UK University and college entrance; accomplishments through the ABRSM qualify students to receive college credits, and at the discretion of individual institutions.