Rockschool Limited (RSL) launched in 1991 and began offering the world’s first graded music exam syllabus for contemporary musicians. Recognising the lack of access to qualifications and training for the contemporary musician; RSL developed a guitar, bass and drums syllabus in an attempt to fill the void whilst satisfying a demand that they knew was out there.
Since then, RSL has expanded to provide a broad range of qualifications to fully represent the world of Contemporary Arts. These include: Rockschool Graded Music Exams, Performance Arts Awards and Vocational Qualifications. Operating in over 40 countries, Rockschool’s syllabi have expanded to reflect the evolving demands of the creative industries. They deliver the most academically rigorous and industry relevant qualifications; all designed to support aspiring musicians, performers, educators and teaching establishments.
They offer Graded Music Exams in the following performance disciplines: Drums, Bass, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Piano and Keyboards. New instruments in 2017 include the Ukulele and Music Production. In addition, they also offer Popular Music Theory Exams. These require a command of music notation, harmony, band knowledge and analysis skills. The goal is to aid the development of articulate, accomplished musicians, and the Popular Music Theory resources have been specifically designed with this paragon in mind.
The RSL Piano Syllabus, for example, offers candidates the opportunity to be examined playing chart hits that they love, as well as our own exclusive arrangements. All RSL products feature compositions, arrangements and performances from some of the leading names in the world of popular music. They also have academic input from renowned educators from both Conservatoires and Universities.
Their portfolio is continually expanding and focus has always been on providing innovative, rigorous, relevant and engaging syllabi. In September 2016, RSL released the world’s very first Music Production Graded Syllabus. Their most innovative material to date and another example of their commitment to providing individuals the opportunity to achieve graded qualifications within the ever-evolving contemporary music sphere. RSL purposefully designed the syllabus for both instrumentalists and non-instrumentalists; promoting access to contemporary arts education for the widest, most diverse audience possible. As with all RSL syllabi, this syllabus was informed by experienced industry specialists; such as award-winning producers, engineers, composers and some of the leading lights from the world of contemporary music education.
RSL understand how the array of ever-evolving genres in contemporary music can often seem as daunting as it is appealing. The new 2017 Ukulele syllabus serves as a vital resource to introduce early learners (of all ages) to popular song-writing and composition in a variety of styles and genres. The primary aim was to produce a syllabus that acts as an ideal introduction to developing stringed instrument technique in a contemporary music setting; as well as introducing students to RSL’s world renowned range of relevant supporting tests. Each grade includes full ensemble backing tracks and duet arrangements; giving students the opportunity to perform as both accompanists and soloists. Students who might be apprehensive with the idea of an exam can familiarise themselves with the process by playing alongside a teacher, friend or even a parent.
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