Why choose Music Certificate exams?

Why choose Music Certificate exams?

Picture of Natalie Christopher

BY: Natalie Christopher
11 January 2023

At Trinity, we know there can be no one-size-fits-all approach to evidencing musical progression. People learn in different ways - are motivated by different things - and we strongly believe in supporting each and every student to progress in a way that best suits their particular way of learning. Through our range of qualifications, students can demonstrate their musical achievements regardless of instrument, style, genre, ability or method of learning. In this blog, we're going to be looking at our Music Certificate exams and how they can be used in both individual and group settings.

Music Certificate exams are available at three levels - Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. Foundation is equivalent in level to Grade 3, Intermediate - Grade 5, and Advanced - Grade 8.

A focus on performance

Certificate exams are recital based, which means there is no technical work or supporting test requirements. This enables candidates to focus purely on their performance and the programme of music they want to play or sing. They are a great alternative for those who find particular elements of the graded music exam format a barrier to their progression, or for those who want to complement their advancement through the grades by working towards an exam that replicates the additional skills professional musicians utilise in their careers, such as stagecraft and programme planning. In this respect, the Advanced Certificate provides an ideal bridge towards the ATCL Performance diploma, as articulated by examiner, Linda Nottingham, in this video.

Breadth of repertoire options

For most of the solo instruments we offer Certificate exams in, repertoire lists are provided; however, candidates also have the option to select repertoire from the corresponding Classical & Jazz graded music exam syllabus. For example, a Foundation level trumpeter could select pieces from the Grade 3 Trumpet syllabus, or an Advanced level cellist from the Grade 8 Cello repertoire list. Up to one third of the programme can be comprised of own choice pieces (i.e. not on either the certificate or grade repertoire list) of the same technical difficulty, without a pre-approval required. This gives a great opportunity to construct a programme of music that the candidate really loves and highlights their particular strengths.

Progression opportunities for ensembles

Did you know we also offer Group Certificate exams? Ensembles of any size and combination of instruments/voices can take a Certificate exam. Whether you lead a community choir, orchestra or brass band, or have students coming together to perform as a chamber ensemble, Certificate exams are there to demonstrate their progression. Most groups have free choice of pieces but you can find repertoire lists for piano duets and piano six hands (and an indicative list for choral repertoire) on our website.

Want to know more about Music Certificate exams? Email us as ukandireland@trinitycollege.com or book a support call here.


Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

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