ABRSM Exam Results Session C November & December 2014

Exam results are starting to come in and I’m pleased to announce the first result is a Distinction for Grade 3. Bravo Theo!

Distinction, Grade 3
Distinction, Grade 3

ABRSM Music Exam facts and figures!

Grade 8 Distinction - student of Lorraine Liyanage
Grade 8 Distinction – student of Lorraine Liyanage
Click here to view more ABRSM Exam results
Click here to view more ABRSM Exam results

Later today I will be publishing our ABRSM and Rockschool exam results from the July Summer session. In the meantime, here’s some interesting information taken from the ABRSM web site about the number of candidates entering for graded exams by instrument. You can see just how popular the piano is in the UK and also what grades candidates achieved at examinations. As a keen harpsichordist, it’s a shame that only 15 students entered exams in 2009. I’m hoping to boost those numbers by getting more pianists learning the harpsichord too! I organise harpsichord competitions for musicians of all ages and abilities as well as workshops at Handel House Museum and Peregrine’s Pianos.

1) Entries by instrument/subject.
Source: ABRSM page 

2009 entries by instrument including graded music exams, Prep Test and Performance Assessment
Instrument Entries
Piano 124,090
Theory of Music 45,275
Violin 35,587
Flute 28,832
Singing 27,657
Clarinet 23,022
Alto Saxophone 10,812
Cello 8,166
Trumpet 7,821
Guitar 5,035
B Flat Cornet 3,401
Descant Recorder 2,897
Oboe 2,768
Trombone 2,459
Viola 2,072
Jazz Piano 1,803
Horn 1,393
Harp 1,392
Jazz Alto Sax 1,209
Bassoon 1,077
Double Bass 1,033
E Flat Horn 960
Euphonium 651
Treble Recorder 574
Tenor Saxophone 509
Organ 490
Percussion 479
Baritone 402
Tuba 379
Practical Musicianship 290
Jazz Clarinet 268
Soprano Saxophone 257
Jazz Trumpet 212
Jazz Flute 172
Jazz Tenor Saxophone 119
Jazz Trombone 53
Bass Trombone 22
Jazz Cornet 22
Jazz Soprano Sax 16
Baritone Saxophone 15
Harpsichord 15
E Flat Soprano Cornet 7
Jazz Baritone Sax 3
Jazz Flugelhorn 2

2) Practical exam statistics
Source: ABRSM Page 

2009
Grade Pass Merit Distinction Fail Total
1 29,833 29,822 14,982 1,253 75,890
2 25,893 19,269 7,370 1,646 54,178
3 22,506 16,262 6,016 1,714 46,498
4 16,337 10,819 4,119 1,610 32,885
5 15,116 9,318 3,772 1,953 30,159
6 6,044 4,258 1,948 855 13,105
7 4,053 3,033 1,782 701 9,569
8 3,307 2,851 2,542 858 9,558
271,842

3) Theory Exam statistics
Source: ABRSM Page 

2009
Grade Pass Merit Distinction Fail Total
1 1,004 1,886 4,312 385 7,587
2 615 1,414 2,881 183 5,093
3 1,212 1,662 1,409 533 4,816
4 773 915 636 339 2,663
5 7,709 7,528 3,695 3,094 22,026
6 433 136 27 246 842
7 121 74 16 21 232
8 143 88 12 96 339
43,598

I believe that the average age for a candidate taking Grade 1 piano is 10. I cannot find the exact reference for this, although there is mention of this in an old copy of ‘Libretto‘, a magazine published by the ABRSM. This also states that the ‘typical Grade 5 practical candidate is 14 years old’.

ABRSM’s graded music exams for individual instruments, singing and Theory as well as diplomas and Music Medals are accredited by the regulatory authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and are part of the National Qualifications Framework. In Australia, Canada and South Africa, ABRSM exams can be used for credit towards the relevant qualifications taken by students completing compulsory secondary education. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) includes Grades 6–8 in the tariff for UK university and college entrance.