Exams with the ABRSM can be taken with either the practical or performance pathways. Practical pathways involve students learning 3 pieces, a selection of scales, sight reading at that level and aural tests which test the student’s ability to listen to music, understand it, and convey that understanding back to an examiner.

Performance based exams with the ABRSM involve students learning 4 pieces, which can include one piece of their own choice at that level. The exam is currently taken at home as a continuous performance video for marking which is then submitted to the exam board by Natasha for marking.

Trinity exams are slightly different in that the in-person exams have an option to choose two components out of five from composition, improvisation, aural tests, sight reading and musical knowledge from grade 1-5 level, and require students to learn 3 studies alongside their pieces. From grade 6-8, sight reading and aural tests are compulsory. If students do an online exam, they need to play a selection of scales from the syllabus, 2 studies and their pieces in a continuous performance video for marking which is also submitted to the exam board by Natasha.

This is an example of Natasha’s student who achieved a high merit in his exam at grade 7 level, Winter 2023

Students with the ARBSM require 100 points to pass an exam, 120 for a merit and 130 for a distinction, out of a possible 150. Students with trinity require 60 marks to pass, 75 for a merit and 87 for a distinction out of a possible 100.

Since 2015, Natasha has taught and guided 115 students through piano and music theory exams with both the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Trinity exam boards.

Of the students who have done practical and performance exams (including initial grade – grade 7), they have a 94% pass rate, with 60% achieving merit or distinction and of the students who have taken the theory examination (grades 1-5), they have a 95% pass rate with 74% students achieving merit or distinction.

Natasha supports students through the entire examination process, including the bookings of exams to organising the student’s results and certificates.