Introducing ARSM

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Our ARSM performance diploma is available for classical instruments and singing and is open to learners of any age. Select a link to find out if ARSM is the right qualification for you or your student.

ARSM is available for classical instruments and singing and is open to learners of any age.

Candidates must have passed an ABRSM Performance Grade 8 or Practical Grade 8 in the subject they are going to take their ARSM in, or a closely related one. We also accept some alternative qualifications to ABRSM Grade 8.

More information is available under ‘2. ARSM diploma/Entry requirements’ in the ARSM qualification specification.

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ARSM is available for:

  • Keyboard - Piano, Harpsichord, Organ
  • Strings - Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Guitar, Harp (pedal only)
  • Woodwind - Recorder, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone
  • Brass - Horn, Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, E flat Horn, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium, Tuba
  • Percussion
  • Singing

View repertoire lists

For the exam, candidates perform a 30-minute, balanced and varied programme of music:

  • At least 20 minutes of music from the ARSM repertoire list
  • Up to 10 minutes of own-choice music of Grade 8 standard or above

There are no written or spoken elements and no supporting tests.

Full details are available in the qualification specification, which candidates and teachers should read before starting any exam preparation.

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Candidates can take an ARSM as a face-to-face or digital exam.

Face-to-face exams – can take place at a Public Venue (organised by us) or at a Private Visit (at a venue organised by a teacher or school). Our 'how to book' pages provide more information about exam dates and booking.

Digital exams – are assessed from a video, which the candidate records at a time and place of their choice before submitting it to us for assessment. We have booking periods and exam sessions for digital exams every month.

Digital exam guidance – candidates taking a digital exam must read our digital exam guidance, available here. Additional information and guidance videos are available on our Performance Grades pages. Performance Grades are also digital exams and many aspects are the same for both types of exam.

How to book

Examiners use our ARSM marking criteria to assess candidates on their musical communication skills, interpretation and technical delivery. Marks are awarded for the presentation of pieces or songs and for the performance as a whole.

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All candidates receive a digital mark form showing their marks with comments from the examiner. Successful candidates also receive a printed certificate and can add letters (ARSM) after their name.

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