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Pioneering music assessment marks landmark milestone as students opt to take 500,000 exams online

3 months ago

Remote performance exam changing face of global music learning – 30,000 renditions of Hässler later!

An innovative music exam which is 100% assessed online via video recordings and focuses on students’ performance has firmly embedded itself in music learning habits around the world, with 500,000 exams being taken via remote assessment since its launch just two and a half years ago.

The landmark Performance Grade lets students choose what, when and where they play and complements traditional face-to-face practical exams by marking students entirely on their performance of their chosen music.

Performance Grades were already in development before the pandemic struck but were initially launched in September 2020 to meet demand from music learners unable to take traditional face to face exams because of the pandemic. They have quickly become a highly popular and enduring option with continuing demand from music learners in 82 countries.

ABRSM’s Deputy Chief Executive, Penny Milsom: “We are delighted that bookings for face-to-face exams, including Practical Grades, are continuing to build strongly following the enforced shutdowns of the pandemic.

“It is also fantastic that teachers and learners are taking advantage of the choice now available between digital and face-to-face, and Practical and Performance Grades.

“When it comes to the exam itself, Performance Grades offer an assessment that appeals to learners who love to perform and many candidates also benefit from recording their exam in familiar surroundings. We also know that these exams work well for adult learners who are either returning to exams or learning for the first time.”

The Performance Grade is a regulated qualification available at Grades 1 to 8 and for all instruments – but is so far most popular with Grade 5 piano students. Since its launch, ABRSM examiners have assessed more than 8 million minutes of videoed submissions performed on a total of 42 different instruments. In the process, they have listened to 30,000 renditions of Hässler’s Ecossaise in G, the most popular Performance Grade piece so far.

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