Arab States
Africa
America
Australasia
South East Asia
Southern Asia
Caribbean
Europe
flag-GBUNITED KINGDOM

ARSM index

ARSM video library

ARSM is a post-Grade 8 diploma that’s all about performance.

To help give you an idea of what this new exam is all about we’ve produced a series of useful guidance videos and resources featuring John Holmes, ABRSM's Chief Examiner.

Quick links

What is ARSM?

 

A set of videos in which John introduces the ARSM diploma, explaining the benefits of the assessment and how it relates to our Grade 8 and DipABRSM exams.

Videos in this playlist

A showcase of performances

 

These videos feature candidates performing each piece in turn, followed by commentary from John, who discusses the ARSM marking criteria and provides an insight into what our examiners are looking for.

The films are condensed versions of an ARSM exam and are representative of the whole performance. We have focused on areas of the performance which led to the overall result.

Videos in this playlist

The marking criteria

 

In this series of films John provides an insight into how the assessment of an ARSM exam works, focusing on the marking scheme and the qualities of communication, interpretation and delivery.

Videos in this playlist

The programme

 

In this set of videos John discusses the task of putting together a programme of repertoire for ARSM, providing an insight into the factors to take into consideration when doing so.

Videos in this playlist

View the marking criteria

Criteria for the pieces/songs presented

Mark

Pitch

Time

Tone

Shape

Performance

Distinction
27–30

  • Highly accurate notes and intonation
  • Fluent, with flexibility where appropriate
  • Rhythmic character well conveyed
  • Well projected
  • Sensitive use of tonal qualities
  • Expressive, idiomatic musical shaping and detail
  • Assured
  • Fully committed
  • Vivid communication of character and style

Merit
24–26

  • Largely accurate notes and intonation
  • Sustained, effective tempo
  • Good sense of rhythm
  • Mainly controlled and consistent
  • Good tonal awareness
  • Clear musical shaping, well-realised detail
  • Positive
  • Carrying musical conviction
  • Character and style communicated

Pass
20-23

  • Generally correct notes
  • Sufficiently reliable intonation to maintain tonality
  • Suitable tempo
  • Generally stable pulse
  • Overall rhythmic accuracy
  • Generally reliable
  • Adequate tonal awareness
  • Some realisation of musical shape and/or detail
  • Generally secure, prompt recovery from slips
  • Some musical involvement

Below Pass
17-19

  • Frequent note errors
  • Insufficiently reliable intonation to maintain tonality
  • Unsuitable and/or uncontrolled tempo
  • Irregular pulse
  • Inaccurate rhythm
  • Uneven and/or unreliable
  • Inadequate tonal awareness
  • Musical shape and detail insufficiently conveyed
  • Insecure, inadequate recovery from slips
  • Insufficient musical involvement

13-16

  • Largely inaccurate notes and/or intonation
  • Erratic tempo and/or pulse
  • Serious lack of tonal control
  • Musical shape and detail largely unrealised
  • Lacking continuity
  • No musical involvement

10-12

  • Highly inaccurate notes and/or intonation
  • Incoherent tempo and/or pulse
  • No tonal control
  • No shape or detail
  • Unable to continue for more than a short section

Criteria for the performance as a whole

Mark

Communication

Interpretation

Delivery

Distinction
19–20

  • Consistently well-projected and involved, showing strong performance commitment and conviction
  • Effective sequence and pacing of chosen programme; consistently good performance awareness and control
  • Consistently effective stylistic characterisation; interpretative demands of the programme well met
  • Consistently good awareness and control of textures and ensemble, with effective blending and balancing

 

  • Consistently assured and controlled; technical challenges of the programme well met
  • Consistently effective instrument management, fully responsive to the performance situation

 

Merit
17–18

  • Mainly well-projected and involved, showing positive performance commitment
  • Largely effective sequence and pacing of chosen programme; mainly good performance awareness and control

 

  • Mostly effective stylistic realisation; interpretative demands of the programme largely well met
  • Mainly good awareness and control of textures and ensemble, with appropriate blending and balancing

 

  • Effectively controlled; most technical challenges of the programme well met
  • Mostly effective instrument management, mainly responsive to the performance situation

 

Pass
14-16

  • Projection and involvement sufficient to maintain an overall sense of performance
  • Sequence and pacing of chosen programme shows adequate performance awareness and control

 

  • Sufficient stylistic realisation to meet the interpretative demands of the programme
  • Adequate awareness and control of textures and ensemble, with sufficient blending and balancing

 

  • Generally controlled; technical challenges of the programme securely met overall
  • Sufficiently reliable instrument management to meet the demands of the performance situation

Below Pass
10-13

  • Insufficient projection or sense of involvement to maintain a sense of performance
  • Sequence and/or pacing of chosen programme shows inadequate performance awareness or control

 

  • Stylistic realisation not equal to the interpretative demands of the programme
  • Insufficient awareness or control of textures and ensemble, and/or unsuitable blending and balancing

 

  • Consistency of control insufficient to meet the technical challenges of the programme
  • Insufficiently reliable instrument management to meet the demands of the performance situation

 

7-9

  • Sense of performance largely absent
  • Stylistic realisation and/or control of textures and ensemble largely absent
  • Very insecure technical control and/or instrument management
 

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to our cookie policy and consent to our use of cookies. Find out more.

closer Close this message