When you are learning to play an instrument, exams can be a useful way of marking your progress, giving you something to aim for, finding out how well you are doing, and letting others know how good you are!

Lots of people like to do exams but they do cost money so it’s fine if you don’t want to – just let me know.

The first exam most of my pupils take is usually a Music Medal – see www.musicmedals.org.  There are 5 levels, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. They cost less than standard music exams and they test different skills. You take the test in school and it is sent to the exam board as a video. When it has been marked you receive a report, certificate and medal (if you pass – none of my pupils have ever failed, so don’t worry!).   Some continue with more medals, some prefer to take the standard music exams, some actually do both!

There are 8 graded music exams, grade 1 is first. You don’t have to take them all in order, some do but some miss grades out, especially if they already play other instruments.  See www.abrsm.org for more information.

Part of the exam is the aural or listening tests.  The ‘aural’ involves singing and if you are not a confident singer joining a choir can really help with confidence and with accuracy.

PARISH JUNIOR SINGERS –  is a church choir based at St Albans Cathedral. We meet on Thursdays  from 5-6pm. Membership is free and there are no auditions. Children in years 2 to 11 are welcome, and year 1s may join once they reach their 6th birthday. We sing once a month at the 9.30 Sunday service, plus special events at Christmas and other times.  Lots of fun, plus the RSCM Voice for Life training scheme and awards. Contact music@stalbanscathedral.org or just come along one term time Thursday.

Many other choirs are available locally. Go on – join one and sing!