Latest exam updates

Practical Exams Update – Italy

We appreciate how much the cancellation of our exams has affected learners and we are working hard on solutions to ensure learners can gain their qualifications at the earliest opportunity.

However, on the basis of official UK Government advice, due to Covid-19, ABRSM has made the decision to cancel all Practical Exams in Italy until further notice. This decision affects all 2020 Practical Exams, ARSM and Diplomas. Following this decision, we will process refunds for all existing exam bookings and we will provide further detailed guidance on this process including timescales soon.

We are sorry for the impact on teachers and candidates and thank you for your loyalty and support while these restrictions remain in place. We are continuing to review when live Practical exams can resume in Italy and will offer them again at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our new remotely-assessed Performance Grades provide  an alternative progression route for students during this period of disruption. The Performance Grades are equivalent to our Practical Grades in demand, recognition and value. They are based on the same repertoire and syllabuses, assessment criteria and quality assurance measures as our existing exams and will be assessed by the same highly trained examiners. Booking will open in Italy before the end of the year and you can record your video submission any time from now on. Find out more here.

RPS Intrepid Musicians

Our friends at the Royal Philharmonic Society are collecting stories of musicians doing remarkable things through the pandemic. We wanted to share some of these thought-provoking stories with you.

“Musicians are remarkable beings. It’s part of their calling to inspire other people. So it’s no surprise to find that many of them, suddenly without work at this moment, are looking for ways they can still give the best of themselves to support others.

In the coming weeks, we want to show people at large the many positive ways musicians are responding to this sudden crisis. As part of this, we want to celebrate those musicians who are temporarily taking on new roles, demonstrating how outgoing, versatile and community-minded musicians truly are.

Several such musicians share their stories here. They may be setting aside their instrument for a time, but each is set to fulfil new pursuits with the same energy and commitment they bring to their music. Click ‘play’ on showcase above to hear their accounts in turn, or select any of their individual stories below.

Meanwhile, if you’re a musician who’s newly found yourself taking on an unexpected role, we’d love to hear from you and feature your story too. Please get in touch.

  • Bassoonist Cat McDermid has found her sewing skills coming in handy and is now making scrubs uniforms for her local hospital.
  • Mezzo soprano Beth Taylor is pleased to be lending a hand to NHS staff working full-time as a cleaner at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.
  • Composer and violist Adam Possener has returned from teaching music in Chile and restarted his old job in Norwich as a Healthcare Assistant.
  • Clarinettist Katherine Spencer is relishing still connecting with people in a new job at Waitrose.
  • Mezzo-soprano Joanna Harries is now helping out at her local supermarket.
  • Tenor Alex Aldren, who originally trained as a doctor, is back working on the hospital wards.
  • Conductor Alice Farnham has signed up to volunteer for the NHS.

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