Latest exam updates

Performance Grades: Booking for June Performance Grades is open now until 13 May.

Performance Grade exams

We are pleased to confirm that we will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check our Dates and Fees page for details.

Grade 5 Music Theory waiver (not applicable in the UK & Ireland)

We are extending our Grade 5 Music Theory waiver until 23 May 2021. This means that candidates with a Grade 6 to 8 Performance Grade exam submission date up to and including 23 May can take their exam without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. We are making this exceptional arrangement to allow candidates who have been unable to take an exam in recent months to progress with their learning. From 24 May, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return. For exam dates/exam submission dates after 23 May, all candidates taking a Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical Grade must first pass Grade 5 Music Theory.


At ABRSM, we support the career-long professional development of music teachers through our innovative courses and online learning resources.

We can offer UK schools, music hubs and services a wide-ranging suite of INSET presentations, all delivered by our network of experienced examiners. We have topics suitable for both instrumental and classroom music teachers.

The full list of presentations is below – each session explores new repertoire, resources and teaching ideas, packed with useful ideas to take back into teaching. They are inspirational, practical and above all musical!

We can accommodate both morning and afternoon sessions. You can book a single, 90-minute session, or book a half-day, which includes two 90-minute presentations and a 30-minute interactive session, such as a demo of our digital resources or a Q&A with the examiner.

We are always keen to support visits that bring together a wide and diverse community of practising musicians and teachers – if you can guarantee a minimum of 100 delegates, we’ll waive the presentation fee. This could involve coming together with local schools or hubs/services in your area.

“Both presenters delivered superb presentations which were interesting and inspiring and I hope much can now be used in our VMT’s daily teaching.”
The Schools at Somerhill

“I got lots of practical ideas to help my teaching. The presenter was friendly and relaxed.”
City of Edinburgh Instrumental Music Service

“Very straightforward and easy to book”
Bedford Music Cooperative


INSET sessions

Understanding the way ABRSM exams are assessed will support the entire exam journey for you and your pupil, from preparation right through to the exam itself, and beyond to getting the most from the mark form.

You'll gain helpful insights into the aspects of musical performance that you and your pupils need to consider to work effectively towards an ABRSM exam. The session will also explain the principles behind the exam structure and how it works and, using recorded examples, how examiners apply the ABRSM marking criteria to assess each section of the exam. 

You will come away with a clear understanding of how the mark form comments are intended to help support and guide your pupils’ future musical development.

*This session can be targeted to ABRSM G1-8 Practical exams, Jazz exams, Singing for Musical Theatre or Performance Diplomas upon request.

Motivation and progression are two vital ingredients of successful learning. We will look at the challenges of maintaining both motivation and progression, and positive ways to invigorate one in order to turbo-charge the other!

Is assessment only about exams? And are exams only about assessment? By exploring the links between motivation, attainment, assessment and progression, this session explores how musical assessment can be used in a helpful and holistic way for all concerned – one that supports and guides progression in terms of the process itself and the outcome.

In this session we will share lesson ideas and activities to inspire your pupils’ love of music and learning, helping them to gain an understanding of the core elements of music: pitch, time, tone, shape and performance. These key ingredients are the skills that ABRSM examiners assess, although they apply to any music learning context, within or outside the exam. This is a hands-on, practical session that can be designed around 1:1 teaching, small or large groups, or class music lessons.

Discover ABRSM’s new exam repertoire in a session of practical demonstrations and discussions which explore a variety of musical approaches to teaching the music set for Grades 1–8.

This session will highlight themes and pathways that help to enable and sustain progression. We’ll also look at imaginative ways to focus your students’ exam preparation around the aspects of musical performance that examiners assess and helps them to engage with the music with enthusiasm and confidence.

Jazz is an increasingly popular style for learners, and although many teachers are enthusiastic about the style, not everyone feels confident about delivering jazz content in lessons.

This session helps you to understand the important elements in the music, and provides ideas that you can take away and work on to feel more comfortable yourself as well as to use as teaching tools for your students.

This session explores the vital relationship between knowledge, understanding and the practical and creative skill.

Highlighting the importance of music theory, this session uses a range of practical ways to demonstrate some of the intricate, inextricable connections between practical control and mental awareness, and between musical literacy and articulacy, showing how musical knowledge and understanding lies at the heart of successful music-making.

Classical 100 is our free resource for primary schools that features 100 pieces of classical music in a dynamic list, ranging from Bach to Bernstein and Handel to Haydn. You can sort the music by mood, instrument, tempo and historical period, or in any other way that suits you.

Introduce your pupils to a wide range of classical music and develop their musical understanding through flexible activities. Listen, learn and explore all 100 pieces, each of which come with a challenge designed to help support musical learning. The challenges are fun and flexible enough to use in a number of ways – from short starter activities to longer sessions spanning several hours. They're designed to support all teachers, with or without musical expertise.  

"The 100 pieces are a perfect stimulus for storytelling, drama and dance, with lots of ideas for music-making activities. The resource is ideal for introducing pupils to the joy of classical music, where pupils can improve their aural skills in identifying a range of orchestral instruments along with interpreting the emotions of the music while developing concentration in listening skills."

Kate Picken, Music Teacher and Youth Music Development Officer in Dumfries & Galloway Council

We regularly update our INSET offer, so please check this page for details of new sessions. Still don’t see a presentation that meets your needs? We are often able to tailor sessions bespoke for your teachers – recently, this has included sessions around our jazz exams, and on new syllabus repertoire. Please get in touch to discuss your needs. 

These INSET presentations are available to all UK schools, music hubs and services. If you are a private organisation or based outside the UK and you are looking for CPD from ABRSM, please get in touch tell us more about your needs and we will be happy to talk to you. 

Session costs

Session length Cost
90 minutes £250 plus travel expenses
Half-day £450 plus travel expenses


Please note: No photography or filming is permitted by attendees at these events.


Bookings must be requested at least 30 days before the INSET date. Periods of high demand are April, September and January.

If you have any queries regarding INSET, please call 0207 467 8257 or email [email protected].

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