Latest exam updates

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.

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.

Prerequisite

Candidates for Grade 6, 7 or 8 exams must already have passed ABRSM Grade 5 (or above) in Music Theory, Practical Musicianship or a solo Jazz instrument. For full details including a list of accepted alternatives, see Regulation 1d.

Syllabus

Publications & audio

Supporting applications

Unaccompanied song

Read our guide to the unaccompanied song.

What the examiner looks for

  • Excellent communication
  • Totally secure memory
  • Overall pitch sustained with assurance
  • Accurately controlled intervals and intonation
  • A well-chosen, comfortable key for the candidate’s voice – ideally a singer will know this instinctively and not need a starting note from the piano
  • Effective tempo choice and inherent sense of rhythm
  • Instinct and ability for story-telling
  • Facial involvement – a singer’s eyes are so important
  • Expressive use of colour and dynamics
  • Use of rubato where appropriate

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