Music Medals regulations
- Music Medals are assessments and teaching resources that introduce essential skills and encourage playing together.
- There are five levels of Music Medal – Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum – progressing in difficulty from Copper upwards.
- Candidates may be entered at any level irrespective of age and without previously having taken a Music Medal.
- A Music Medals assessment involves the following participants: the candidate; up to three other pupils; their teacher (Teacher-Assessor). There is no external examiner.
- Each Music Medal comprises three obligatory sections: Ensemble (the candidate plays an individual line in an ensemble piece for two, three or four players); Solo (the candidate performs a solo piece, with or without accompaniment); Option (the candidate chooses one of four musicianship tests).
- The three sections of each Music Medal are video-recorded in one uninterrupted sequence by the Teacher-Assessor in the order given in 5. above.
- Music Medals are currently available in the United Kingdom only. Assessments are available for the following instruments: Recorder, Flute (including Fife at Copper/Bronze levels), Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Guitar, French Horn, Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, E flat Horn, Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium, Tuba, Keyboard.
- Certain key elements of the Music Medals assessment scheme have been designed to operate using the internet via the Music Medals website. Entry processes, release of confidential tests, confirmation of results and details of statistics are all web-based rather than paper-based and thus access to the internet is essential for participation.
- Teachers must undergo Teacher-Assessor training before operating Music Medals assessments. This training must be carried out via the free online training scheme provided by ABRSM or by attending a training session conducted by an ABRSM representative or a Trainer nominated by a Music Medals Partner.
- All necessary training material is provided by ABRSM.
- Copyright in all materials provided by ABRSM for training purposes resides with ABRSM. Teacher-Assessors agree to respect this copyright and to refrain from duplicating any materials supplied by ABRSM.
Teacher-Assessors must be aged 18 or over. Teacher-Assessors are responsible for the assessment of Music Medals and the necessary preparation of candidates and pupils beforehand and their safety and welfare during the assessments.
1. Teacher-Assessors may only conduct assessments of their own pupils.
2. To be eligible to operate Music Medals, Teacher-Assessors must first have undergone Teacher-Assessor training (see Regulation 2).
3. Each Teacher-Assessor wishing to operate Music Medals must complete a registration form providing personal details and formally confirming agreement to abide by ABRSM’s Music Medals Regulations. Teacher-Assessors can be independent or attached to a Music Medals Partner (MMP). If attached to an MMP, the registration form must also be signed by the MMP or designated signatory.
4. Following registration, each Teacher-Assessor is assigned an applicant number. This, used in conjunction with a confidential password, allows access to the Music Medals online entry system and to statistical information relating to the results of candidates assessed by that Teacher-Assessor and to ABRSM’s moderation of the Teacher-Assessor’s assessments. It is the responsibility of the Teacher-Assessor to safeguard the confidentiality of the password.
5. Teacher-Assessors must agree to undergo any necessary further training identified by moderation (see Regulation 17.4).
6. Teacher-Assessors agree to notify ABRSM of any changes in their registration details by emailing [email protected]
7. ABRSM reserves the right to refuse or terminate registration of any individual as a Teacher-Assessor.
Music Medals Partners (MMP)
The Music Medals Partner (MMP) may be a school, music service, hub or organization that establishes and runs Music Medals assessments via their teachers. Teacher-Assessors, if linked to an MMP, can make entries and carry out assessments of their own pupils on behalf of this MMP.
1. Each MMP wishing to operate Music Medals must sign a Partnership Agreement, signed by the head of the organization.
2. ABRSM expects that all organizations participating in Music Medals will have their own safeguarding children policy in place. On signing the Partnership Agreement, the MMP confirms that such a policy exists within their organization.
3. The MMP agrees to notify ABRSM of any Teacher-Assessors leaving their organization.
4. MMPs agree to notify ABRSM of any changes in their registration details by emailing [email protected]
A Music Medals Co-ordinator is someone nominated by an MMP to undertake some or all of the administrative processes which would otherwise be carried out by the Teacher-Assessor.
1. Co-ordinators who wish to be attached to an MMP must complete a registration form signed by the MMP.
2. Following registration, each Co-ordinator is assigned an applicant number. This, used in conjunction with a confidential password, allows Co-ordinators to make entries on behalf of any Teacher-Assessor attached to their MMP and to access statistical information relating to the results of candidates assessed under that MMP.
- As part of the registration process, all those parties involved in the operation of Music Medals are required to agree to the relevant undertakings concerning confidentiality detailed below.
- The confidential Option tests may be downloaded and printed only by the Teacher-Assessor or Co-ordinator, and their security and confidentiality must be maintained at all times. Tests may be handled only by the Teacher-Assessor or Co-ordinator and must not be seen by the candidate in advance of the assessment.
- The confidentiality of assessments made by the Teacher-Assessor and of video footage must be maintained at all times. The assessments and video-recordings may be prepared for return to ABRSM only by the Teacher-Assessor or Co-ordinator and must be kept safe and secure and out of sight of any third party, including candidates.
- The applicant number, used in conjunction with the confidential password, provides access to sensitive information concerning entries and results and will only be confirmed by ABRSM to the registered party. It is the responsibility of the party concerned to safeguard the confidentiality of the password.
- ABRSM will not divulge information concerning the moderation of any individual Teacher-Assessor’s assessments to anyone other than the Teacher-Assessor concerned. ABRSM is not responsible for information passed on by those parties to others.
- ABRSM’s Child safeguarding and child protection policy is produced in consultation with the NSPCC.
- ABRSM is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. All parties involved in the operation of Music Medals are expected to share this commitment and to be familiar with ABRSM's safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures.
1. Before assessments may take place, Teacher-Assessors must have ensured that permission to video-record each participating child has been obtained from parents/guardians.
2. The process of obtaining parental permission must be undertaken by the Teacher-Assessor. ABRSM has no involvement in this process, although a sample consent form is available. The signed consent form should be retained by the Teacher-Assessor and not be sent to ABRSM.
3. Confirmation that parental permission has been obtained for each participating child must be made during online entry. Entry cannot proceed unless the Teacher-Assessor confirms this.
4. The Teacher-Assessor confirms consent to the copyright of video-recordings of Music Medals assessments passing to ABRSM.
5. ABRSM is eager to ensure that the purposes and use of Music Medals video-recordings are fully understood when parents/guardians give their consent to their children being filmed and that good practice is adopted, not only with regard to gaining parental consent but also in the subsequent handling of video footage.
1. Entries for Music Medals can only be made online, via the entries and results website.
2. Entries can be made at any time by registered Teacher-Assessors and Co-ordinators by means of their applicant number and confidential password.
3. There is no restriction on the number of candidates who may be entered on any single occasion.
4. During online entry, the Teacher-Assessor is required to supply full details of all candidates being entered. It is the responsibility of the Teacher-Assessor to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied. ABRSM cannot be held responsible for any distortion to Music Medals statistics as a result of inaccurate information supplied by the applicant.
5. During online entry, Teacher-Assessors are required to confirm that they have understood, and agree to abide by, ABRSM’s Music Medals Regulations.
6. Entries can be accepted by ABRSM only in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the Music Medals Regulations, and on the understanding that in all matters the decision of ABRSM must be accepted as final.
7. ABRSM reserves the right to refuse, invalidate or cancel any entry. In such cases, the entry fee(s) may be reimbursed at ABRSM’s discretion. ABRSM reserves the right to invalidate the assessment of any candidate entered incorrectly.
8. If, after the eight-week period allowed for each Music Medal (see Regulation 10.2), an entered candidate’s Medal has not taken place or the relevant assessment materials have not been received by ABRSM, the Medal becomes invalid and the entry fee is retained by ABRSM. Further entry may be made, provided that a new entry fee is paid.
1. Current Music Medals fees are available from this website.
2. Payment may be made as follows:
- online: by debit/credit card at the time of online entry
- token: by quoting the number of a token purchased in advance of online entry (see 3. – 5. below)
Option tests will only become available once full payment is made (see Regulation 10.1).
3. Tokens representing full entry payment for Music Medals may be purchased online by individuals or organizations
4. Tokens are valid for one year from the date of purchase and have no monetary value. They may not be used in part-payment of an assessment. Tokens are transferable between candidates before use, but may not be transferred once used as payment. Purchase of a token does not constitute an entry.
5. Tokens can be used only as payment for a Music Medal of the same level or lower. If used for a Medal of a lower level, no refund will be made for the difference in cost.
- Entry fees for candidates who withdraw from a Music Medal for which they have been entered will be refunded only in exceptional circumstances. Refunds in cases of unforeseen events, such as minor illness, will not be made, since the eight-week period allowed for each Music Medal permits flexibility for rescheduling assessments (see Regulation 10b).
- If the withdrawal is caused by serious illness or injury, a medical certificate will be required; in such cases, the refund will not exceed 75% of the entry fee.
- Any request for consideration of a refund due to withdrawal must be made to ABRSM as soon as possible and no later than two weeks after the expiry of the eight-week period allowed for each Music Medal, and must include full details of the circumstances. Any refund is made at the discretion of ABRSM.
- No refund can be made where payment has been effected using a prepaid token.
1. Once an entry has been made and payment received by ABRSM, the Teacher-Assessor or Co-ordinator is sent e-mail notification that the necessary assessment materials (personalized Option tests and a report form for each candidate and blank video logs) are available to download and print from the entries and results website. This triggers an eight-week period in which the assessment materials must be downloaded.
2. At the point of downloading, the assessment materials are dated to give a new eight-week period during which Music Medals assessments must take place. This allows flexibility over the timing of assessments and a choice as to whether or not all candidates in a given group are assessed on the same occasion, as well as permitting the rescheduling of an assessment for any candidate who is absent or unwell.
a. A video-recording device, and tripod are required for Music Medals assessments.
b. The Teacher-Assessor must ensure that the video-recording device used is of sufficient quality for assessment moderation purposes and is able to record in one of the formats listed in 11c below.
c. The following recording formats are accepted: encrypted USB memory stick (original will be returned to customer wiped of data) and digital uploads via the entries and results website. ABRSM reserves the right to amend the list of accepted recording formats. Where ABRSM withdraws a recording format, a lead-in time of one year to the withdrawal will apply.
d. No more than twelve assessments may be included on any one video log.
e. The Teacher-Assessor is responsible for ensuring that the video-recording device operates smoothly during assessments. Any technical problems are the Teacher-Assessor’s responsibility to solve. ABRSM cannot be held responsible for any failure of the video-recording device or power supply.
f. Video-recordings of assessments may be handled only by the Teacher-Assessor or Co-ordinator and must not be distributed to any other party. After assessments have taken place, only the Teacher-Assessor or Co-ordinator may view the video-recordings before their return to ABRSM
- In the assessment, each candidate must perform one of the Ensemble pieces and one of the Solo pieces listed by level in the Syllabus Repertoire Lists for the relevant instrument. The Syllabus Repertoire Lists are available from this website.
- The Syllabus Repertoire Lists are regularly updated on this website. ABRSM cannot be held responsible for the non-availability of any listed publication.
- Photocopying of copyright works is not permitted.
- Candidates offering a wrong piece or not being prepared to perform the whole of the work specified in the syllabus repertoire lists for their instrument and level will be liable to disqualification.
- Repeats may be played at the discretion of the Teacher-Assessor or candidate. However, those repeats that are essential to the musical structure must be observed. Ornaments may be simplified or omitted.
- No doubling of lines is permitted in the Ensemble. All Ensemble pieces are to be played without the use of a piano, guitar or other harmonic accompaniment or a CD backing track. Teacher-Assessors may contribute to Ensemble performances by playing the accompanying line in a duet with the candidate at Copper and Bronze levels only, or by playing any line other than the candidate’s in a trio or quartet at all levels.
- Teacher-Assessors may arrange lines of set ensemble pieces (excepting the line taken by the candidate) for other instruments available to them, provided that the arrangement is faithful to the original and copies of it (either written-out or computer-generated) reproduce the appropriate copyright line and publisher’s credit as they appear in the original publication. Such copies must also bear the wording: ‘This arrangement is for use only in [name of school] and may not be publicly performed, reproduced or broadcast.’
- In the Solo, candidates may play either with an accompaniment (live or CD backing track) or unaccompanied. If a CD backing track is used, it is the Teacher-Assessor’s responsibility to ensure that the balance and volume are sufficiently regulated so as to allow the candidate’s performance on the video-recording to be properly audible for moderation purposes.
- Downloaded Option tests are copyrighted by ABRSM and must not be reproduced in any way.
1. Assessments are held at a time chosen by the Teacher-Assessor during the eight weeks permitted by ABRSM for each Music Medal (see Regulation 10.2).
2. The Teacher-Assessor must ensure that each individual assessment is recorded in one uninterrupted sequence. Before the confidential Option test is administered, an assessment may be abandoned and restarted any number of times. Once the Option test has been administered, the Music Medal cannot be restarted.
3. The Teacher-Assessor must ensure that video-recorded assessments are of sufficient quality of sound and picture for moderation to be possible.
4. In order to ensure that each candidate is identified correctly for moderation purposes, the Teacher-Assessor agrees to follow ABRSM’s instructions for announcing candidates’ details. Instructions are available on this website and on our quick guide to Music Medals assessments.
5. In Ensemble performances, the Teacher-Assessor must ensure that the candidate stands nearest to the video-camera and appears to the left of the screen.
6. After the Ensemble, the Teacher-Assessor must ensure that the group members not being assessed remain quiet and do not distract the candidate in the Solo and Option sections.
7. Teacher-Assessors must ensure that pupils do not bring any unauthorized material or equipment into the room, such as other recording equipment, cameras, phones, etc.
8. Teacher-Assessors must not intervene in any way that might favourably influence a candidate’s performance, such as prompting, giving hints before the candidate performs the Option test, or allowing more than the specified Option preparation time.
9. Should any Teacher-Assessor be deemed to have conducted an assessment in a biased or unfair manner or contrary to the Music Medals Regulations, he/she risks the disqualification of the assessment in question and the termination of his/her status as a Teacher-Assessor.
10. Should any assessment be disqualified for whatever reason, ABRSM will not reimburse the entry fee.
11. In all matters relating to the conduct of Music Medals assessments, ABRSM’s decision is final.
- Performances in each section of the Music Medal are placed within one of three attainment categories – Excellent, Pass or Working Towards. A minimum of two Passes is required for a Medal to be awarded. One of these Passes must be in the Ensemble section; if a Pass is not achieved in the Ensemble, an overall Pass cannot be awarded, even if the Solo and Option have both passed.
- At Bronze to Platinum levels, the Medal is passed ‘with excellence’ if the candidate achieves Excellent in all three sections. At Copper level, if Excellent is achieved in all three sections, an overall Pass is still awarded.
When submitting the assessments online (via the entries and results website), the video-recordings should be uploaded and the report forms completed online and submitted as soon as possible after the assessments have taken place.
1. Once the expiry date printed on the Option test has passed, it is not possible to submit the assessment online.
2. Once results have been issued, the Option test, report form and video log (if printed out) should be confidentially destroyed.
If submitting the videos by post, the videos must be on an encrypted memory stick. We will not accept any videos submitted on other formats or that are not encrypted for safe-guarding reasons. When submitting the assessments by post, the video-recordings and associated assessment materials (completed report form and personalized Option test for each candidate and completed video log) should be returned to ABRSM as soon as possible after the assessments have taken place and must arrive no later than the expiry date printed on the assessment materials.
1. Teacher-Assessors must complete the report form in accordance with ABRSM’s instructions. For assessments submitted by post, the Teacher-Assessor must also complete a video log for every video, detailing the candidates recorded and the order in which they performed. Any inadequately completed or incorrectly submitted paperwork may result in an assessment being delayed or annulled.
2. Teacher-Assessors agree to complete report forms out of the sight of candidates and other group members. Teacher-Assessors may not disclose to candidates or other group members how they have assessed Music Medals performances.
3. If required, and before submission of the assessment to ABRSM, Teacher-Assessors may adjust the report form after the completion of an assessment by consulting the video evidence. In such cases, for assessments submitted by post, it is advisable to download and complete a fresh report form. Report forms showing amendments may cause delay in the processing of results.
4. The video-recordings and assessment materials must be prepared for return in accordance with ABRSM’s instructions.
5. It is the responsibility of the person returning the materials to ensure that they are packaged securely. ABRSM recommends that all materials are sent by recorded delivery and
that a certificate of posting is obtained. ABRSM cannot accept responsibility for the non-receipt of posted materials.
6. ABRSM is not liable for any costs incurred in sending materials.
7. Should any materials be damaged as a result of inadequate packaging, ABRSM reserves the right to return the materials unmoderated. In such cases, ABRSM will not refund entry fees.
ABRSM cannot be held responsible for any loss of, or damage to, video-recordings during posting.
- Teacher-Assessors' results are moderated until ABRSM is satisfied that they are assessing correctly in accordance with the criteria. Thereafter their results are subject to random selection for moderation on a regular basis.
- The moderation process involves an ABRSM moderator corroborating or adjusting Teacher-Assessors’ assessments. Only once this process has taken place are results confirmed.
- Teacher-Assessors may view online any changes to their assessments made during moderation.
- The moderation of a Teacher-Assessor’s assessments may lead to ABRSM recommending or requiring further training for that Teacher-Assessor. ABRSM reserves the right to deregister any Teacher-Assessor where further training is declined or is not effective.
- The work of ABRSM moderators is subject to regular and rigorous scrutiny.
1. Provided that assessments have been carried out correctly and the video-recordings and assessment materials have been submitted in accordance with ABRSM’s instructions, ABRSM will endeavour to issue Music Medals results no later than two weeks after receipt of the materials. However, on occasion additional moderation is required and this can delay the release of results.
2. Initial notification of the release of results is made by email. Once such notification has been made, results may be viewed online at the entries and results website. Candidates may then be informed of their results. Results will not be released to parents direct.
3. All successful candidates receive a medal, a certificate and a commentary on their performance. For those who are still Working Towards their Music Medal, a commentary on their performance is issued. Medals/certificates/commentaries are sent to the person indicated at the time of entry, and it is this person’s responsibility to distribute them.
4. ABRSM is unable to divulge results by telephone or by any means other than those described above.
5. ABRSM cannot accept responsibility for the non-receipt of medals/certificates/ commentaries after their despatch.
6. The person to whom medals/certificates/commentaries are sent is responsible for notifying ABRSM if any such items are missing upon receipt. Provided this is done within 14 days of the date of posting from ABRSM, there will be no charge for reissuing any missing items. After the elapse of this period and in cases of loss or damage, a replacement certificate and/or commentary and/or medal may be issued by ABRSM on application and payment of a fee of £6.
1. Enquiries about the result or conduct of a Music Medals assessment must be addressed to the Chief Examiner, whose decision shall be final.
2. Any such enquiry should be sent to [email protected]sm.ac.uk with your concerns within 28 days after receiving the result. Appeals can take 4 weeks to resolve and there is no fee for Music Medal appeals.
1. Music Medals assessments are designed to be accessible, wherever possible, to all instrumental pupils, regardless of sensory impairments, learning difficulties or particular physical needs.
2. Candidates with a sensory impairment or learning difficulty should choose the Option test which best suits their requirements and abilities. Further information can be found here.
3. Where a candidate requires an Option test in enlarged or modified print or in Braille, it is the Teacher-Assessor’s responsibility to produce the tests in these formats after downloading them in the usual way (see Regulation 10).
4. If you have a candidate whose needs are not covered by these arrangements in the Access Guidelines, please contact our Access Coordinator, outlining the particular needs of the candidate, and the likely impact on their Music Medal assessment.
ABRSM is committed to providing equality of opportunity and treatment for all, and will not unlawfully or unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly on the basis of gender, age, ethnic origin or disability in its dealings with Music Medals participants.