Remote Assessment by ABRSM

Remote Assessment by ABRSM


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Until 2020, all music students had one type of exam: the now called “practical exam“.

The tutors would teach three pieces taken from the ABRSM syllabus. However, the piano performance was one of many things to be examined: part of it was (and still is, actually) aural skills, sight-reading skills and last but not least, technical work that consists of different scales and arpeggios that are consistent with the level of the student and is taken as well from the ABRSM syllabus.

The pandemic made many changes in our lives: the work environment has changed, social events, gatherings, the schooling system, etc. And ABRSM was not left out of this situation. One positive aspect is that this institution knew when to adapt and quickly: they designed a whole new type of examination that now, even at the gates of the end of the pandemic, is here to stay: the performance exam.


The main difference

The difference of this new type from the old one is that they focus on the performance side by playing four contrasting pieces taken from the same syllabus, taking the technical work, the aural skills and the sight-reading skills out of the table, leaving the pure music in its purest form: the piano performance.

Many piano teachers are breathing lightly now that they don’t have to struggle with the aural training and sight-reading, and let’s be honest, many students!

Something to bear in mind is that the quality of the performance should be at its peak; as it is the only way to qualify, it should be an impeccable delivery: from the musical part (articulation, dynamics, phrasing and technique) to the presentation skills, such as pauses in between pieces, dress-code and overall attitude of the student who is presenting the video to the examination board.

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