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Music Medals pupilsMusic Medals are teacher-led assessments for younger learners. They build on what is already taught in group lessons, and enable students to gain recognition for their hard work.

There are five progressive levels. Copper and Bronze are stepping stones to Grade 1. Silver, Gold and Platinum reward further progress.

How to get started

Register as a Teacher-Assessor. Once you and your students have chosen your pieces using our repertoire search tool, enter your candidates at any time and assess them up to eight weeks after making your entry. You can either pay on credit/debit card or buy tokens to use at a later date.

To enter candidates for Music Medals assessments, the teacher must have completed our Music Medals training, either by attending a free training event or completing our online course.

The assessment

There are three components in a Music Medal assessment. Each candidate should play one Ensemble piece, one Solo piece and select one Option test from a choice of four, covering a range of musicianship skills.

Ensemble

Ensemble playing provides invaluable experience of the skills of leading, counting-in, interaction, balancing, listening, and blending with others.

What is the aim of the Ensemble component?

Making music together is a distinctive and essential part of Music Medals. Leading the ensemble, counting in, giving appropriate cues, listening, balancing and blending are all vital skills that the Ensemble component of the Medal helps to develop.

Assessment requirements

The Music Medals candidate plays an individual line in one ensemble piece for two, three or four players. Each line must be performed by a single player. Only the Medal candidate is assessed, and not the other ensemble members.

The piece must be chosen either from one of ABRSM's Music Medals Ensemble books or from a list of repertoire from other sources.

Solo

Performing as a soloist develops musical independence and individuality, allowing candidates to focus on their own sound as well as their personal expression.

What is the aim of the Solo component?

The candidate plays one piece from the solo repertoire list for his or her instrument and Medal. This part of the assessment underlines the importance of developing musical independence and individuality.

Assessment requirements

The candidate plays one piece from the solo repertoire list for his or her instrument and Medal.

Option 1: Call & response

This Option test is taken entirely by ear.

Candidates who select this Option are required to provide a response on their instrument to each of two separate short phrases of unfamiliar music played by the Teacher-Assessor.

The key is stated, and the starting note of the first phrase named and played, by the Teacher-Assessor, who also counts in two bars before playing the first phrase.

The musical interaction should be continuous, in time and without a break.

Keyboard

The Option tests for Keyboard have been designed to support musicianship activities that are relevant to the instrument. As a result, there are certain differences with the Call & Response tests, and these differences are described below.

This test is taken entirely by ear. The candidate is required to provide a musical response on his or her instrument to each of two separate short phrases of unfamiliar music played over a rhythmic groove by the Teacher-Assessor.

The key is stated, and the starting note of the first phrase named and played by the Teacher-Assessor, who also plays the rhythmic groove for two bars before playing the first phrase.

The musical interaction should be continuous, in time and without a break.

Option 2: Make a tune

Copper and Bronze levels

Copper and BronzeHere, the candidate is required to make up a tune on his or her instrument using a given rhythm at a set speed.

At Copper and Bronze levels, candidates have the choice of taking the test by ear or at sight from notation. If taken by ear, the rhythm is clapped following a two-bar count-in. This is repeated a second and third time, after which the candidate is given half a minute to prepare before being asked to play his or her tune.

If taken at sight, candidates are given the notated rhythm, then two bars of the pulse and half a minute of preparation time before being counted in for two bars. Because some teachers use crotchets and quavers first while others use minims and crotchets, the tests at Copper level are written in two versions, from which the Teacher-Assessor chooses.

At Copper and Bronze levels, candidates must use at least three pitches to pass.

Silver, Gold and Platinum levels

Silver, Gold and PlatinumThe candidate is required to make up a tune on his or her instrument using a given rhythm and in a specified key.

From Silver level, all candidates choosing this test are given the rhythm in notation only. After being given two bars of the pulse, they have half a minute of preparation time before being counted in by the Teacher-Assessor for two bars.

From Silver level, candidates must use at least five pitches to pass.

Keyboard

The Option tests for Keyboard have been designed to support musicianship activities that are relevant to the instrument. As a result, there are certain differences with the Make a Tune tests, and these differences are described below.

Copper and Bronze levels

Copper and BronzeThe candidate is required to make up a tune on his or her instrument over a given rhythmic groove and in a specified key.

The candidate first plays the groove for four bars as written, then repeats it, adding his or her tune.

At Copper level, candidates must use at least three pitches to pass. At Bronze level, candidates must use at least five pitches to pass.

Silver, Gold and Platinum levels

Silver, Gold and PlatinumThe candidate is required to make up a tune on his or her instrument in a specified key and in a given style, with auto-accompaniment activated.

The candidate first plays a given chord sequence, then repeats it, adding his or her tune.

From Silver level, candidates must use at least five pitches to pass.

Option 3: Question & answer

Copper level

CopperHere, the candidate is required to play two separate one-bar rhythms in 4/4 on their instrument, in time and as an echo.

The Teacher-Assessor should either clap the rhythms or play them on one note. No preparation time is given.

The answers may be played on a single note or on a series of notes, although there is no additional credit for using more than one note. The Teacher-Assessor counts in two bars before the first rhythm.

Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels

Bronze, Silver, Gold and PlatinumFrom Bronze level, the candidate is required to play at sight a two-bar passage of unfamiliar music and to improvise a two-bar answering phrase.

After giving two bars of the pulse, the Teacher-Assessor allows the candidate half a minute of preparation time and then gives a two-bar count-in.

Keyboard

The Option tests for Keyboard have been designed to support musicianship activities that are relevant to the instrument. As a result, there are certain differences with the Question & Answer tests, and these differences are described below.

The candidate is required to harmonize a given melody in a specified key and with specified chords.

Copper, Bronze and Silver levels

Copper, Bronze and SilverAt Copper to Silver levels, the Teacher-Assessor plays the melody while the candidate provides the rhythmic groove, having first played the same groove as a two-bar introduction.

The melody is then repeated by the Teacher-Assessor and on this second playing the candidate activates the auto-accompaniment and adds suitable chords.

Gold and Platinum levels

Gold and PlatinumAt Gold and Platinum levels, half a minute of preparation time is given, after which the candidate is required to play the melody and to choose suitable chords in the left hand which should be fully fingered.

Option 4: Sight-reading

Candidates who select the Sight-reading Option are required to play four bars of unfamiliar music, following half a minute of preparation.

The Teacher-Assessor advises that the candidate may try out any part or parts of the test for half a minute before playing the whole test.

There are no tempo indications as candidates are encouraged to establish an appropriate tempo for themselves, taking into account the speed at which they can play the music while maintaining a steady pulse and, at the higher levels, the character of the music.

Keyboard

The Option tests for Keyboard have been designed to support musicianship activities that are relevant to the instrument. As a result, there are certain differences with the Sight-Reading tests, and these differences are described below.

The candidate is required to play a piece of unfamiliar music, following half a minute of preparation.

At Copper, Bronze and Silver levels the piece will be four bars long. At Gold and Platinum levels, the piece will be eight bars long and will include chords.

The Teacher-Assessor advises that the candidate may try out any part or parts of the test for half a minute before playing the whole test.

There are no tempo indications as candidates are encouraged to establish an appropriate tempo for themselves, taking into account the speed at which they can play the music while maintaining a steady pulse and, at the higher levels, the character of the music.

What do I do next?

 

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