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ABRSM launches new performance-only diploma

4 years ago

ABRSM is strengthening its current diploma offering with the addition of a new performance-only qualification. The new assessment – the Associate of the Royal Schools of Music (ARSM) – has been launched to provide learners with an opportunity to develop and demonstrate their performance skills after Grade 8. The new diploma will be available to take in all ABRSM Practical exam venues worldwide from January 2017. ARSM piano

What is involved?

The exam can be taken by anyone who has passed ABRSM Practical Grade 8 or a listed alternative. ARSM is available in all instruments currently examined by ABRSM, including voice. Within the challenge of performing a 30-minute programme, candidates are assessed on their musical communication skills, interpretation and technical delivery. Candidates will have to perform:

  • at least 20 minutes of music chosen from the ARSM repertoire list (this is the same list set for DipABRSM);
  • up to 10 minutes of own-choice repertoire (of at least Grade 8 standard).

There are no written or spoken elements, and no sight reading, aural tests or scales. ARSM clarinet

John Holmes on ARSM

John Holmes, ABRSM Chief Examiner, said "The diploma, which is supported by the Royal Schools of Music, is suitable for musicians who are looking for a challenge after their graded music exams and will provide a meaningful goal to work towards. ARSM is unique in focussing solely on practical performing skills – nothing more, nothing less. It’s about the art and craft of musical communication through a half-hour programme which you choose and put together according to your own individual musical strengths and enthusiasms. As well as focussing on the playing or singing of your chosen items of repertoire, ARSM also involves assessment of the performance of your programme as a whole, giving you valuable feedback from two complementary perspectives."

Further information

Find out more about ARSM
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