ABRSM is now at Branksome Hall Asia

By: Mary Siew, MYP/DP English B Teacher

ABRSM – this abbreviation stands for the Examination board for Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Branksome Hall Asia has been an official examination centre for the Royal Schools of Music in London. This Board was established in 1889 and now administers Music exams on all instruments and voice to 93 countries in the world.  These exams provide a structured framework for progression from Beginner (Grade 1) to Advanced Musician (Grade 8).

Philip Taylor, the examiner for the examinations this November has taught Music Education at Huddersfield University. He also works as a pianist, concentrating on working with young people, principally in the educational outreach work of Opera North. Philip was the Chief Examiner for music for one of the major A-level examining boards in the UK. He is also the author of several Listening Guides for A-level and GCSE music, published by Rhinegold Music. In 1997, he became an Associate of the Royal College of Music, London.

He remarked at the impressive venue of our Performing Arts Centre, and the hospitality and organized structure of the day.  There were 15 Branksome students and 5 external students.  From the start of the Itinerant Music scheme here till the present day it was the Music Department’s aim to make Branksome a venue for these exams.  The growth of the number of our instrumental students caught the eye of the Music Board and we were approached by London to become an examination Centre for them. 

Now Branksome Hall Asia students can take these prestigious instrumental exams on home ground without having to fly to Seoul or be on waiting lists of neighboring schools. Preparation for these exams fosters good technique, aural ability and most of all, disciplined practice because they demand a high level of skill in order to be successful. It is therefore my pleasure to report that this is the beginning of even more advanced levels of music performance at Branksome Hall Asia.