What is ABRSM – system of music education program that we use at “Eva” music school and what is its advantage?


ABRSM, which can be seen more and more on social networks, is an acronym from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or the Association of Royal Music Schools of Great Britain.

It is a comprehensive system of music education program, with methods, textbooks, and exams that are the same in as many as 97 countries around the world, based in the UK.

The program was created in 1889 by experts in the field of music education, and every year great attention is paid to improving the quality of work, which makes this education system even more successful.

Why ABRSM – system of music education program?

As the textbooks, methods, and programs of the ABRSM system are the same all over the world, even if you change your residence – this school is an ideal choice for your child, who will not experience stress because, except for the change of teachers, everything in the music education remains the same.

Also, if you want your child to be assessed according to world standards – ABRSM is the right choice.

Clarinet lessons in private music school "Eva" Music with ABRSM program of learning
Clarinet classes according to ABRSM program

What does evaluation look like in the ABRSM system of a music education program?

A strictly defined rule of the ABRSM system is that the examiners are British professors who come once a year to a country that is in this education system and examine the participants.

Within the ABRSM evaluation there are: 

  • exams and
  • evaluation.

ABRSM exam

 The children enter the exam alone, without their professors, who cannot influence the final grade in any way. Children are examined by top international pedagogues with many years of experience, and in that way, a completely objective assessment of their playing and musical knowledge is obtained, unlike the system in which children are evaluated by their permanent professors, which often calls into question objectivity. Also, children receive constructive suggestions from British professors for their further musical progress.

Professors who evaluate the students must not be in any jury of the competition, nor in the seminar in the country in which they evaluate for the past ten years, at least. This rule achieves complete objectivity in examination and evaluation.

Piano lessons in private music school "EVA" music according to ABRSM program of learning
Examination according to the ABRSM program

ABRSM evaluation

In addition to the exams, there are also evaluations intended for beginners, or amateur musicians, but also for professional musicians who do not want a grade, but some more extensive, constructive suggestions from a top expert in the field of music education.

What are other advantages of the ABRSM program?

In the ABRSM program, music lessons are conducted only by the professor of the instrument and all the necessary elements are done in class. The program is designed so that the student acquires knowledge in the field of music by repeating the same content in several different places.

For example, a first-grade piano student plays certain scales within the teaching of an instrument, which exists in both the textbook and theoretical classes, and then plays compositions in the same tonalities. So, what he learns in theory, he immediately confirms in practice.

The advantage is that music theory and reading from the list in this program exist from the first grade of lower music school, unlike our national program in which all these subjects are present from the sixth grade in the junior music school, or the first grade of senior music school.

Flute lessons in private music school "Eva" Music with ABRSM program of learning
Flute lessons according to the ABRSM program

What else makes the ABRSM program different?

For those who don’t know, pianists only started playing by heart on concert podiums in the middle of the 19th century, which has been used less and less in recent years, while playing most other instruments, as well as chamber music, means playing from notes.

From our experience, it has been shown that students find it easier to memorize content when it is not imposed on them. In the ABRSM program, it is not obligatory to play by heart during exams, so it is up to the students to choose whether they will have notes in front of them or not.

What is the method of assessment according to the ABRSM program?

The maximum points that can be obtained in the exam are 150, with 100 points being enough for a passing grade – “pass”. A middle grade – „merit“ – is obtained with 120 points, and the highest grade – “distinction” is obtained by 130 points.

There are four parts of the exam, which are graded separately:

– scales,

– compositions,

– reading from a sheet and

– a hearing test.

When all the points are added up, the final grade is obtained. This means that it is not enough for the student to play the compositions very well, but, if he/she wants the highest grade, he/she should skillfully play the scales, read the notes and interpret the music text when reading from the sheet, as well as show a high level of understanding of music during the hearing test.

Violin lessons in private music school "Eva" Music with ABRSM program of learning
Violin lessons for children and adults according to ABRSM programs

Who is the ABRSM program for?

The ABRSM program is intended for both children and adults. There is no age limit in this method.

If your child is late for enrollment in a school that works according to the national program, it is never too late in our school. This also applies to adults, who have always wanted to play an instrument, but did not have the opportunity, or have reached a certain level of knowledge and would like to improve it.

It is not necessary to take the exams one after the other, as is the case in our national program, but after the initial knowledge assessment, the candidate can apply for any level of exams or evaluations.