ABRSM/Trinity exams in the USA?


  • Participant
    rc on #239758

    Does anyone have experience with scheduling/taking a graded music exam through ABRSM (or Trinity) in the United States, on either lever or pedal harp? Specifically, did you register just as one would for a common instrument like piano/violin and just show up at the exam center with your harp on the scheduled day, or did you have to make advance arrangements with the center to ensure that there would be a harp examiner available for you that day? Were you able to get the exam center and date that you wanted, or were you limited by harp examiner availability and told that not all centers offered harp exams, special arrangements were needed, etc.? (I’m not sure if there are ABRSM harp examiners available locally in the US or they have to be flown in from the UK.) Thanks for any info!


    Participant
    Tacye on #239818

    For the normal graded exams (rather than the diplomas) the examiners in the UK are generalists, not specialists, and I am pretty sure this is the same in other countries too. You don’t get a harp (or violin, or bassoon) examiner, you get a good musician. A know a few orchestral conductors who examine, for instance.


    Participant
    googoogwenny on #239971

    I will be taking my Grade 4 ABRSM exam this spring. My first 3 Grades were on lever harp. Grade 4 will be my first one on pedal harp. I live in North Carolina, but as there is no representative for practical exams in my state, I chose to take my exams in Georgia (the site is 20 minutes from the Atlanta Harp Center). I try to get a morning slot, so I can drive down the night before, play the exam in the morning and drive back afterward. The site is very accommodating I can get there in plenty of time to unpack, tune, and warm up. As mentioned above, the examiners are musicians who are there to grade you on various parameters as a musician, how you play your chosen instrument and how well you meet certain musical requirements, all of which are listed in the back of the syllabus. I love being able to challenge myself to pick the pieces, prepare the scales and arpeggios, and prepare for sight-reading and aural parts of the exams. It really helps me stay focused and motivated as someone who started playing as an adult. Examiners are from the UK (I understand any examiners from a particular country examine in a different country to avoid running into someone they know).

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