ABRSM Program

About ABRSM

KAMP ABRSM Contact: Jim Peterson 

 

What is the ABRSM Program?

ABRSM stands for The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. It is a globally standardized curriculum for learning music that is distinguished by regular testing to mark achievement and participation in an international community of music students. 

Where does ABRSM come from?

ABRSM has been around for over 130 years.  It commenced to fill a need for standards by which students could be tested on musical skills, partly to allow entry into the various schools of music in England at that time. ABRSM united the musical curriculums into a cohesive program that private teachers could teach to a standard accepted nationally. The levels based testing systems became very popular and effective.  Students were learning to be wonderful musicians that were well-versed in all aspects of pedagogy.  Soon, this program had grown to take in all of the UK, Ireland and the whole Commonwealth. Today, virtually every country in the world has a large body of students studying music through the ABRSM programs.

 

Why is ABRSM useful?

  • It is an excellent way to monitor and reward student achievement in music based on performance of repertoire, carefully chosen for each level, ear training, sight reading, music theory and technique.

  • It also is an opportunity to compete with international standards and to be part of a larger music-learning community. 

  • Some students excel with a very straight-forward curriculum with set standards and materials that must be learned within a certain time-frame.  For an unmotivated student who lacks direction or a sense of known achievement, this program can be a savior!  It's also highly effective for students who need a high degree of order and clear expectations to thrive-- i.e.  spectrum children.  As teachers of many special needs children at KAMP, we've seen this curriculum function very well for kids on the autism/Asperger's spectrum and those that struggle with attention issues. 

  • ABRSM looks great on college applications and scholarship applications.  It's also a great asset to any music resume for students seeking to audition for youth orchestras or college scholarships for music.  Even non-music majors qualify for music scholarships at many universities but they must AUDITION.  This can be a daunting process for many students but ABRSM students are very experienced at playing for an adjudicator.  

What does KAMP's ABRSM program entail?

  • KAMP has a thriving ABRSM program, currently there are almost 30 students taught by 8 teachers on varying instruments and a varying levels. 

  • KAMP teachers who teach ABRSM:

    • Josh​ (piano)

    • Sue (piano, flute)

    • Jim (piano, voice)

    • Libby (flute)

    • Vera (voice and piano)

    • Peter (piano and guitar)

    • Raisa (violin and piano)

    • Adam (theory and aural training)

  • Each student is guided through the standardized curriculum by their instructor and has the opportunity to participate in the formal ABRSM exams, proctored by certified judges. 

  • ABRSM students at KAMP can also participate in once per week theory classes and aural training classes.  This means your student can participate in TWO HOURS of group classes per week-- times vary and we change the days and times about every three months to accommodate varying schedules of students. 

Should my child do ABRSM?

  • This program is particularly useful for students who are somewhat precocious (accomplishment-driven), interested in an accelerated pace of study, and who study better with a lot of structure around their musical interests.

  • If your child is a teen, this may be an excellent way to measure their musical accomplishments in a way that can go on their college applications. 

How does testing work?

During non-COVID times, most students test once per year.  

Tests are administered live with judges from the UK, and happen twice a year, usually in Spring and Fall.

 

Testing has been cancelled for 3 seasons now due to COVID but online testing for Theory is happening this spring and summer.  ABRSM expects that regular testing for the practical exams will resume in the Fall of 2021. 

If you have further questions, reach out to KAMP's ABRSM Coordinator Jim Peterson.