Latest exam updates

Music Theory Exam update – session 2

On the basis of government advice, we are cancelling the Music Theory exams due to take place later in 2020. We are sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support.

New Initial Grade

What is Initial Grade?

Our new Initial Grade for Piano is a pre-Grade 1 assessment following the same structure, content and marking criteria as our other graded music exams (three pieces, scales, sight-reading and aural tests).

Initial Grade does not replace Prep Test, but it sits alongside it as an alternative assessment. It’s designed to allow pianists at the earliest stages of their musical journeys to celebrate their achievement, and is an ideal qualification for those who want a mark as well as helpful feedback. Initial Grade is available for Practical grades only.

What supporting resources are available?

Piano Initial Grade is supported with individual books of Piano Exam Pieces (available with or without CD), Piano Scales & Arpeggios and Specimen Piano Sight-reading Tests as well as a book of Specimen Aural Tests. Find out more.

Piano Star Skills Builder is a new book by David Blackwell and Karen Marshall in the popular Piano Star series. It will develop musicianship skills for young pianists who are working towards Initial Grade level and beyond, providing a firm foundation in scales, aural, and sight-reading skills, building essential techniques progressively. The varied material includes fun pieces to play, songs to sing, written and listening activities, composition games, and much more. Based on decades of proven teaching strategies, with all content tried out on – and approved! – by children, Piano Star Skills Builder will grow young pianists’ confidence and skill around all areas of musicianship, providing them with the underpinnings they need to succeed at ABRSM Initial Grade Piano and beyond, and develop their musical journey for many years to come. The book publishes on 3 September and is available to pre-order now!

Watch Konya Kanneh-Mason perform The Elephant Parade by Nikki Iles - a newly-commissioned piece on our Initial Grade Piano syllabus.

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