Exams via video

17th November 2006 at 00:00
Graded exams in Scottish Traditional Music aim to pioneer the use of video conferencing for music examinations to allow students from remote locations to take part.

Core funding has yet to be approved for the exams which the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama will administer. But 74 students have already taken part in pilots and it is hoped the first students will be examined initially in fiddle, clarsach and accordion in Grades 1-5 next year.

Joshua Dickson, project manager at the National Centre for Research in the Performing Arts at RSAMD, has been giving presentations to allow discussion on the proposed exams at traditional music events in Scotland since July:

"We are trying to devise a system that is produced and delivered by and for traditional musicians in Scotland."

He said the motivation for introducing the exams was to give parity of esteem with the Western Classical music tradition and to provide goals for learners of all ages. Agreement has been reached with the SQA to include the new repertoire within the Standard grade and Higher music repertoire.

Pilot exams have now been held in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen, and students from Orkney and Benbecula have also taken part using video conferencing facilities.

The exams are based on the model of the Associated Board exams and will be validated by the RSAMD board with a representative from the Associated Board providing external validation.

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