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First ARSM exam in the world

6 years ago

A 15 year old student from Hong Kong studying in England has become the first candidate in the world to take ABRSM’s brand new performance-only diploma.

First exam

The first ever ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) exam was taken by boarding school student Vincent Wong at Sevenoaks School in Kent on 27 January 2017. Vincent received a merit for his viola performance. Michael Elliott, ABRSM’s Chief Executive, recently presented the ARSM certificate to Vincent after his music lesson at Sevenoaks School. Michael Elliott, ABRSM Chief Executive, said “I was delighted to present Vincent with the first ever ARSM certificate and to congratulate him in person. His examiner was impressed with his well-balanced programme which played to his musical strengths and enthusiasms. "The ARSM is our first new assessment in 12 years and we are receiving positive feedback from teachers and candidates around the world who are looking for a challenge after grades and a meaningful goal to work towards.” Vincent’s teacher at Sevenoaks School, Robin Ashwell, said “I am extremely proud of Vincent’s achievement in gaining the ARSM. Having taken Grade 8 before coming to study with me, we really needed something else to work towards in order to keep pushing Vincent towards higher levels. The ARSM was perfect for this, with challenging repertoire to choose from and a good programme length of half an hour. "Vincent rose to the challenge of the ARSM with vigour and zeal, reaching a level far higher than he would have otherwise, and to be receiving the first ARSM in the world is a huge thrill!” The new performance-only diploma was launched in August 2016 to provide learners with an opportunity to develop and demonstrate their performance skills after Grade 8.

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