ABRSM program – completed system of music education vs national system

Unlike the national system in which there are separate subjects (instrument and solfeggio) where different music lessons are taught with different professors, in the British Royal ABRSM program all elements of music are connected and done through an instrument class, with one professor.

The exam, and thus the concept of the class, consists of 4 parts:

  • Scales
  • Compositions
  • Sight Reading
  • Aural test


Scales are very common in this method. They are played in the simplest form. When the child is not burdened with too heavy technical requirements, he can quickly adopt different tonalities and by the end of primary music education to master all tonalities and to be able to apply his musical knowledge.

What does “Applied Music Knowledge” mean according to ABRSM program?

The goal of education, as well as parenting after all, is the independence of children. The ABRSM system is aimed at making children independent as quickly and easily as possible. The knowledge that children acquire in the first 3 grades gives them the opportunity to interpret notes independently, either from classical or popular music.


At the ABRSM exam, and thus in the classes, 3 compositions from different musical epochs are required. The curriculum, as well as textbooks, are changing every 2 years. This provides teachers with constant change and improvement.

The first composition belongs to the Baroque era, the second to the classical and/or romantic, while the third composition is always from contemporary literature. Through the third composition, students meet jazz and blues music and composers of recent times.

Participants and professors - International Centre for Musical Arts "EVA"
Participants and professors – International Centre for Musical Arts “EVA”

Sight Reading

Sight reading is a part of the exam, and therefore the teaching of the instrument, which appears in the ABRSM program from the first grade, unlike the national program in which this subject appears from seventh grade.

Sight reading is a skill that is useful to every musician. It exists through universal rules that a child adopts from an early age and which, after several years of schooling by this method, teaches him to independently interpret and play a musical text, as he reads letters.

Completed music education in ABRSM program

The first three elements that we talked about in this text: scales, compositions and sight reading, although the separate elements represent one inseparable whole of your child’s musical education.

What does it mean?

The same tonalities, rhythmic figures, in one word the same musical lessons appear when working on all three elements (scales, compositions and sight reading), which achieves the effect of active knowledge.

Aural test in the private music school "EVA" music
Aural test in the International Centre for Musical Arts “EVA”

Aural Test

The aural test is the fourth part of the exam, and therefore the fourth part of our classes, which is most reminiscent of the elements of solfeggio, known from the national program.

This part of the class is dedicated to singing and listening to music. Children in the first grades should repeat melodies, rhythm and feel the pulsation while the teacher plays for them. Then to learn to listen to music and to remember certain musical elements.

ABRSM program - teaching of the instrument in the private music school "EVA" music
ABRSM program – teaching of the instrument in the private music school “EVA” music

In the beginning, it is the recognition of basic differences in volume (dynamics) and the way of playing (articulation), and later children should recognize different styles in music as well as argue which elements of music indicate that difference.

In addition to developing hearing (internal and external), through this part children become an educated audience of classical music, because if they understand what they need to listen to, they will be able to enjoy it more.

In the past few years in our International Centre for Musical Arts “EVA” we educate our participants in a strictly defined rule of the ABRSM system and
here you can read more about the advantages of this program and method, the objectivity of testing and evaluation.

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