• Sheet Music Department

    September 12, 2016

    Free ABRSM presentation on scales, sight-reading and aural tests: 16 October 2016, 11am - 12.30pm or 2pm - 3.30pm

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    UPDATE: All places for this event have now been filled

    To add your name to the waiting list, please contact us on 0161 834 3281 (extension 204) or [email protected]

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    We are very much looking forward to hosting this free ABRSM event designed to support musicians of any instrument or voice, along with their parents and teachers, as they prepare for the technical portions of their exams: scales and arpeggios/broken chords, sight-reading and aural tests.

    There has always been a tendency among exam candidates to consider their pieces to be the ‘real’ exam and to make these the sole focus of their preparation. It can be easy for candidates, particularly those who are just starting out, to feel that scales, sight-reading and aural tests have little to do with making music: that they are just hoops to be jumped through for the purposes of the exam and not worth preparing for. It is easier still to feel that these parts of the exam, especially the aural tests, cannot be prepared for: either you can just do them or you can’t – and if you think you can’t, they can be a terrifying prospect.

    Of course, the truth is that these skills are not simply obstacles to passing our exams but an integral part of our musical development. They extend our expressive range by improving our technical facility and the sensitivity of our responses to the notes on the page and to the sounds produced both by ourselves and by our colleagues in choirs, ensembles and orchestras. And it is possible to practise these skills: in fact, the more we practise them, the more they enhance our own and therefore our audiences’ appreciation of the music we play.

    In this presentation, Anthony Williams, a highly experienced ABRSM examiner, pianist and teacher, will discuss various approaches by which we can improve our performance in scales, sight-reading and aural tests in our exams and enjoy the longer-term benefits of our work in these areas. The ABRSM offers a number of publications intended to guide players, parents and teachers in each of these skills, and all those attending this presentation will receive a 10% discount on ABRSM products. The major series include:


    Scales and arpeggios/broken chords

    Books of scale requirements for most instruments and grades

    The Manual of Scales, Broken Chords and Arpeggios for Piano (covers Grades 1-8)



    Specimen Sight-Reading Tests for most instruments and grades

    Joining the Dots: A Fresh Approach to Sight-Reading, available for Piano (Grades 1-8), and Guitar, Singing and Violin (Grades 1-5)


    Aural tests

    Specimen Aural Tests (with or without CD) for all grades

    Aural Training in Practice (with CD) for all grades


    In addition, the ABRSM have developed a suite of supporting apps, including the new Scales Trainer, launched in July, the Aural Trainer, the Violin Practice Partner, and the Piano Practice Partner, recently updated to include the new Piano Syllabus 2017 & 2018.


    >>> Meet the presenter: Anthony Williams MMus DipRAM GRSM (Hons) LRAM

    Anthony was born in Essex and studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Alexander Kelly. Following international competition success he has gone on to give recitals, broadcasts and concerto appearances around the world. He is also an experienced accompanist, performing with soloists such as Peter Cropper and Ann Murray.

    As a piano teacher Anthony has established an international reputation, his pupils achieving notable competition success and many becoming professional musicians. Having taught at the Royal Academy of Music and Reading University, Anthony is now based full-time at Radley College as Head of Keyboard and Instrumental Studies, combining this with a busy freelance career.

    As an educator he has written numerous articles and books on piano teaching and regularly presents masterclasses, lecture-recitals and seminars on performance, repertoire and the art of teaching, internationally and throughout the UK. Publications include the Best of Grade and Fingerprints books for Faber as well as Teaching Notes for ABRSM and appeared on radio in a series of ten short talks on piano performance and interpretation as part of the Radio 3 Piano Festival.

    Anthony is a Moderator (both jazz and classical), Trainer and Examiner for ABRSM, a regular and experienced presenter at their Conferences and Teacher Support events and has been the joint syllabus selector for the piano exams since 1999. He is an experienced and busy adjudicator, a member of the Federation of Festivals, and President of Chipping Norton Music Festival.


    Event information

    Event – ABRSM presentation on scales and arpeggios/broken chords, sight-reading and aural tests:

    Anthony Williams discusses the musical awareness and skills a musician needs to support and enhance musical progress and independence. He’ll explain the relevance of assessing aural, sight reading and scales and explore teaching strategies and technology that can be used to enhance an instrumental/vocal lesson or a student’s practice.

    See also the information on ABRSM’s website.

    Date – Sunday 16 October 2016

    Time – This presentation will be given twice:

    11am - 12pm, with free refreshments 12pm - 12.30pm
    The morning session is now full

    2pm - 3pm, with free refreshments 3pm - 3.30pm
    The afternoon session is now full

    Venue – Forsyth Brothers Ltd, 126 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2GR (staff will direct you to the workshop space in the basement)

    Eligibility – Open to musicians of any instrument or voice, and parents and teachers

    Entry – Free

    Registration – Although all places for this event have now been filled, you can add your name to the waiting list via: 0161 834 3281 (extension 204) or [email protected]