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Syllabus Changes and Innovations for 2020-2021

AMEB Federal Office

We’ve recently made some changes to support and provide flexibility to students and their teachers working towards exams during this time. 

Video/Recorded Exams

All AMEB State Offices are now offering Repertoire Video Exams in most instruments with a view to returning to face-to-face exams as soon as this is possible. This means you can record your repertoire at home, send the video in to be marked by an AMEB examiner and receive the same official AMEB certificate that you would have received in more regular times. Visit your AMEB State Office website for specific information regarding Video/Recorded exam options available to you.

*Please note, this video is also relevant to video exams on offer in 2021. Please refer to the 2021 Manual of Syllabuses instead of the 2020 version.

Accompaniments for Recorded Video Exams

From 2020 because of the extreme circumstances we are in, the use of recorded accompaniments up to Grade 8 is now allowed in all syllabuses as required for recorded video exams. Recorded accompaniments may be sourced in the following ways:

  • Engage an accompanist and work with them to produce accompaniments for you
  • Find a commercially available pre-recorded accompaniment

AMEB Recorded Accompaniments are available for most syllabuses from Preliminary to Grade 3. Where these accompaniments are available for your exam you must use these if you plan to use recorded accompaniments to complete your video exam. These are available to download from our website, or to stream or download from most major digital music retailers including Spotify and iTunes.

For instruments and grades where AMEB Recorded Accompaniments aren’t available, other commercially available recordings may be used. Peta’s Piano has a number of these accompaniments available via petaspiano.com. Peta’s Piano has produced these products under licence from AMEB and APRA/AMCOS and we wish to advise you of their availability. They primarily cover violin, flute, voice and some brass instruments.

Where you have access to an accompanist and the government regulations allow you to perform together, we encourage you to do this. However, the option to use recorded accompaniments remains available through this difficult and unusual year. For full details of exam options and requirements please go to your AMEB State Office website.

If you would like to contact an accompanist in your state, here are some key contacts for you:

VIC does not have an Accompanists’ Guild but has these alternative resources:

Syllabus Changes for 2020-2021

The AMEB Federal Board has made the following changes in order to facilitate online learning and examining in a self-isolation environment:

  • Extended Repertoire exams to include ‘for Leisure’ syllabuses so anyone studying a ‘for Leisure’ syllabus can enrol in a Repertoire video exam.
  • Permitted candidates for Piano Repertoire video exams to include repertoire from the ‘old’ (2018) Piano syllabus.
  • Deferred the withdrawal of the ‘old’ (2018) Piano Syllabus until 31 December 2021.

There are a number of other innovations including:

  • Allowing students to use a recorded accompaniment for exams up to Grade 8.
  • Allowing students to use an app to speed up or slow down the tempo of a Recorded Accompaniment.
  • Allowing selected states to trial the delivery of Certificate of Performance and Associate exams through a combination of video and online meeting platforms.
  • Trialing the delivery of Speech and Drama exams in an online format.
  • Allowing P Plate Piano exams to be undertaken by video.
  • Rockschool has introduced two new video exam options.
  • Developing a Screen Sharing Copyright Clearance Licence so teachers can screen share AMEB publications in a private lesson being delivered online.

“We recognise this is a lot of change in a very short period of time. Our main goal in all of this is for teachers to keep teaching and students to keep learning. Each of the above innovations has a number of rules and guidelines as to how to approach them and we strongly recommend going to your State Office website for guidance on this. In the meantime, we admire the passion of music and performing arts educators and hope that you find AMEB a supportive partner in this current crisis.”

— Bernard Depasquale, CEO AMEB Ltd

Syllabus Changes and Innovations for 2020
A summary of recent changes made to support and provide flexibility to students and their teachers working towards exams through COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021.
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