ACROSS THE BOARDS
I read the letter by Pauline Carter (September) regarding the theory examinations of the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) with interest. As I work for a fellow exam board with responsibility for exam content I was struck by the reference to ABRSM as the body who are responsible for excellence in music education. The ABRSM does not hold official office but there is an assumption that is does because there is a lack of knowledge of other boards who do exactly the same job. Trinity College, London College, ourselves at Victoria College and Rockschool, to name a few, are all well-established organisations who have histories going back to the late 1800s in this field. We all aim for the highest standards in mutual respect and competition.
Regarding the change to exam content, I can understand part of the reasoning. For students who don’t have an interest in composition, it’s an appropriate move, but for those who do it is a great loss. This is where choice of exam board is key. The candidate may be better suited to one board’s approach. Even within the confines of the traditional music grade system, options exist – you simply have to look.