At SSIS we are committed to supporting the local community in as many ways as possible, and SSIS is one of the only four schools in Shanghai qualified to conduct the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exams.
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music is an examinations board and registered charity based in London, UK, which provides examinations in music at centres around the world. It’s the world’s leading provider of music exams, offering assessments to more than 630,000 candidates in 93 countries every year. By delivering their exams rigorously and consistently, they set the worldwide gold standard in music. Since 2013, SSIS has been helping to provide practical exams on campus, and we are proud to be able to offer this unique venue and opportunity for all musicians.
What else does SSIS do?
The school can help candidates to apply for all the exams, even if they choose to take it elsewhere. (e.g. If you are from outside SISS and would like to sit the exam at our campus, you can select SSIS as your examination centre and submit the application forms and fees to ABRSM directly. Any SSIS student can likewise apply through the school to take the exam elsewhere.)
Is this exam only for enrolled students?
No. All candidates, including non-SSIS students can apply by adding ‘SSIS’ after their name to take it in our school.
Does SSIS provide lessons to help musicians prepare?
SSIS administers the ABRSM as a separate but additional entity to the regular music curriculum the school offers. Candidates taking the ABRSM exam should engage their own teachers. SSIS does offer a piano try-out two weeks before the exam.
Starting in 2020, SSIS (partnering with external vendors) will be offering a prep course to help musicians prepare for the exams. The course will cover requirements that candidates will be assessed on:
- Performance skills through pieces or song.
- Technical skills through scales and arpeggios.
- Notation skills through a sight-reading test.
- Listening skills and musical perception through aural tests.
- Sight Reading and Music Appreciation.
- Mock test.
- Music theory
- One-to-one Practical Class 45–90mins/session.
Can a student choose a different grade level to take the exam?
Candidates can choose any grade to enter, but if taking Grades 6, 7, or 8 of the practical exams, a candidate must have either the Grade 5 music theory certificate or practical musicianship certificate.
When are the exams?
The exams take place in SSIS twice a year (around April and November) and are open to students of all nationalities, ages, cultures and music education backgrounds in Shanghai. One can take the exams for 36 different instruments.
There are many benefits to taking the ABRSM Music Exam:
- It provides the candidate with a certificate that can be used anywhere to provide verification of musicianship.
- It provides motivation and inspiration through working from a holistically structured syllabus towards a definite goal.
- It measures personal progress against internationally recognised standards.
- It’s an objective guide to improving and tracking your music skills.
- It provides an assessment by a respected, highly trained independent examiner.
- It allows international students—who often move with their families—an easy way to get a standardised exam.
- It enables teachers to get a certification, which will help them improve their music teaching skills and even expand their teaching methods.