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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
|Theory of Music||45,275|
|B Flat Cornet||3,401|
|Jazz Alto Sax||1,209|
|E Flat Horn||960|
|Jazz Tenor Saxophone||119|
|Jazz Soprano Sax||16|
|E Flat Soprano Cornet||7|
|Jazz Baritone Sax||3|
2) Practical exam statistics
Source: ABRSM Page
3) Theory Exam statistics
Source: ABRSM Page
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 have many students sitting their Grade 1 theory exam this term. The exam usually takes place at Dunraven School, Leigham Court Rd London SW16 (Streatham). See the list at the end of the email for students entered for the Summer session on Saturday 15 June at 10am.
Here’s a revision guide with a summary of the requirements.
Please note that the guide includes Minor scales but these are not included in the current Grade 1 paper. They are included in Grade 1 practical piano so it is good to know the key signatures of these anyway as they will crop up in your pieces and sight-reading.
Here is a separate link to the Italian terms and symbols for Grade 1. These crop up in lots of the questions so you must know all of them. Remember – for Grade 2, you are expected to know all of these words plus new words.
Make sure you are working through at least 1 test paper a week. Bring these to your lesson and I will mark them. Ensure you have enough copies of the test paper so that you can leave one with me at your lesson and still have one paper at home to work through.
Summer Exam Entrants: