The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

Due to COVID-19, all ABRSM exams have suspended for 2020. Please refer to the ABRSM website for latest updates.

The Richmond School of Music is proud to be the Canadian representative for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. One of four accredited music examination boards in the United Kingdom, ABRSM has a long, esteemed history and today offers music students examinations in over 93 countries. In many Commonwealth countries, ABRSM is the accepted standard of music achievement, a credential that gives students global recognition for their hard work and musical accomplishments.

By comparison, the Royal Conservatory of Music is used primarily in Canada, and while widely used domestically, does not enjoy the same level of recognition.

There are a couple of key differences between the RCM and the ABRSM:

1. While both require practical and theory components, the theory component of ABRSM is significantly less onerous. ABRSM students are permitted to skip grades for their theory examinations, allowing for faster movement through the levels. For RCM every theory exam is mandatory.

2. Many students find it challenging to memorize their exam repertoire, particularly as they move through the higher grades. While memorization is mandatory at RCM diploma-level exams, it is not a requirement for ABRSM examinations. Students are encouraged to memorize, however they are not penalized for not knowing their repertoire by heart.

PDF – ABRSM and RCM Differences

PDF – ABRSM High School Credits

For more information please contact:

Richmond Music School Society
11371 No. 3 Road
Richmond BC, V7A 1X3
T (604) 272-5227
Email: richmondmusic@telus.net