Diploma: Trinity/ABRSM

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toomanycats
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Does anyone have a view on how the DipABRSM compares with the Associate Recital level of the Trinity Diploma for violin? Is the standard the same, or is one easier to pass than the other? Can anyone give me an idea of what standard is required for each?
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draghm
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(Original post by toomanycats)
Does anyone have a view on how the DipABRSM compares with the Associate Recital level of the Trinity Diploma for violin? Is the standard the same, or is one easier to pass than the other? Can anyone give me an idea of what standard is required for each?
You can think of these diplomas as being like a grade 9. Although they say they are diplomas, they are nearer in standard to grade exams than to "real diplomas."
Having one doesn't qualify anyone for anything. So you should only do them for your own satisfaction, not with a view to using them for university or conservatoire entry as this relies on audition only.
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toomanycats
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(Original post by draghm)
You can think of these diplomas as being like a grade 9. Although they say they are diplomas, they are nearer in standard to grade exams than to "real diplomas."
Having one doesn't qualify anyone for anything. So you should only do them for your own satisfaction, not with a view to using them for university or conservatoire entry as this relies on audition only.
Thanks for your reply. That is what I am looking for. Do you happen to know if there is a difference in standard between them?
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draghm
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(Original post by toomanycats)
Thanks for your reply. That is what I am looking for. Do you happen to know if there is a difference in standard between them?
I think they are supposed to be all roughly the same. DipABRSM, ATCL, ALCM. You have a choice. I suppose some might be cheaper to take than others.
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scherzi
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Check the respective syllabi. I think ABRSM have a prerequisite of grade 8, whereas Trinity does not. IIRC, ABRSM also has viva voce and sightreading whilst Trinity doesn't. Standard of pieces should pretty much be the same. Here's a copy and paste from the syllabi I have (might be out of date, I don't know):

Trinity, ATCL:

J S Bach Any complete sonata (from 6 Sonatas for Violin and Keyboard) Bärenreiter
J S Bach Concerto no. 2 in E major, BWV 1042 Bärenreiter
Beethoven Romance in G, op. 40 (from 2 Romances) Henle
Beethoven Sonata in D, op. 12 no. 1 Henle
Beethoven Sonata in A, op. 12 no. 2 Henle
Beethoven Sonata in F, op. 24 ‘Spring’ Henle
Bloch Nigun (no. 2 from ‘Baal Shem’ suite) Fischer
Bloch Simchas Torah (no. 3 from ‘Baal Shem’ suite) Fischer
Brahms Sonata in A major, op. 100 Henle
Brahms Sonata in G major, op. 78 Henle
De Falla Suite Populaire Espagnole Chester
Delius Légende in Eb Forsyth
Dvorªák 4 Romantic Pieces op. 75 Bärenreiter Praha
Françaix Sonatine Schott
Hindemith Sonata in Eb, op. 11 no. 1 Schott
Khachaturian Chant-Poème Boosey
Knussen Nocturne and Serenade (from Autumnal op. 14) Faber
Kroll Banjo and Fiddle Schirmer
K Leighton Metamorphoses op. 48 Novello
Messiaen Thème et Variations Leduc
Mozart Sonata in Bb, K. 454 or Sonata in A, K. 526 any reliable edition
Prokofiev Cinq Mélodies op. 35a [also known as op. 35bis] Boosey
Ravel/Catherine Pièce en forme de Habanera Leduc
Schubert Rondo in A major, D. 438 any reliable edition
Schumann 3 Fantasiestücke op. 73 Henle
Schumann Sonata no. 1 in A minor, op. 105 Peters
Smetana From My Native Country nos. 1 and 2 Peters
Stravinsky/Dushkin Chanson Russe (Russian Maiden’s Song from ‘Mavra’) Boosey
Suk 4 Pieces op. 17 (2 vols., both to be played) Simrock
Szymanowski Chant de Roxanne (from King Roger) Universal
Wieniawski Légende op. 17 Schott


ABRSM, DipABRSM:

J.S. Bach Concerto in E, BWV 1042: 1st movt (Bärenreiter BA 5190a)
Partita for solo violin no.2 in D minor, BWV 1004: r
3rd and 4th movts, Sarabanda and Giga D Bach 3 Sonatas and 3 Partitas
Partita for solo violin no.3 in E, BWV 1006: D for solo violin (Bärenreiter BA 5116)
2nd and 3rd movts, Loure and Gavotte en Rondeau R
Sonata in E minor, BWV 1023: complete. Bach 2 Sonatas for Violin and Continuo (Wiener Urtext/MDS)
Barber Concerto, Op.14: 1st movt (Schirmer/Music Sales)
Beethoven Romance in F, Op.50. Beethoven 2 Romances (Henle 324 or Henle 324/MDS)
1st movement from any one of the following Sonatas:
Op.12 no.2 in A, Op.12 no.3 in Eb, Op.23 in A minor, Op.24 in F (‘Spring’), Op.30 no.1 in A,
Op.30 no.2 in C minor, Op.30 no.3 in G. Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin (2 volumes:
Henle 7/8 or Henle/MDS)
Bloch Nigun (Improvisation) (no.2 from ‘Baal Shem’ Suite) (Carl Fischer/MDS)
Simchas Torah (no.3 from ‘Baal Shem’ Suite) (Carl Fischer/MDS)
Brahms Sonata in G, Op.78: 1st movt (Wiener Urtext/MDS)
Sonata in A, Op.100: 1st movt (Wiener Urtext/MDS)
Sonata Movement (Scherzo) in C minor (Breitkopf & Härtel 6049)
Bridge Moto Perpetuo (Stainer & Bell)
Delius Sonata no.3: 3rd movt (Boosey & Hawkes/MDS)
Dvor˘ák 4 Romantic Pieces, Op.75: complete (Bärenreiter Praha H 1903)
Elgar Sonata in E minor, Op.82: 1st movt (Novello/Music Sales)
Falla Danse Espagnole (from ‘La Vida Breve’), arr. Kreisler (Schott BSS 31837/MDS)
Pantomime (from ‘El Amor Brujo’), arr. Kocha´nski. Manuel de Falla Music for Violin and Piano
(‘El Amor Brujo’) (Chester/Music Sales)
Fauré Romance in Bb, Op.28 (Hamelle/UMP)
Françaix Sonatine: complete (Schott ED 2451/MDS)
Geminiani Sonata in C minor: complete. 18th Century Violin Sonatas, Book 2 (ABRSM)
Grieg Sonata no.3 in C minor, Op.45: 1st movt (Peters EP 2414)
Haydn Concerto in C, Hob.VIIa/1: 1st movt (Henle 446 or Henle 446/MDS)
Hindemith Sonata in Eb, Op.11 no.1: any movt or movts (Schott ED 1918/MDS)
Kabalevsky Concerto in C, Op.48: 1st movt (Boosey & Hawkes/MDS)
Khachaturian Chant-Poème (Boosey & Hawkes/MDS)
Kreisler Variations on a theme of Corelli in the style of Tartini (Schott BSS 29027/MDS)
R. Kreutzer 42 Études or Caprices: no.35 in Eb and/or no.42 in D minor (Peters EP 284)
Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, Op.21: 2nd movt (Peters EP 3797a)
Leclair Sonata in D, Op.9 no.3: complete (Schott VLB 15/MDS)
Kenneth Leighton Metamorphoses, Op.48 (Novello/Music Sales)
Messiaen Thème et Variations (Leduc/UMP)
Mozart Concerto no.3 in G, K.216: 1st movt (Bärenreiter BA 4865a)
Concerto no.4 in D, K.218: 1st movt (Bärenreiter BA 4866a)
1st movement from any one of the following Sonatas: K.296 in C, K.376 in F, K.378 in Bb. Mozart
Sonatas for Piano and Violin, Vol.2 (Henle 78 or Henle 78/MDS orWiener Urtext/MDS)
Paul Patterson Luslawice Variations for solo violin (Universal 21005/MDS)
Ravel Pièce en Forme de Habanera, trans. Catherine (Leduc/UMP)
Saint-Saëns Concerto no.3 in B minor, Op.61: 1st movt (Durand/UMP)
Schumann 3 Fantasiestücke, Op.73: complete (Henle 421 or Henle 421/MDS)
Sonata no.3 in A minor WoO 27: 1st movt (Schott ED 10505/MDS)
Smetana From My Native Country: nos.1 and 2 (Peters EP 2634)
Stravinsky Chanson Russe (Russian Maiden’s Song from ‘Mavra’), arr. Dushkin (Boosey & Hawkes/MDS)
Suite Italienne: any two movts (Boosey & Hawkes/MDS)
Szymanowski Chant de Roxanne (from ‘King Roger’), arr. Kocha´nski (Universal 8694/MDS)
Tartini Sonata in G minor (‘Didone abbandonata’), Op.1 no.10: 1st and 2nd movts (Schott VLB 31/MDS)
Telemann Any one Fantasia complete from ‘12 Fantasias for Violin without Bass’ (Bärenreiter BA 2972)
Walton 2 Pieces: Canzonetta and Scherzetto (OUP)


(Do you have a teacher?)
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toomanycats
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Thanks so much for this. ANy views on the Dip LCM?????
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mel c:)
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Just answering a few questions here-I'm taking the ATCL diploma, it's £210 compared to about £500 for dipABRSM(?!). As for the level of difficulty, you choose your own programme(doesn't have to be from the syllabus) so it makes no difference whatsoever! I'm doing an entirely own choice programme, found out that one of them was a grade 8 piece, but since I have about 3 or 4(i.e. almost a third of the programme) pieces which are on their LTCL diploma syllabus I could do all of it. So for ATCL I'm actually doing pieces ranging from grade 8 to LTCL level-you can see that it's pojntless to try and compare the difficulty of different boards' diplomas!

Anyway, diplomas are worth plenty for those who want to teach and perform/accompany part time, which I do whilst at uni. You put together an entire programme! That's a HUGE step up from grade 8, so long as you don't pick minimum difficulty throughout. After I do my diploma, I'm also planning on organising my own solo recital with the diploma repertoire plus a Beethoven sonata, and that's not the sort of thing a slightly-above-grade 8 instrumentalist could do!
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draghm
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(Original post by mel c:))
Just answering a few questions here-I'm taking the ATCL diploma, it's £210 compared to about £500 for dipABRSM(?!). As for the level of difficulty, you choose your own programme(doesn't have to be from the syllabus) so it makes no difference whatsoever! I'm doing an entirely own choice programme, found out that one of them was a grade 8 piece, but since I have about 3 or 4(i.e. almost a third of the programme) pieces which are on their LTCL diploma syllabus I could do all of it. So for ATCL I'm actually doing pieces ranging from grade 8 to LTCL level-you can see that it's pojntless to try and compare the difficulty of different boards' diplomas!

Anyway, diplomas are worth plenty for those who want to teach and perform/accompany part time, which I do whilst at uni. You put together an entire programme! That's a HUGE step up from grade 8, so long as you don't pick minimum difficulty throughout. After I do my diploma, I'm also planning on organising my own solo recital with the diploma repertoire plus a Beethoven sonata, and that's not the sort of thing a slightly-above-grade 8 instrumentalist could do!
It is really important to remember that the level of a music exam is determined by how you play a piece not the piece itself. Here is an example that explains this. Supposing a concert pianist plays a piece that is on a syllabus for grade 5. Does that mean that their level is only grade 5 or would you expect them to play the piece much, much better than someone who had just got to the standard required to pass grade 5?

When it comes to diplomas the standard of playing required to pass ATCL, ALCM and dipABRSM is equivalent to what a grade 9 would be if there was one.

If someone chooses to play pieces that are on the syllabus for a higher standard diploma, for an ALCM dipABRSM or ATCL exam they won't be expected to play them in the way that is needed to pass the higher diploma, and in fact may not be able to play them well enough to pass LTCL, LRSM, or LLCM.

There is a small step in increase in skill level needed from grade 8 to ALCM dipABRSM and ATCL.

There is a much bigger increase in skill level needed between ALCM, dipABRSM and ATCL for a pass in LTCL, LRSM, and LLCM. This is why ALCM dipABRSM and ATCL are not considered to be "real" diplomas because they are easy to pass, and need low playing skills.

These days some young people take dipABRSM while they are still at school.

Some people mistakenly believe that so called teaching diplomas like dipABRSM, ATCL and ALCM require a high enough standard for someone to start teaching however if you start teaching when you are this level you can't play well enough to have anything useful to offer your pupils. Ask yourself if you would be happy to teach one of these non teaching diplomas to your pupils and if the answer is honesly no, then you can't play well enough to teach because remember some young people take these diplomas at school, so it would be considered normal for a teacher to view these diplomas as something that you would normally have to teach meaning of course that the teacher has much higher skill levels.

In terms of professional musicians, non of these diplomas require a high enough skill level to pass, so most professional players do not bother to take diplomas. The top diplomas FRSM, FTCL and FLCM require a standard of playing that is a very very long way below the lowest level of professional playing.

Some exams boards say things like "dipABRSM, ATCL, and ALCM are the equivalent that a music student would be expected to have passed by the end of their first year of college/university course." Some people read this as dip ABRSM ATCL and ALCM are the level that a student at music college/university will have reached and believe that passing one of these exams makes them the level of a 1st year music college student. If you read the first statement really carefull you will realise that the exam standard can be reached anytime up until the end of the first year, and actually most music college students have reached this standard one or two years before they audition for college at age 18.





The best way to think of diplomas is as a music qualification that you take for your own interest.
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mel c:)
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Some musicians took their degrees when they were still school age, does that mean we are to completely disregard the value of an undergraduate degree?(Glenn Gould took his at age 14, graduated at age 17, younger than we finish sixth form)

I personally don't think even a degree is qualification enough to guarantee you the most basic benefits of a teacher- I have met some that didn't tell their students to keep their foot on top of the pedal instead of leaving it hanging a foot above the pedal, who were RCM graduates, so no, any qualification in performance is no guarantee of a good teacher. It's up to the pupils to leave any time they feel cheated after all! If you charge more than the usual price in lessons, then when teaching a student, if they don't feel like they're learning enough to make it worth it it's their right to just leave and stop paying for lessons.

Anyway this conversation was to do with comparing the different boards for a diploma, NOT an extended argument about how there's no value in a diploma.
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Finella
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The pieces on the Trinity syllabus are generally easier than those on the ABRSM syllabus. Although you can offer own-choice repertoire in the Trinity exam, the standard set by the pieces included in their repertoire list suggests that in the Trinity exam you will be marked according to a slightly lower expectation than in the ABRSM exam. Also, there's no Viva Voce component in the Trinity exam.
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Musikfreund
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If you want to get an idea of how ABRSM diplomas compare with grade exams, take a look at the exam statistics. Around 90% of entrants pass even grade 8, but the pass rate for the diplomas is little more than 50% (lower if you include overseas entrants). This is an indication that DipABRSM is qualitatively different from the grade exams and certainly cannot be called grade 9.

Anyone claiming that even FRSM is way below the standard of professional performance needs to provide objective data to show this. In 2012 in the UK there were only 21 entrants for that exam and 10 of them failed! The criterion for distinction in FRSM is: "Outstanding, completely assured and authoritative performance, demonstrating mature artistry and consummate technical ease."
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elsiebee
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Sorry, but saying the pieces on the Trinity syllabus are easier than the ABRSM is just not true. Both boards are equivalent in difficulty, both are Level 4 qualifications according to QCF. Some pieces on the dipABRSM syllabus are on Trinity's Advanced Certificate lists (between Grade 8 and ATCL). The ATCL is a very highly regarded qualification worldwide.
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Finella
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(Original post by elsiebee)
Sorry, but saying the pieces on the Trinity syllabus are easier than the ABRSM is just not true. Both boards are equivalent in difficulty, both are Level 4 qualifications according to QCF. Some pieces on the dipABRSM syllabus are on Trinity's Advanced Certificate lists (between Grade 8 and ATCL). The ATCL is a very highly regarded qualification worldwide.


Lol idk what I was on about, I had just done my DipABRSM when I wrote that and apparently wanted to get up on my high horse about how great it was. The ABRSM pieces are more uniform in their difficulty and the exam is perceived as more difficult but I think that's more down to the Viva Voce section and the grade 8 prerequisite than an actual disparity in performance requirement. The Trinity syllabus is certainly more flexible in that respect - as you and others have pointed out the the own choice thing means it can be as hard or as easy as you like - which I think is what leads people to try and quantify it in terms of the standard expected of you but honestly I would say it's about the same for both.
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liszthoven
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dragham-What exactly do you mean by 'professional playing'? Last time I checked, you need to write 5000 words for the FRSM programme notes
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