The exams include many distinctive new features:
- Learn through performance: The exams reflect the way rock and pop performers learn – through playing the music. You’ll perform three songs, usually to a backing track, and learn the important skills you’ll need as a musician.
- Play great music: In your exam you’ll be playing and singing great classic and recent tracks - our song lists feature a wide range of artists from the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Joni Mitchell through to Radiohead, Kings of Leon and Jessie J.
- Improve your technique: We’ve carefully chosen songs that are appropriate for each exam – songs that will improve the technical aspects of your playing, building your skills as you progress through the grades.
- Make your exam your own: You can tailor your exam so that it showcases your musical personality – you can choose to perform a cover version of a favourite song, you can accompany yourself, you can play to your own backing track or, if you’re a songwriter, you can perform one of your own songs.
- Boost your confidence: The exams give you invaluable experience of planning and playing a set - a perfect preparation for auditions and performances in the future.
- Songbooks, downloads and videos: We’ve provided a wealth of resources to support you - songbooks, downloads of individual songs, and videos of professional musicians explaining the technical elements of the music. The songbook for each exam includes:
- sheet music for six songs
- backing and demo tracks on CD
- background information on the songs
- performance hints and tips
- an explanation of the technical elements
- support for Session skills.
- Use the latest technology: Our songbooks and downloads contain backing and demo tracks for the songs and Session skills, and our online videos show professional musicians demonstrating technical skills.
- Dynamic song lists: Great new rock and pop songs are being written every day, and we’ll reflect that by adding new songs to our song lists and posting new downloads and videos.
- Ideal for self-taught musicians: The resources provided for each exam mean that the Rock & Pop exams are ideal for musicians teaching themselves as well as those taking lessons. Everything you need to prepare for a career in the music industry is available on the website.
- Accredited qualifications: Every exam has been allocated a level and a number of credits in the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.