ABRSM releases new Piano syllabus

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ABRSM has released its new Piano syllabus, which comes into effect in January 2019.

The 2019 & 2020 syllabus lists cover a range of styles and music, including pieces from the teaching canon, recent favourites, popular tunes and new commissions. Specially commissioned items feature in Grades 3, 4, 5 and 8 and there are other contemporary options at all grades.

Highlights include:

  • Close Every Door by Andrew Lloyd Webber in Grade 1
  • Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen in Grade 3
  • Lullaby (for Edna Trident Hornbryce) by Raymond Yiu in Grade 8

ABRSM books and recordings

Supporting Piano Exam Pieces are available to buy with or without CD and audio downloads of individual pieces are also available to purchase online.

A new edition of Teaching Notes offers guidance on the 2019 & 2020 Piano syllabus for piano teachers. Notes for each piece feature teaching ideas relating to three areas of learning:

  • musical context
  • technical challenges
  • performance and interpretation

Digital support

In addition, ABRSM’s Piano Practice Partner app has been updated with pieces from the new syllabus.

The app allows learners to:

  • play along with real musicians’ performances as recorded or at a reduced tempo
  • practise one hand while it plays the other

It comes with three free examples from across the grades of the new Piano Exam Pieces and with in-app purchases for all grades of the new syllabus.

Information for candidates

  • Candidates from the UK and Ireland wishing to present pieces drawn from the 2017 & 2018 syllabus will be able to do so until 31 May 2019
  • Candidates from all other countries will be able to use pieces from the 2017 & 2018 syllabus until 31 December 2019

Philippa Bunting, Learning & Qualifications Director, ABRSM, said:

‘We are excited to be offering this wide choice of repertoire since the pieces learners choose are so vital to motivation and have such an impact on musicians as they develop and grow in experience. This time, we have particularly focussed on young learners at the outset of their musical journeys and sought to select for them accessible, attractive pieces in a wide range of styles. As part of our development process, we take careful note of the pieces candidates choose to bring to the exam room and we bear this in mind as we seek out both familiar and new repertoire – all part of ABRSM’s overarching aim to ‘do our best to help you do your best’.’

For more information on ABRSM’s new Piano syllabus, please click here.

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