Launched in March 2011 by New York’s Carnegie Hall and Canada’s Royal Conservatory, The Music Development Program (formerly The Achievement Program) provides a national standard for musical achievement for people of all ages studying music in the US, offering a sequential course of study from beginner through advanced levels. Modeled on the acclaimed examination system of The Conservatory in Canada, the program was created in response to feedback from parents and teachers throughout the US, requesting a top-quality nationally-recognized system to track students’ musical progress, celebrating their accomplishments.
The Music Development Program centers on periodic assessments for students—one-on-one adjudicator-to-student performance evaluations that also function as valuable teaching and learning opportunities. In each practical assessment, a certified professional adjudicator evaluates a student’s performance of repertoire, studies (etudes), and musical proficiency skills. Assessments are offered for keyboard, string, woodwind, and brass instruments; voice; and the academic subjects of music theory, music history, and pedagogy. Assessments are held several times a year at locations across the US with upcoming dates and registration information listed on www.TheAchievementProgram.com.
A Comprehensive Program of Musical Development – The Music Development Program encompasses four main areas:
ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) is the UK’s largest music education body, one of its largest music publishers and the world’s leading provider of music exams, offering assessments to more than 630,000 candidates in 93 countries every year. ABRSM’s mission is to inspire achievement in music. In partnership with the Royal Schools of Music, we support high-quality music-making and learning around the world.
ABRSM exams are one of the most prestigious music assessment programs in the world. They are recognized as the golden standard in evaluating musical achievement in over 90 countries, including the US. Examinations are offered to students of all ages and all levels of proficiency, from the young beginner to the advanced diplomas. Students enter the examinations by preparing a special program of select repertoire and technical requirements such as scales and arpeggios. They are also tested on aural skills, such as sight reading and sight singing, etc. What I appreciate most about these exams is the high level of their administration and recognition not only on the state level, but on the international level.
Theory tests are not required until students pass level 5 of ABRSM piano exams. However, in order to move on to grade 6, they are required to take and successfully pass the written test.