Latest exam updates

Exam refunds

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1 January to 31 May 2021 any absent candidate will automatically receive a refund. This includes Performance Grades where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video. You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you can log in to your account and cancel the exam.

For Online Music Theory exams and any paper based exams taking place outside of the UK/Ireland we anticipate COVID restrictions will not prevent candidates from sitting their exam so absentee candidates will not automatically receive a refund and our normal Withdrawal, Non-attendance and Fee Refunds Policy still applies.

Performance Grade booking

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check here for dates and fees.

Music Theory exams – March 2021

  • Online Music Theory exams (Grades 1 to 5) – we are cancelling the online exams planned for 16 March. Exams in May and June will go ahead as planned.
  • Paper Music Theory exams (Grades 6 to 8) – the next exams will take place in June. Please note, dates and booking periods for Grades 1-5 and Grades 6-8 may be different from now on. For full details, see our dates and fees page.
  • Grade 5 Music Theory requirement - from 1 January to 30 April 2021 only, candidates can take Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical exams without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. From 1 May 2021, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return with flexibility about timing. If you receive an email asking for your proof of prerequisite, please ignore this. We will still release any results in line with the arrangements outlined here.

For more information click here.

Advent calendar

Throughout December, we will be sharing good news stories in the form of an advent calendar. These stories are a mixture of discounts, resources, free training, or celebratory films from our partners. We hope you enjoy them!

Global High Scorers’ Concert in November

We are delighted to share with you our third Global High Scorers’ Concert on 14 November.

Top Tips for beginner musicians from a NYAT/ABRSM music bursary holder

Shania shares her top tips for beginner musicians. ABRSM helps young musicians like Shania through a fund to support their music making, in partnership with the National Youth Arts Trust (NYAT).

Music Leaders

Chelsea Carmichael, Artistic Director of the Jazz Messengers, reflects on collaborative leadership, making jazz relevant for the younger generation.

Listen to Tania Davis play Veracini

Tania Davis, violinist in the Bond Quartet, performs Allegro by Veracini. This is a Grade 8 piece from our 2020-2023 Violin syllabus.

The Commonwealth Composition Challenge

This exciting new competition has been created by the Commonwealth Resounds charity to encourage young people around the world to compose a short piece of music in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

How well do you know your piano pieces?

To celebrate the recent publication of our Core Classics books we’ve put together a short quiz on our piano pieces. Can you guess the piece from the first bar of music?

How music-inspired free play can nurture creative young minds

In this article Dr Mignon van Vreden, a lecturer in Music Education at South Africa’s North-West University, explores the interaction between music, play, learning and creativity.

Because of Music – Tracy’s story

Tracy has always loved music but wasn't too serious about it until her late 20s. She toured America, Australia and Europe with Bandit Queen. She really misses playing live and always feels healthier and happier when she is playing music.

Take part in the Commonwealth International Composition Award

Writing new music is as important and interesting as playing a musical instrument or singing. However, many young people around the world don’t know how to start writing music.

The RPS conversation - Music on the home front

In the next instalment of The RPS Conversation, RPS Chief Executive James Murphy, introduces four people who have each done remarkable musical deeds in lockdown.

Introducing the new ABRSM Percussion syllabus

The new Percussion syllabus is here and I’d like to introduce you to what it has to offer...

Last free piece of the day

Today marks the last instalment of ‘free piece of the day’ and we hope you’ve enjoyed the pieces we’ve shared. Don’t worry if you’ve missed some of our pieces, you can browse and download any of them on our online library until the end of the year.

Music leadership

Composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad highlights the delight and responsibility involved in writing music for learners. Cheryl’s music is featured in our Piano syllabus.

Bringing Fauré to life

Performed by Rob Burton (alto saxophone) & Konya Kanneh-Mason (piano), both students at the Royal Academy of Music, Faure’s Après un rêve is a Grade 5 piece from our 2018-2021 Saxophone syllabus.

Take Five!

Performed by ABRSM examiner Gary Ryan, this arrangement of Take Five is from the ABRSM Guitar syllabus (from 2019) and features in the Guitar Exam Pieces book at Grade 5.

Making Music virtual concerts

Join the Making Music team tomorrow at 7pm for their latest concert broadcast on their YouTube channel.

Do you have role models?

We help young musicians like Irobosa through a fund to support their music making, in partnership with the National Youth Arts Trust (NYAT).

Learn to play electric guitar with the experts!

Start your personalised journey and learn key guitar skills step by step. Sign up today and try it out for free, then pay just £8.99 a month.

Commonwealth Composition Challenge – meet the winners!

The Commonwealth Resounds, an organisation sponsored by ABRSM, created the Commonwealth Composition Challenge in March 2020.

Make music and carry on

Over the coming weeks, the Royal Philharmonic Society will be sharing stories of other significant occasions when music has shone a light in the dark. 

An inspirational performance of Schubert’s Minuet and Trio

To celebrate the launch of our Piano syllabus for 2021 & 2022, we are thrilled to share this video of Konya Kanneh-Mason performing one of the brilliant new pieces from Grade 4.

Leap Frog Funk

This piece is ‘funky’ in its syncopated rhythmic phrasing and ‘leaps’ around with quick octave changes.

What does music mean to you?

We help young musicians like Shania through a fund to support their music making, in partnership with the National Youth Arts Trust (NYAT).

Guy Johnston plays Grade 4 Tchaikovsky

Guy Johnston (cello) and Tom Poster (piano) perform Tchaikovsky’s Douce Rêverie. This is a Grade 4 piece from our 2020-2023 Cello syllabus.

Watch our very first Global High Scorers’ Concert, organised by our International Representatives

Congratulations from all of us at ABRSM to the performers taking part in this very special High Scorers’ Concert.  

Gary Ryan plays Valseana by Assad

This beautiful piece performed by Gary Ryan, features in the ABRSM Guitar syllabus from 2019 at Grade 8.

Creating our virtual ensemble

From watching our social media feeds, it feels like so many musicians are finding ways to connect with each other by performing in virtual ensembles. 

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