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Types of exams

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Music exams

Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) Qld offers graded practical and written examinations in Music. The AMEB Syllabus is one of the most widely used Music curricula in Australia.

Assessing students from Preliminary to Diploma levels (and from P Plate Piano to Diploma level for piano), candidates can enrol in exams on a vast array instruments from the following families:

  • Keyboard—including piano, organ and accordion
  • Strings—including violin, viola, cello, double bass, classical guitar and harp
  • Woodwind—including recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and saxophone
  • Orchestral Brass—including horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba and euphonium
  • Percussion
  • Band—including Concert Band and Brass Band Bb, Eb and C instruments
  • Voice—including singing and musical theatre.

Candidates can also undertake ensemble performance examinations, available for string, woodwind, brass, percussion or other mixed ensembles.

AMEB Qld offers Theory examinations in Music Craft, Theory of Music and Musicianship as well.

We have updated the syllabus for 2019. Read more information about the 2019 updates.

AMEB Qld offers the following types of music examinations.

Comprehensive examinations

From 2019, the traditional exam that will be familiar to most teachers and candidates will become known as the 'comprehensive' exam.

A comprehensive exam consists of technical work, studies and pieces and, depending on the level and syllabus requirements, aural tests, sight-reading and general knowledge.

For the full syllabus requirements, please refer to the Manual of Syllabuses.

Within the new Piano Syllabus (only), candidates can undertake a comprehensive 'collaborative' examination. The collaborative option allows candidates to demonstrate ensemble skills by presenting works with an associate artist as part of the repertoire requirements for the grade. Please refer to the full syllabus requirements for more information.

For leisure examinations

AMEB’s 'For leisure' syllabuses—available in piano, saxophone and voice—cater to a variety of musical tastes and interests.

These syllabuses are designed for all ages and explore popular repertoire including well-loved standards from the classics, jazz standards, arrangements of movie themes, popular songs and concert arrangements. The singing for leisure syllabus includes folk songs, songs from musical theatre and film, and contemporary popular songs.

The For leisure syllabuses differ from the comprehensive syllabuses in the technical work requirements, and candidates are given the choice between aural tests and sight reading. Further, no additional Theory of Music, Musicianship or Music Craft examination is required to pass any grade or the Certificate of Performance.

For the full syllabus requirements, please refer to the Manual of Syllabuses.

Repertoire examinations

AMEB is now offering repertoire examinations for all syllabuses excluding for leisure, band, ensemble performance and contemporary popular music (CPM).

In repertoire exams, only pieces are heard:

  • 4 pieces (3 list and 1 own choice) for Level 1 examinations
  • 5 pieces (3 list and 2 own choice) for Level 2 examinations.

While technical work is still important and relevant for exam preparation, repertoire exams allow candidates to focus on their technique through repertoire and have the flexibility to choose a range of repertoire styles, including own choice works.

Similar to comprehensive exams, repertoire exam candidates must still achieve a pass grade in particular grades of musicianship, theory of music or music craft (or equivalents) in order to complete the requirements for practical examinations at Grade 6, 7 and 8.

For the full syllabus requirements, please refer to the Manual of Syllabuses.

Ensemble Performance examinations

The Ensemble Performance Syllabuses enable ensembles to be examined and focus on works for instruments in the specified family; however, works presented under each subject may include other instruments, for example, Piano, Guitar, Harp and Percussion.

Similar to other syllabuses, these syllabuses are broken down into 3 levels of Grades 1–Diploma.

For the full syllabus requirements, please refer to the Manual of Syllabuses.

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Last updated 18 July 2019