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Many parents in Singapore like their children to go for piano exams. The most popular piano exams in Singapore are conducted by ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall which are UK music exam boards. Exams range from pre-graded to diploma level with tens of thousands of candidates each year.
This page gives you a quick information on grading piano exams in Singapore, especially if you are looking to enroll your child in Grade 1 piano exams.

Please refer to the respective representative websites if you would like to know more about diploma exams.
 
What is the purpose of Piano Exams?  As with any exam system, it serves its purpose, although paper chase should not be the main objective of musicianship. Exams with reputable exam boards provide a reliable measurement of personal progress and standard against internationally recognized benchmarks. With the many levels of grading, students can use them as milestones to progess in order to attain long term goal of standard. Exposure & performance opportunities from exams can allow students to grow. Should a student take grading piano exams every year? A student may begin with the grade that best suits their ability. Yearly exams are not necessary. It is not necessary to take every grade. Grades may be skipped or not, depending on the progress of the student. Enough time should be invested to develop musical and technical skills in between exams so that a student is well-prepared for the intended grade. Pre-requisites to taking piano exams There are no pre-requisites for grades 1-5 piano exams.
However, grade 5 Theory of Music or  Practical musicianship must be achieved before sitting for the grades 6-8 piano exams. Need to pass Grade 5 Music Theory? Enroll for our Grade 5 Theory revision now!  

What is the difference between ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall

 ABRSM consists of well-established music colleges in the UK, namely the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Trinity Guildhall exams are conducted by Trinity College London, also a well-reputed music college in the UK. They have slightly different requirements but generally reflect a similar standard to ABRSM exams.

Components of exam

 There are 4 different components to a graded practical music exam:
Prepared pieces
3 piano pieces are chosen from a set lists, practiced at home and performed during the exam.
Technical requirement
Specified scales and technical exercises are to be practiced and prepared at home and tested during the exam.
Sight-reading
Candidate is to play a short piece of music new to him after half a minute of preparation. Graded specimen sight reading tests are available for practice at home.
Aural Tests
A group of tests are used to assess listening skills and musical understanding. Specimen aural tests which involve rhythmic, melodic and other musical skills are available for practice at home.

For specific ABRSM grade 1 to 8 syllabus download, go to http://sg.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/piano/

Assessment criteria for piano exams

In general, the pass mark for graded exams is 66%. Marks are given for technical competence, musical understanding and communication through the music.

For detailed ABRSM marking criteria, please refer to http://gb.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/information-and-regulations/graded-music-exam-marking-criteria/

Here is a  general quick glance of Exam Assessment Criteria

How to register for exams

You may register through your piano teacher, your music school, as a parent or as a candidate. Please note that from 2010 all ABRSM exam entries will be accepted by online registration only.

Contact Information

Representatives for ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall exams are:

ABRSM
Singapore Symphonia Co. Ltd
11 Empress Place
3rd Storey, Music Exams Office
Victoria Memorial Hall
Singapore 179558

Tel: (65) 6339 2624
Fax: (65) 6334 3507
Website: http://www.abrsm.org/regions/en/singapore/singapore/home/

Trinity Guildhall Music Examinations Centre
TCM Examinations Centre
80 Marine Parade Road
#03-08 Parkway Parade
Singapore 449269 Tel: (65) 63463612
Fax: (65) 63447345
Email :
Website : http://www.tgexams.com

Piano exam fees at a glance - Singapore

ABRSM (2011)
(For latest fees, please refer to Singapore Symphonia Co. Ltd)

Level Practical (S$) Theory (S$)
Grade 1 $170 $98
Grade 2 $210 $100
Grade 3 $225 $110
Grade 4 $250 $127
Grade 5 $260 $142
Grade 6 $320 $163
Grade 7 $370 $168
Grade 8 $440 $176

Source: http://www.abrsm.org/regions/en/singapore/singapore/home/

ABRSM assessments in held in designated exam centres in Singapore during specified periods of the year.

Trinity Guildhall (2010)
(For latest fees, please refer to TCM Examinations Centre)

Level Practical (S$) Theory (S$)
Initial $121  
Grade 1 $152 $76
Grade 2 $167 $76
Grade 3/ First Recital $184 $86
Grade 4 $210 $93
Grade 5/ Intermediate Recital $241 $104
Grade 6 $260 $115
Grade 7/ Advanced Recital $305 $138
Grade 8 $356 $162

Source: http://www.tgexams.com

Exam Registration & Exam Dates at a glance – Singapore
(The dates are for reference only. Unless specified, they may not be the latest information, but serve as a guide.)

ABRSM Exam Date Registration Date
Music Theory 17 March 2012 (Sat)
27 October 2012 (Sat)

28 November - 9 December 2011
30 July - 10 August 2012

Practical

February/March 2012
July/September 2012

19 September - 7 October 2011
13 February 2012 - 2 March 2012

TRINITY

Exam Date

Registration Date

Music Theory 9 May 2009 (Sat)
7 November 2009 (Sat)
May / June 2010

12 January  – 27 Feb 2009
20 July – 28 August 2009
Open now till 26 Feb 2010(Friday) 

Practical May / June 2009
November / December 2009
May / June 2010
12 January  – 27 Feb 2009
20 July – 28 August 2009
Open now till 26 Feb 2010 (Friday)


ABRSM Piano Exams Syllabus

ABRSM's Piano Exams Grade 1 - 8 Syllabus can be found on ABRSM's website.

ABRSM Grading / Marking Criteria
For ABRSM Grading/ Marking/ Assessment Criteria for Grade 1 to 8, click here.