Latest exam updates

Performance Grades: Booking for June Performance Grades is open now until 13 May.

Performance Grade exams

We are pleased to confirm that we will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check our Dates and Fees page for details.

Grade 5 Music Theory waiver (not applicable in the UK & Ireland)

We are extending our Grade 5 Music Theory waiver until 23 May 2021. This means that candidates with a Grade 6 to 8 Performance Grade exam submission date up to and including 23 May can take their exam without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. We are making this exceptional arrangement to allow candidates who have been unable to take an exam in recent months to progress with their learning. From 24 May, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return. For exam dates/exam submission dates after 23 May, all candidates taking a Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical Grade must first pass Grade 5 Music Theory.

Music Commission report: a vision for music education

2 years ago

In 2017, we established The Music Commission, an 18-month inquiry into music education, supported by Arts Council England and led by an independent panel of experts chaired by Sir Nicholas Kenyon. The final Commission report - Retuning Our Ambitions for Music Learning: Every Child Taking Music Further – has now been published and is available on the Music Commission website. The Commission focused on how to create the conditions for every young person to get the support they need to achieve their full musical potential. The report identifies six barriers to achieving these conditions: inconsistency of music provision in schools, cost barriers to families, the inadequate response to young people’s use of technology, not enough support after first access, schools needing more support to deliver a rich music curriculum, and resources and organisations not working together effectively enough. However, the report is not a negative one. In response to these challenges it identifies a ten-year vision for music education accompanied by a framework of positive initiatives and recommendations. This vision is for an environment where:

  • Leaders in schools and education are confident and enabled to put music at the heart of their students’ learning.
  • Every school is supported to provide an effective music curriculum and the provision of a quality music offer is a key performance measure.
  • The development of a diverse and skilled music education workforce is extended through enhanced training of specialist and generalist teachers, and support to enter the profession.
  • Financial support is universally available to support all music learners to progress beyond first access.
  • More collaborative models of music education are established, involving support for and between schools and relevant partners to help students to progress in music.
  • Parental engagement is supported as a priority from the earliest years onwards.
  • Young people are informed and engaged in shaping their own learning pathways and involved in the development of music education programmes.
  • New, integrated approaches to the teaching and assessment of learning of music in a digital age are developed.

To find out more and read the full report visit

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