What does a Keyboard Music Medal include?
- Ensemble performance
- Solo performance
- Option test
The assessment is made by the teacher-assessor and is moderated by ABRSM.
Music Medals assessments are available to candidates through private teachers, UK schools and music services.
There are five progressive levels: Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
At Copper, Bronze and Silver levels, chords can be played with either a single finger or fully-fingered. At Gold and Platinum levels, candidates should play full-fingered chords over a rhythmic groove.
As an integral part of the Keyboard assessment is using the rhythmic groove, chord sequences and voice change functions on an electronic keyboard, candidates can't perform their Music Medals assessment on a piano.
There are three components in a Music Medals assessment:
The candidate plays an individual line in an ensemble piece for two, three or four players. Each line must be performed by a single player. Only the Medal candidate is assessed, and not the other ensemble members.
Making music together is a distinctive and essential part of Music Medals. Leading the ensemble, counting in, giving appropriate cues, listening, balancing and blending are all vital skills that the Ensemble component of the Medal helps to develop.
The candidate plays one piece from the solo repertoire list for their instrument.
Performing as a soloist helps a Music Medals candidate to develop musical independence and individuality, allowing young musicians to focus on their own sound as well as their personal expression.
The candidate selects one Option test from a choice of four. Candidates can play to their own individual strengths.
While it is expected that candidates will play to their strengths in the Medal, it is hoped that teachers will encourage pupils to develop their ability in the full range of activities covered by these tests, within a general framework of creativity, game-playing and experimentation.
The four Options have been designed so that pupils can choose a test which best displays their developing skills. Those who are particularly fluent with notation may wish to choose the Sight-reading option, while others will prefer to use their creativity in the Make a tune test by improvising a short melody using a given rhythm. Call & response also nurtures improvisation skills, with the candidate reacting to a melodic stimulus given by the Teacher-Assessor. Question & answer combines the elements of sight-reading and creativity.