Sheet Music Review
Sometimes, like busses, exam syllabi arrive more than one at a time. If it seems as if it were just last month that I wrote my bumper review of the 2021-2 ABRSM piano syllabus, well… that’s because it was. And now here is the new syllabus from Trinity College London (TCL) …
TCL tell us that this is their biggest ever piano syllabus, so there will be a lot of ground to cover in this bumper review.
Although I am going to integrate my material, I will tackle the review from two perspectives, trying to answer questions and pick up on the headline news for:
- existing TCL exam users; and
- those considering switching to TCL from ABRSM or another board.
So let’s discover the big stories in the TCL Piano Syllabus 2021-3…
Continue reading Trinity Piano Syllabus 2021-23
Sheet Music Review
The launch of ABRSM’s biennial piano syllabus is always a significant event in the piano education world: particularly in the UK and Far East, where the exam board’s offerings remain hugely popular and influence much of what is taught.
For their 2021-22 syllabus ABRSM are heralding several structural changes:
- A new Initial Grade, providing a pre-Grade 1 assessment that follows the same structure, content and marking criteria as their other graded music exams
- Completely revised repertoire lists and scales requirements
- A revised list structure, with lists defined by musical characteristics rather than period of composition
- More choice and variety of repertoire (30 pieces per grade)
- A duet option from Initial Grade to Grade 3
- A one-year overlap period, with the 2019 & 2020 syllabus valid until 31 December 2021.
I will review the new Scales & Arpeggios syllabus and supporting publications separately within the next few days.
ABRSM have also announced a “remote” alternative to their Practical Grades, which you can read about here. Although dubbed Performance Grades this is somewhat a misnomer; unlike the Practical Grades, where candidates must face performing live to an examiner, these new assessments take the form of a submitted recording of four pieces, including three from the Grade syllabus.
With a whopping 270 pieces included in the new syllabus, including 81 published in ABRSM’s nine Piano Exam Pieces books, even the most in-depth review can’t cover every piece, and as always I recommend readers download the full syllabus lists from ABRSM’s own site.
However, as in previous years I will look at particular trends within the syllabus, the direction of travel, highlighting those general features which will interest teachers and players alike.
I will bookend the review with a more detailed look at two specific grades: Initial and Grade 8, representing the start and end points of a student’s journey through these assessments, and in which the broader changes in the syllabus are writ large.
And finally, I will offer a personal list of some of the highlights selected from each Grade in turn.
So let’s jump in…
Continue reading ABRSM Piano Syllabus 2021-22