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16 June 2022

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Grade 1 ABRSM Performance Exam - the Editor's Choice

In order to achieve a good mark in the "performance as a whole section" of an ABRSM Performance exam, one needs effective sequence and pacing, meeting the technical and interpretive demands of the chosen programme. To really showcase your performing skills your programme should include a range of styles and periods and try to alternate moods between pieces to create an interesting programme to listen to. With that in mind I would choose the following four pieces from the new ABRSM Grade 1 book 2023 - 2024

  • Minuet in C by Alexander Reinagle: a classical piece allowing you to display your technical ability
  • The Quiet Wood by Michael Head: A calmer mood to demonstrate your expressive playing
  • Virginia Hall by Shruthi Rajasekar: This one will show your rhythmic control with it's modern beats 
  • Little Whale Explores the Calm Sea by Caroline Tyler: Another slow one which when interpreted well can make a very atmospheric end to your performance
Have a listen......

09 June 2022

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.

By the way if you do not feel technically confident to do this yourself, you can always email the files to me at and for a small fee of £5, I will merge them for you.