Australian Music Examinations Board
Australian Music Examinations Board

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AMEB Repertoire Exams

After a two-year trial, AMEB is rolling out a brand-new style of examination, to be offered alongside the traditional comprehensive AMEB examinations which will be familiar to most students and teachers. It will be known as the Repertoire examination and will be available from 2019 for Preliminary through to Grade 8. Repertoire-only examinations are available in every AMEB music syllabus (with a few exceptions)[1].

 

For a Repertoire exam candidates will need to prepare:

 

  • Repertoire pieces only. No separate technical work is required.
  • 4 pieces (Level 1: P to G4) and 5 pieces (Level 2: G5 to G8)

 

Repertoire exams allow candidates to:

  • Focus on their technique through repertoire
  • Have the flexibility to choose a range of repertoire styles, including one Own Choice work (Level 1) and two Own Choice works (Level 2).

 

For Level 1 candidates are required to prepare one piece from each of Lists A, B and C, plus one Own Choice work of equivalent standard. Please check the 2019 Manual of Syllabuses for exact requirements for Level 1 Repertoire examinations for your particular instrument as some requirements do vary. 

 

For Level 2 candidates three of the five pieces are to be drawn from the lists. Either, one each from Lists A, B and C, one each from Lists B, C and D, one each from Lists A, C and D, or one each from Lists A, B and D. The other two works are Own Choice works of equivalent standard. Please check the 2019 Manual of Syllabuses for exact requirements for Level 2 Repertoire examinations for your particular instrument as some requirements do vary. 

 

Own Choice works at Level 1 or 2 can include any work listed on the full syllabuse for that grade. They can also include any work not listed on the syllabus, but which is of a similar length and educational value to the other pieces featured on the syllabus lists. It is the responsisbility of the candidate and their teacher to ensure that the Own Choice work chosen is appropriate for the grade. Please note AMEB is unable to provide prior approval for Own Choice works. 

 

The introduction of Repertoire exams means the standard version of each exam (where candidates prepare Technical work, repertoire and Section III requirements) will now be called a Comprehensive exam.

   

Enrol in a Repertoire exam through your AMEB State Office. For the full Repertoire exam requirements for your instrument, please see the relevant syllabus in the 2019 Manual of Syllabuses 

 

FAQs

 

So, does this mean the end of scales and arpeggios?

Although Technical work is not examined separately in an AMEB Repertoire examination, the gradual accrual of technical skills still forms part of the examination criteria at each grade. Examiners will be assessing candidates on their technical ability as demonstrated in the performance of the repertoire requirements, so candidates will still need to work on technical skills in the practice room – they just won't be examined separately through Technical work in examination. Similarly, the development of sight-reading ability, aural skills and general knowledge is essential for a well-rounded musician, and students will need to continue to work on these areas to reach their full potential, even if they are only being formally assessed on the performance of repertoire.


Can I do a Repertoire exam in Violin?

Yes you can do a repertoire exam in any of the instruments AMEB examines in.

 

Can I do a repertoire exam in a for Leisure syllabus?

For Leisure syllabuses are one of the exceptions to the rule and in 2019 are not available for Repertoire exams

 

Can I do a Repertoire exam in Rockschool?

Rockschool already has a Performance Certificate Exam that is effectively the same as a Repertoire exam – go the Rockschool website for more information.

 

How do I know if the Own Choice selections I have made are the right standard for the grade?

It is the responsibility of the teacher and the candidate to ensure the Own Choice selections are the right standard for the grade. Please note AMEB is unable to provide prior approval for Own Choice works. 

 

To get my certificate do I still need to do a Theory exam for Music examinations?

Yes. The same additional requirements that apply to Comprehensive exams will apply to the Repertoire exams. So from Grade 6 onwards you will need to achieve the coresponding theory requirment to recieve your Repertoire exam cerrtificate. 

 

Do I need to present a balanced program?

As this is a Repertoire examination you should therefore present a program that is well constructed as you would a recital or concert program. The Syllabus Lists are there to help guide you in this, but further thought may be required to select a balanced and interesting program.

 

So for the Music Repertoire examinations I won’t be examined on scales and technical work?

That’s right. Examiners will be assessing candidates on their technical ability as demonstrated in the performance of the repertoire requirements, so candidates will still need to work on technical skills in the practice room – they just won't be examined separately through Technical work in examination.

 

Will I be examined on Aural tests, Sight reading or General knowledge in a Repertoire examination?

No. But keep in mind, the development of sight-reading ability, aural skills and general knowledge is essential for a well-rounded musician, and students will need to continue to work on these areas to reach their full potential, even if they are only being formally assessed on the performance of repertoire.

 

Great. So I never have to practise scales again?
AMEB recommends strongly that technical work forms part of your practice routine. Just because we are not examining that component in this exam doesn’t mean that it is not essential to building your technical skills. Just like a dentist knows if you’ve been brushing your teeth or not an examiner will know whether you’ve been practising your scales or not. The examination criteria still include aspects of technique, it’s just that Technical work isn’t being examined separately as such.

 

Isn’t AMEB just dumbing down a great tradition?

AMEB is aware that the world is changing around us and that we need to change with this. Students have less time than they’ve had in the past. There are many calls on their time and talent. AMEB would encourage everyone to do an exam each year because it is such a great way to set a goal and make sure you are achieving and improving. We have listened to feedback from teachers telling us that not all learning environments allow a student to be prepared for a Comprehensive grade exam but they would still like to have a goal to work to.

 

The Comprehensive grade exam prepares a student for the full package of what is required to make a musician. The exam covers scales and technical work in Section 1, Pieces in Section 2 and Aural tests, general knowledge and sightreading in Section 3.

 

Just because AMEB is offering a Repertoire examination that doesn’t examine Sections 1 and 3 does not mean AMEB no longer thinks these things are important. They remain essential to the development of a musician and we would expect teachers continue to include these elements in their lessons and learning environment. We are just choosing not to examine these in this particular exam. Teachers or students who still wish to be examined in these areas can continue to enrol in the Comprehensive grade exams.

 

Is this going to be easier than the Comprehensive Grade exams?

No, the standard remains the same for each equivalent grade.

 

Who would this be relevant to:

  • Anyone who wants to learn a musical instrument.
  • It could be useful for a student preparing for a Year 11 or 12 music exam wanting to prepare and get feedback on their performance in advance of their school exam.
  • Students learning in a school environment where there is less one-on-one lesson time and it is difficult to prepare a student with all the requirements of a Comprehensive grade exam to be ready at the same time.
  • Students doing music as an additional extra-curricular activity who have less time to commit to these activities.
  • Students who love performing and want an annual goal to aim for as well as external feedback on their progress.

 


[1] Exceptions are: For Leisure, Band and CPM syllabuses.