We offer a range of ways for your child to make progress and mark achievement on their instrument.
Exams and Certificates
Croydon Music Stars acknowledge children’s achievement in music at Key Stage 2, when they’re aged 7 – 11.
There are five levels. Young musicians are motivated to progress through levels and to receive a certificate for their achievement. Schools are able to acknowledge and celebrate pupils’ achievement by presenting the certificate in assembly.
Music Medals are teacher-led assessments for younger learners administered through the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). They build on what is already taught in group lessons, and enable students to gain recognition for their hard work. There are five progressive levels. Copper and Bronze are stepping stones to Grade 1. Silver, Gold and Platinum reward further progress.
Graded Exams cover 8 levels. We organise these through the ABRSM syllabus where students are required to learn three pieces along with scales and arpeggios, and prepare for aural tests and sight-reading. Students wishing to pursue a classical music career are often expected to have achieved their grade 8 in order to do so.
Is your child taking their first graded exam with us? Watch this video below for some handy tips!
What are the benefits of taking an assessment?
Exams and assessments aren’t for everyone, but do provide a useful way to measure personal progress. We also find that young musicians are more confident following a successful assessment and the process increases their motivation to develop further. Many students benefit from working towards specific goals where they have to learn new pieces and techniques that can challenge them. The process can be very rewarding!
What can parents/carers do to support the preparation of exams/assessments?
Ensuring regular practice happens at home is key to progressing and achieving. Making use of the practice booklet to monitor practice, as well as supporting your child to explore new pieces and revisit their old favourites is a great way to help them feel inspired and engaged with their musical learning.
When can my child take an exam or assessment?
Your teacher will advise on when a good time is to do this. Your child’s progress will be recorded in your practice booklet and at the end of each school year you receive a written report from your teacher which gives an indication of your child’s progress in different areas of learning. You should speak to your child’s teacher if you’d like more information on doing an exam or an assessment.
Is there a cost for taking them?
There is no cost for achieving a Croydon Music Star, but there are varied costs for the different levels of music medals and graded exams. Visit the ABRSM website for more details on prices.
When do results come through?
Croydon Music Stars – if your child has been selected for a Music Star, their certificate will be presented to them at a school assembly, most commonly during the summer term.
Music Medals – results can be varied as your child’s teacher is their assessor and has to submit their portfolio to ABRSM for validation. Results are often received towards the end of term.
Graded exams – results normally take 4 weeks to come through following the assessment day. Once CMA receives the results we pass them on as soon as possible to parents, pupils and teachers.
Are there other ways to make progress?
After a term’s worth of learning on their instrument, your child is able to become a member of our Croydon Young Musicians (CYM) Centre that takes place on a Saturday morning at our offices. Becoming a member will give them the opportunity to play with other young musicians and learn new skills. As they progress, their music group leader will advise their promotion to more advanced groups.
Through joining our CYM Centre, they can also become a member of the Croydon’s Children’s University, where they can gain rewards for getting involved in out-of-school activities, like CYM groups. Once they have completed a minimum of 30 hours of learning at CYM, they will be invited to an awards ceremony where their effort and commitment is recognised with a badge and certificate.
Members of our centres are also encouraged to put themselves forward to be a Student Representative for the Student Council Reps are responsible for representing the views of their peers attending our centres. It is an opportunity to gain skills in leadership and communication, as well as meet new people from across our centres and advocate for change. The Student Council meets 2 – 3 times a term.