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27 May 2022

What ABRSM "DON'T" tell you about their Performance Exams

If you are like many of my students who have taken the ABRSM performance exam, you will have, no doubt made quite a few recordings before coming up with the one you want to send off, and the repetition of the opening announcements and showing ID and the programme form, can be quite frustrating.

However I heard a rumour that these announcements could be made separately. Curious I went to the ABRSM website that clearly states in the guidance,

"The exam should be recorded as one continuous audio-visual file – this means that once recording has started, the candidate should make their announcements, show their documents to camera and perform all their repertoire in one continuous take. "

Confused I decided to write to them for clarification  and the response I got was quite surprising. I was told,

"Announcements for the Performance Grade exams can be recorded separately and added to the unedited continuous performance if announcement was not made in the original recording. Please ensure that none of the exam performance has been edited in any way."

So if you forget (conveniently or otherwise) 😉 to do the announcements first, you can always add them on later, as long as you make sure the four pieces are an uninterrupted performance.



25 May 2022

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Digital Sheet Music

Digital Sheet Music 1

 Introducing Tomplay

Interactive sheet music with more than 40,000 arrangements

with backing tracks

Tomplay is  an intuitive resource of digital sheet music, available on PC or as an app on iPhones and Android devices. There is a catalogue of over 40,000 arrangements for all instruments, which automatically scrolls in time with the music. I particularly like the way that even on a small screen, before you get to the end of one line the beginning of the next line appears the other side of the whited out area.

The sound quality is beyond those awful midi tracks of long ago with professionally recorded tracks by real musicians. It comes with a host of user friendly options to enhance your practice such as changing the tempo. 

Although not my personal favourite, for those who like to see a visualisation you can see the instrument keys in action in real time with the score. I personally think this doesn't help sight reading skills, but if that's your thing then it can be activated.

More useful is the ability to loop a bar or more for repeated practice, without having to constantly rewind an audio track.

You may also find it useful to make notes on the score, something easily done with the annotation feature that enable a variety of fonts, sizes, colour etc.

Equally helpful is the option to play just against a metronome, or with the orchestra, or just against your solo part.

And it's not just classical music, there are thousand of tracks from more popular culture too, such as this example of Yiruma's "River Flows In You"

All of this is available with unlimited access for a completely free 14 day trial, and even if you decide to subscribe after this period, it would cost a fraction of buying the sheet music, let alone the benefits described above. So with a free trial period you have nothing to lose, and I'm sure after trying it you'll understand the vast amount of resources available along with the invaluable intuitive platform that can enhance your music practice.
to learn more

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23 February 2022

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MusicOnline UK Stands with UKRAINE

against Unprovoked Aggression

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As tension mounts in Ukraine, a massive humanitarian crisis is around the corner. MusicOnline UK is supporting Support Ukraine UK a crowd funding group set up specifically to provide such support and you can help too with our PlayForUkraine fundraiser.

Just send us a  musical performance video to and we will then post it in a special playlist where viewers will be able to donate to this cause via clickable links in the video and description. Additionally, MusicOnline UK will donate all advertising revenue raised from this playlist to the Support Ukraine UK fund.

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