COVID-19 update – 20 March

In line with government guidance, our office is now closed and all staff are working from home. We will continue to administer Music Medals, but the closure of our office will have an impact on the service we can offer.

  • We will process and confirm results as usual, but we will not be able to send certificates and medals until our office reopens. This applies to results confirmed from 16 March onwards. We are very sorry for the disappointment this may cause your candidates.
  • You can still submit online video submissions but please do not send anything to us in the post.
  • If you are a teacher, we advise you to download option tests as soon as you can. If they expire before you complete the assessment, email us at [email protected] providing submission numbers and candidate names. We will change the status so that they are valid again.
  • Token numbers are valid for one year from the date of purchase. If you are unable to use the token in time due to COVID-19 please get in touch.

If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected].

What are Music Medals?

Music Medals are teacher-led assessments for younger learners. They build on what's 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, enter your candidates at any time and assess them up to eight weeks after making your entry. You can either pay by credit/debit card or buy tokens to use at a later date.

To enter candidates for Music Medals assessments, the teacher must've 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.

See assessment criteria.

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

What's 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, not the other ensemble members.

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

See assessment criteria.

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

What's the aim of the Solo component?

The candidate plays one piece from the solo repertoire list for their 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 their instrument and Medal.

See assessment criteria.

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.

This test is taken entirely by ear. The candidate is required to provide a musical response on their 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.

Copper and Bronze levels

Copper and Bronze

Here, the candidate is required to make up a tune on their 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 their 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 Platinum

The candidate is required to make up a tune on their 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.

Copper and Bronze levels

Copper and Bronze

The candidate is required to make up a tune on their 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 their 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 Platinum

The candidate is required to make up a tune on their 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 their tune.

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

Copper level

Copper

Here, 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 Platinum

From 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.

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

Copper, Bronze and Silver levels

Copper, Bronze and Silver

At 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 Platinum

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

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 can 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.

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 can 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 to do next?

Change to Music Medal certificates

As of March 2020 we are withdrawing Music Medals from the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) and certificates will no longer carry the Ofqual logo. This change will allow us to make important improvements to Music Medals in response to feedback from teachers and learners. The deadline for submitting an entry to receive a regulated certificate was 22 December 2019, with video and results submitted by 31 January 2020. Results submitted after this date will receive our new non-regulated certificate.

Apart from new certificates, we are continuing to offer Music Medals in their current form with no other changes.

If you have any questions please contact us at [email protected]

Charanga

Does your school use Charanga or have a Charanga licence? If yes, you'll have access to Copper Music Medal-supporting materials on the Charanga schools' site.

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