Thursday, September 23, 2010

Trinity Guildhall Exams

Trinity Guildhall offers internationally accredited examinations
in a wide range of musical instruments.

What is the purpose of exams?
Examinations are a recognized method of ensuring that the information being studied can be demonstrated to meet a particular level of grading. The best way to ensure that what your teacher is showing you is actually correct, is to get an expert to give you some constructive criticism.

Entering an Eisteddfod or other competition is also valid. However, it is important to for students to know how their progress can be rated against a syllabus of requirements. External examinations from recognized educational institutions provide guidelines that need to be adhered to in order to pass. Of course, there are many examination variations from different educational providers - all of whom are valid for you, if they are accredited by the board of education in your particular state or country of residence.

Trinity Guildhall (UK) examinations are my preferred option in Sydney, Australia as they focus on performance while assuming and expecting that the student has devoted time in their lessons and home practice, to exercises and rudiments at various metronome markings. Other Australian examination systems expect students to perform from a range of up to 20 pages of exercises within their exam, depending upon grade level. My personal belief is that it should be fairly obvious to an examiner if the student has practiced rudiments and exercises, by the quality of their performance. While the demonstration of technical facility should be a basic requirement of study, musicality is often more apparent in an actual piece of music than in a series of exercises.

The Trinity Guildhall Percussion and Drum Kit Examinations incorporate contemporary works by renowned composers, set within a graded syllabus system. These musical pieces and studies feature techniques specific to the instruments studied, such as the 40 PAS International Drum Rudiments.

The NSW Trinity Guildhall Representative is Barry Walmsley.
Barry Walmsley is the contact for inquiries regarding examinations.
Examination entry forms can also be retrieved from the above link.

Here are some videos which feature Trinity Guildhall Examination pieces:

Toe Tapper Grade 1 Drum Kit
(old syllabus ending 2010)

Full 'O Fills Grade 2 Drum Kit
(old syllabus ending 2010)

Funk One Grade 3 Drum Kit
(old syllabus ending 2010)

Rudimental Study 1 Grade 4 Drum Kit
(old syllabus ending 2010)

Rudimental Study No. 1 Grade 5 Drum Kit
(old syllabus ending 2010)

Mbira Song Grade 6
Orchestral percussion

Raindance Grade 7
Orchestral percussion

Flight of the Bumble Bee Grade 8
Orchestral percussion


  1. Cool! Thanks thats tons helpful :)
    Tim k

  2. Hi Tim K - I'm glad you found this post helpful. All the best with your studies,
    Tessa :)