London College of Music Examinations has designed its new 2021 violin syllabus to provide ‘a well-rounded programme of study that allows performers to play to their musical strengths, whilst encouraging them to explore repertoire they might not otherwise have encountered’.
The varied repertoire includes Baroque, Classical and Romantic favourites alongside contemporary and twentieth century treasures. Traditional Greek, Klezmer and contemporary Chinese styles also find their way into the mix.
Each piece has been handpicked to develop and test skills whether it be a specific technique, a cantabile tone or the ability to inhabit a musical style.
Updates to scales and arpeggios include changes to slurred bowing requirements, new double-stopping tests and the introduction of broken third scales at all grades. Candidates can also choose the study option as an alternative to scales and arpeggios, which has been carefully selected to demonstrate the same technical demands in a different context.
The discussion component of the syllabus has been tailored more closely to violinists, to include topics about instrument care, tuning, specific techniques and the development of the instrument through history. These topics encourage a deeper understanding of the instrument, which is essential to evolving as a performer.
Alongside the specimen tests, the handbooks now also offer greater guidance for candidates (and their teachers) around the sight-reading part of the exam, with the inclusion of a new set of parameters.