ABRSM releases new singing syllabus

ABRSM has released a new singing syllabus for candidates who will be taking exams from January 2018 onwards.

With repertoire lists refreshed for all eight grades and some changes made to the accompanied song requirements for Grades 6 to 8, the syllabus offers a variety of new songs with a broad choice of repertoire. Ranging from core classics and opera to songs from the stage and screen, there are over 900 songs to choose from and five lists at each grade.

ABRSM has published a number of materials to support candidates including new Songbook Plus books at Grades 1 to 5 and a Singing Practice Partner app.

Revised requirements for Grades 6 to 8

Candidates can perform songs from the old syllabus until Spring 2018 in the UK and Ireland and until 31 December 2018 in all other countries.

Changes to the accompanied song requirements are as follows:

  1. There is an increased number and range of lists to choose from.
  2. The requirement to sing in two languages has been removed. However, ABRSM has added a greater variety of languages in the new syllabus for candidates who want to specialise in this area.
  3. The number of songs required in the exam has been reduced from four to three. Examiners will use the same criteria to the same standard but now all songs performed carry equal weight in the overall mark, bringing this syllabus in line with all other instruments.

Requirements have been opened up in order to give candidates the freedom for any song to be sung by any voice type in any key.

There are no changes to the unaccompanied traditional song or sight-singing requirements at any grade.

Philippa Bunting, ABRSM’s Learning and Qualifications Director, said:

‘Because singing is such a personal form of musical expression, it’s vital that candidates have repertoire lists to choose from that really allow them to give of their best – and because singers are individuals, that means providing a huge range, catering for all voice types. Working with our experienced team of consultants, we have produced a syllabus which offers more choice than ever before, with exciting options for younger voices, for changing voices, for adults, for classical singers, for those wishing to pursue an interest in the music of stage and screen – and for anyone in between. And we have increased that choice still further by allowing any song to be sung in any key from Grade 1 to Grade 8.’

For more information about ABRSM’s new singing syllabus and supporting materials, please click here.

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