Meet the Student: Hannah

Hannah Piano Award WinnerHannah talks about the importance of Mock Exams: I first sat a mock exam before my Grade 1 Piano exam. I was a very nervous student and whenever I played in front of other people I always made mistakes. Lorraine suggested I sit a mock exam with Graham Fitch who was the adjudicator at the Dulwich Piano Festival last year. The purpose of the mock exam was to ensure I was prepared for any mishaps that might happen on exam day and allow me the time to overcome these before the real exam. I still found the mock exam stressful and had butterflies in my tummy.

Hannah-CircleHowever he was very nice and put me at ease. He talked me through my performance and offered suggestions on areas to improve. This is really good for your confidence before doing the real exam. I now sit mocks for all exams and have sat them for my Grade 2 Piano and my Grade 1 Cello. I have done well in all three of my exams and I am sure sitting the mock has helped and I would encourage students to sit them.

Written by Hannah Wickham, age 10 (Dulwich Hamlets Junior School). Hannah is taking her Grade 3 exam next month and studies with Lorraine Liyanage

ABRSM Music Exam facts and figures!

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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 

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

3) Theory Exam statistics
Source: ABRSM Page 

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

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.

We offer 1-to-1 Music Aptitude Test lessons for students applying to schools such as Ashmole, Kingsdale, Marylebone, Twyford, Moulsham and many more.

PianoJuniors: A performance group for Young Pianists

PianoJuniors: An event for young pianists under 18
PianoJuniors: An event for young pianists under 18. November 2nd, 2013

This is an event for young pianists aged 18 and under.

This session is taking place just before the Autumn ABRSM exam session starts. Use your performance time to try out your exam pieces or any other repertoire that you would like to present.

Due to the size of the room, we can only admit one guardian per performer. Time limit per performer is up to 6 minutes. You may play for less. We may also be able to accommodate longer performances once we know the duration of the repertoire from all performers. If you would like written or verbal feedback on your pieces, please bring a photocopy of your music.

Afterwards, you are invited to join us for lunch (optional).

£20 per performer plus guardian. The event is limited to 7 performers.

You will play on a Schimmel grand piano.

The event starts at 11.10am to midday. Please do not arrive early as you will not be able to enter the room until the event starts. There is no waiting area.

Performance room at Peregrine’s Pianos