ABRSM & Trinity Syllabus Changes & Updates
So, this is the time of year that most of the music examination boards such as the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) and Trinity College London bring out new publications for upcoming changes to the requirements on the syllabus. Turns out, 2017 is no different! We have a range of changes to the syllabus of the ABRSM Music Theory examinations alongside a completely new woodwind syllabus and singing syllabus from 2018! Trinity have just released their new piano syllabus for 2018 too!
ABRSM Woodwind Syllabus 2018
First things first, and the new ABRSM Woodwind syllabus will be available from early July 2017 and valid for examinations from 1st January 2018.
There will be the usual changes to repertoire, now with at least 10 options per list per grade, but the 2018 syllabus will also include revisions to the sight-reading tests alongside new scale and arpeggio requirements. Definitely something for teachers to have to get their heads around for sure!
The main changes to the 57, yes 57, new titles from ABRSM for this change in syllabus are that the Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone exams will be available as a complete exam pack from grades 1 to 5. The exam pack contains pieces, scales, arpeggios and sight-reading material all in one place as well as a code to download recordings of the pieces within the pack (performance and accompaniment only).
The 2018 syllabus will also include publications for Flute and Clarinet pieces from grades 1-7 as well as a new Saxophone pieces book available from grades 1 to 5. The exam pieces books will now come as score and part as standard complete with a code to download recordings of the pieces as full performances and accompaniments. The score, part and CD option and part only option are no longer available.
There will be a new set of books for the scales and arpeggios section of the examination with revised lists for each grade on the 2018 syllabus. There will be a combined scales, arpeggios and sight-reading pack at grades 1 to 5 for each of the Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone syllabus with separate books for scales and arpeggios and sight-reading at grades 6-8.
There are scales and arpeggios books for grades 1 to 5 and grades 6 to 8 for Bassoon, Oboe and Recorder as well as the same for the updated sight-reading tests.
Don’t forget that the ABRSM syllabus overlap period is 1 period, or academic term. So you can still use your pieces from the current syllabus until Easter 2018, but all of the other technical elements will have to change to the new 2018 syllabus from 1st January.
So, all in all, there’s literally loads changing! Make sure you pop in for a free copy of the syllabus when it is released at the start of July to keep up to date with all of the changes as well as having the chance to look over all of the new publications!
ABRSM Music Theory Examinations
The ABRSM is also making changes to the current Music Theory syllabus at grades 1 to 5 from 1st January 2018. Grades 6 to 8 will be exactly the same as the current syllabus!
So, what’s changing I hear you ask? Well, the ABRSM is updating the layout of the question papers to make sure that they are clear and understandable. We all have instances of candidates missing the question over the page don’t we?! Other than the layout changes, the following changes are being implemented: –
• Introducing multiple choice questions for musical terms and signs
• Reducing the amount of information on the page for time signature questions (Grades 1 to 3)
• Simplifying the layout of intervals questions (Grades 4 and 5)
• Simplifying the layout for Grade 5, Question 7 (chords at cadence points), with candidates asked to describe chords only using roman numerals.
• Removing rhythm-writing, melody-writing and word-setting questions, and the Grade 5 SATB short/open score question
The biggest changes at grade 5 where most candidates take the music theory examination to enable the higher performance grades to be taken show that the composition element will be completely removed along with the SATB short/open score section. The composition removal will make any candidate taking the grade 6 examination have to start from scratch which also includes a modulation during the composition. That’s a big change between only 1 grade boundary.
The composition element will be replaced by a combination of other smaller questions based on the knowledge and understanding at the correct level so should feel familiar to teachers and candidates.
The ABRSM Music Theory in Practice publications will continue to be published in their current format as they include all of the elements of the syllabus, just with a couple of extra theory elements that will not be questioned on the examination paper. Furthermore, the First Steps in Music Theory and AB Guide to Music Theory will also remain the same.
The difference will come with the examination papers themselves. The past papers from 2016 and previous will still be available to use alongside a new publication available from July of the new Music Theory resources online. There will be two complete sets of examination papers from grades 1 to 5 available online to download and use for free. There will also be a free online resource to be able to practise the new multiple choice questions for assessing musical terms and signs.
Printed practice papers will be available in January 2018 at grades 1 to 5.
Trinity College London Piano Syllabus 2018-2020
Trinity College London have just released their new piano syllabus books for the new syllabus that starts on 1st January 2018. All of the books are available separately from grades initial to 8 and are also available with or without CD of all performances at each grade level.
The main changes to the Trinity College London Piano syllabus include new repertoire pieces at all levels across a wide range of genres, new technical work and exercises and revised own composition, aural and improvisation requirements. Duets can now also be selected from initial to grade 3 and the pieces are only separated into groups at grades 6 to 8; pieces can be freely chosen at all other grades from the entire list. Don’t forget that Trinity College London has a longer overlap period of 12 months when syllabus changes are made. Therefore, you can still perform the pieces from the currently syllabus until the end of 2018, however, you will be required to undertake the changes in technical elements from 1st January 2018.
The new publications are available now along with the teaching notes for the new syllabus! Pop in to find out more now!