Category: Graded Music Exams

RSL @ Music and Drama Education Expo 2019

February 19th, 2019 by

We’re looking forward to exhibiting at this years Music and Drama Education Expo 2019, Europe’s largest conference and exhibition for anyone involved in music & drama education! See below for full details on our programme.

Day 1

Street Dance warm up with RSL’s Head of Business Development Patrick Healy and choreographer Holly Francis Williams.

  • 6TH MAR 2019
  • 09.30-10.00

An introduction to Street Dance and how it can be incorporated  into your school/college in order to grow and diversify your performing arts provision, create happier healthier students and improve exam results.

[KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5]

Delegates will:

  • Gain insight into why using popular dance will refresh the Performing Arts sector

  • Discover how to inspire students to help them achieve their academic goals, and explore ways to improve accessibility and diversity in the school

  • Discover ways in which dance can be featured in or integrated into the curriculum

  • Develop ideas for starting a Street Dance class at school/college

Don’t Miss…RSL’s PAA Competition!

Delegates have the chance to win to be part of a promotional video for our Performance Arts Awards syllabus!

Day 2

UK Education Strategy Manager, Dan Francis will be discussing; Developing the 21st Century Musician: Approaches to RSL exams in Music Production and the Contemporary Musician.

  • Contemporary Music and Tech Studio
  • 7 MAR 2019
  • 10.30-11.15

In this practical session, delegates will take specific pieces from the RSL Graded Music Exams, including the new Music Production exams and explore how they can be used to complement and develop the musical learning that takes place within the music curriculum from KS2-5.

[KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5]

Delegates will:

  • Develop an understanding of how to use a musical rehearsal to develop students’ conceptual understanding
  • Expand their knowledge on how to develop music production skills within a large and small group
  • Gain an understanding of the musical skills that can be developed through practical music-making, which is transferable across all musical genres and instruments
  • Gain insight into how to develop an effective co-curricular music programme where music outside the classroom supports music inside the classroom and vice versa


RSL Music Production Competition!


Delegates will have the chance to win a private session with a professional Music Producer where you will explore the various steps involved in making music and the process of  music producing! 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Period A Update: Change to Dates!

November 20th, 2018 by

Period A Update: Change to Dates!

More time to practise for your Graded Music Exams.

At RSL, we value the feedback given to us by all of our customers. Sometimes, this can lead us to make important amendments, with the hope that they can further aid the progression and development, of both our students and teachers alike.

With that in mind, we have decided to update our deadlines for Period A’s Graded Music Exams.

The new closing date is: Tuesday, 15th January 2019.

This will apply to all of Rockschool’s Graded Music Exams, which are available in:

Good luck and get practising!

For those already prepared, you can click here to enter for your exam now!

Rockschool Classics Out Now!

November 13th, 2018 by

Rockschool Classics Grades 1–5 and Grades 6–8 Compendiums are out now!

Rockschool Classics Guitar and Drums feature a collection of iconic rock tracks from artists including AC/DC, Eric Clapton, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, Black Sabbath, The Police, U2, Foo Fighters, Snow Patrol, Metallica, Queens of The Stone Age and Jimi Hendrix. The tracks have been devised for students to learn through the music they love with repertoire arranged and benchmarked with the key technical skills required at each Grade. Students can choose any of the tracks included in Rockschool Classics to play as Free Choice Pieces in their Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Grades 1–5 contain eight of the biggest rock tracks from the past five decades. The tracks were previously included in the Hot Rocks books which have now been rebranded Rockschool Classics and feature new covers. Students can choose any two tracks from Rockschool Classics Grades 1 – 5 to play as Free Choice Pieces in their Grade Exam or three to play in their Performance Certificate.

Rockschool Classics Guitar and Drums Grades 6–8 Compendiums are new books which contain six arrangements of the biggest rock tracks from the past five decades. Students can choose any of the two titles per grade from Rockschool Classics Guitar and Drums Grades 6–8 Compendiums to play as Free Choice Pieces in their Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Rockschool Classics Guitar and Drums include:

  • Eight iconic rock tracks in each Rockschool Classics book Grades 1–5
  • Six iconic rock tracks in Rockschool Classics Guitar and Drums Grades 6–8 Compendiums
  • Fact Files: band and artist background information with recommended listening
  • Walkthroughs: in-depth guidance on every track
  • Downloadable audio: easily access audio content online



“At the heart of all Rockschool qualification is the student’s love for music. The Rockschool Classics books expand the choice of songs available for students with material that people love to play, but that has still gone through our rigorous process of benchmarking to ensure that the standard is suitable for examination. The compendiums at grades 6-8 complete the musical journey from beginner to expert. Following the material in these books will equip learners to go on to university and conservatoire study, or even straight into the professional music industry.”

Tim Bennett-Hart, Director of Academic RSL


ISM Webinar

October 5th, 2018 by

Want to know more about music exams? Listen to the ISM Webinar

Do you know everything about music exams?

ISM – the Incorporated Society of Musicians – has prepared a series of free webinars series to help music teachers understand better music exam boards and how their exams work.

RSL has been invited to take part to this project and contributed with the webinar below, presented by Daniel Francis, Education Strategy manager at RSL

Latest RSL News!

October 4th, 2018 by

September has certainly been an eventful month to say the least! From the new Guitar, Bass and Drums product launch event, to receiving the Queens Award at the RSL HQ from Gillian Norton (OBE DL), Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Richmond. Being a global awarding body, the launch event celebrations went far and beyond our London home. Read below to see the various GBD18 launch events from around the world!

Rockschool GBD’18 Launch Event London

The anticipation is over! The Guitar, Bass and Drums product launch that we’ve all been waiting for took place over the 20th-21st of September at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden (London).

It has been an incredible twelve months at RSL HQ, and the product launch event was a significant chapter that allowed us to discuss three exciting new additions to our portfolio, whilst recognising all the hard work and dedication shown by our staff, partners and global stakeholders. We hope all in attendance enjoy the day and had all of their questions answered. Please keep in touch and let us know how the new material is working in your lessons, in the classroom and home sessions.

The Rockschool House Band

Musicians Andy G Jones (Guitarist), Paul Elliot (Drummer) and Andy Robertson (Examiner/Bassist) were introduced as GBD 18’s Rockschool House Band for the event. A mix of highly respected musicians, clinicians, and educators. Between them they have played for the likes of Van Morrison and Queen, with the teaching experience at London College of Music, Tech Music Schools, The Academy of Contemporary Music, BIMM and more!

Their faces may look very familiar to those of you who have seen some of the GBD ’18 videos shared on our social media channels this year. We would like to thank everyone for their involvement with the GBD ‘18 project, it has been thrilling to see so many of you pick up the new books, ask questions, and express your excitement to have so many new songs to learn!

Battle of the Bands 2018

The Rockschool Battle of the Bands took place on the second day (Friday) of the London launch event. Not only were we impressed with the level of performance on show throughout the day, but at the mix of age-groups that entered from all over the UK. After receiving entrants from up and down the country, our final entrants were:

Judges included house band member Paul Elliot, drum legend, Steve White, and our very own Rockschool examiner, Kirstie Smith. AND THE WINNER IS…


The Sound, who performed the track ‘Geek’, travelled all the way from Blackpool and consist of band members: Katie Hill (Guitar), Megan Delves (Keys), Max Fish (Drums) and Will Hooper (Bass). We’d like to thank each of the bands (and their supporters) for taking part. It was a humbling experience to see so many of you enjoy yourselves playing tracks that we hope will be memorable parts of your future development as musicians.

Rockschool GBD ’18: Launch Event India

The Guitar, Bass and Drums syllabus India launch was held in Delhi on the 12th September at the lively, open-air venue Zorba (South Delhi). 

The event opened with a warm welcome note from Country Manager and Director Ritesh Khokhar followed by open jam session where many senior musicians performed tracks from the new syllabus. CEO, John Simpson, also attended the event and has talked about the positivity from all he spoke to. John also delivered a presentation on the ethos behind the release, with insight into the material, the production process and an overview of the history of Rockschool Grade Exams.

In addition, there was also a clinic for both guitarists and drummers, which featured performances from more than ten senior guitar and drum players from the Delhi region. Well done to everyone involved in organising the GBD ‘18 India product launch event, there were excellent performances from all the talented musicians who travelled from all over the region to participate in the GBD 18 launch and we would like to thank them for all their efforts.

GBD ‘18 Launch: Malaysia

The new Guitar, Bass and Drums syllabus launch event was hosted at the RockFest 2018 at Sunway University Kuala Lumpur on the 1st September. Students and teachers flooded the event – many having to stand where they could find room – which was extremely encouraging. Business Development Manager, Conor Burns, gave a presentation on the new syllabus and was thrilled to see (and hear) the excitement from all in attendance with regards to the brand-new track-list available.

GBD ’18 Launch, Brunei

Conor stopped off at Brunei for two days with Malaysia Rep, Rockie Siew, where they had the chance to launch the GBD ‘18 syllabus to all the RSL centres in the region. This was also a great opportunity for Conor to witness all the students receive their latest awards for their last round of Grade Exams, which is always a heartening experience.

Genre Week!

Genre Week Genre week is still going strong on our social media platforms. Each week our posts focus on the biggest influences on a specific genre with the last few weeks exploring Rock, Fusion, Soul and R&B, Neo-Soul, Metal and Blues Rock – so, if you’re a fan of any of these musical movements, be sure to check out Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Click here for our latest Spotify playlist!

ISM Webinar

ISM Webinar Education Strategy Manager, Dan Francis, joined forces with ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians) and delivered a webinar as part of their music education exam series. Dan explained the range of exams currently offered by RSL and the how they can help all students achieve worthwhile, recognised success across multiple levels. We hope those who tuned in on Tuesday afternoon enjoyed the session.

If any of your questions weren’t touched upon, please be sure to let us know at:

If you missed Dan’s webinar, you can watch the full thing here


Wolf Alice Win 2018 Mercury Prize! Last month we were excited to announce that RSL Alumni Joff Oddie and his band, Wolf Alice, were nominated for the 2018 Mercury Music Prize for their second album, ’Visions of A Life’. What we can now confirm is that the band went on to win the illustrious prize. We would like to say a big congratulations to Joff (guitarist) and the rest of the band!

(L-R) Joel Amey, Joff Oddie, Ellie Rowsell and Theo Ellis of Wolf Alice attend the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2018 at Eventim Apollo on September 20, 2018 in London, England

MAS Records Announce New Patron

MAS Records (Kidderminster College) confirmed English songwriter and Kaiser Chiefs frontman, Ricky Wilson, as their latest patron. I’m sure most readers are aware, but Kaiser Chiefs, are best known for their hit singles “I Predict a Riot” and “Ruby” as well as their album Education, Education, Education & War which went on to hit number one in the 2014 album charts. Wilson, a coach for the tv show The Voice UK, has now joined the MAS Records family alongside fellow patron, and Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer, Robert Plant.

“The MAS team and I are elated to have secured Ricky as an additional patron to MAS Records alongside Robert Plant and Karl Hyde. We will be keeping in contact with Ricky throughout the year to keep him updated on any standout artists coming through the MAS Scheme”. Scott Garrett, Head of MAS Records. Read the full article here:


September has been a busy month for the team…

Conor’s Tour of Asia!

International Business Development Manager, Conor Burns, visiting Asia this month where he had the chance to travel throughout the region, landing in destinations such as Malaysia and Brunei. Conor continues his tour with trips to Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines and Indonesia! If you’re in any of the countries mentioned and would like to speak to Conor, please contact our International Team on:

John in India!

RSL’s CEO was in Delhi, India this month where he caught up with the RSL India team.John and the team had a chance to catch up and spend some time meeting with music teachers from throughout the region, with the event being attended by over 100 music teachers from Delhi/NCR.

Dan in South Africa!

In our August newsletter, we mentioned RSL’s International Operations Manager Dan Phelps, was off to check out RSL South Africa. Dan had the opportunity to visit new and existing centres in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Hilton and Pretoria. Dan said: “I had a fantastic time catching up with the South Africa team! I had the opportunity to witness their continuous growth in success and good practice and was more than happy to provide any support that will help them to continue achieving their goals whilst maintaining excellent standards.” South Africa will be celebrating the GBD ‘18 launch in early November and we’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date in a month’s time.

That’s it from us for now! We’ll catch up later this month!

Vocational Qualifications: Music Practitioners

June 26th, 2018 by


There has been a significant rise in the popularity of Vocational Qualifications. More and more people are now taking VQ courses because it enables them to apply their practical knowledge to structured, theoretical subjects. In the creative industries, both experience and competence are the two primary qualities that will attract potential employers; and in today’s super-competitive job market, practical learning is as highly desired as ever.

Studying these subjects in this manner is a unique opportunity; whilst some learners flourish in a traditional academic model, others prefer to learn the practical skills that will enable them to apply themselves in real world scenarios from the very start of their respective careers. Not only does this help the learner attain a recognised qualification, but there is a lot to be said for what it can do for learners on a personal level, such as develop a pragmatic work ethic, the ability to self-motivate, and a heightened self-confidence.

Music Practitioners

Catering for schools, colleges and training providers at over 350 centres throughout the UK, RSL’s VQ’s are a market leader in conjunction with our Graded Music Exams.

Music Practitioners qualifications offer over 140 units across levels 1, 2, and 3; covering subjects that provide each learner with the ideal platform to develop the necessary skills they need to gain experience for their chosen career path.

The Music Practitioners qualification also contributes to DfE (Department of Education) performance measures, carries UCAS points for HE applications, and provides practical, relevant, accessible pathways into the creative industries.


All of our qualifications are based on the assessment of practical skills and knowledge.


Build your qualification with a choice of 350 units across three unique qualification suites.


Current industry trends will always be covered in RSL’s regularly updated specifications.

Industry Focused

Written by leading industry specialists and education professionals.

Performance Tables

RSL has a range of qualifications which contribute to school and college performance measures.


RSL’s Vocational Qualifications attract funding from the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency).

Find out more about Music Practitioners here >>

Popular Music Theory – Enter Now!

May 31st, 2018 by

Rockschool’s Popular Music Theory Exam

Guiding you to success…

Popular Music Theory plays a fundamental role in the learning process; whether you’re an instrumentalist, vocalist, music producer or a sound engineer.  Learning Popular Music Theory enables students to understand how music fundamentally works, as well developing their writing and performing accuracy. Each learner gets the opportunity to grasp key skills such as: notation, key signatures and articulation, which better prepares a student if they choose to pick up other instruments later down the line. Whatever area of music you wish to pursue, RSL’s Popular Music Theory qualification is the best resource to expand your knowledge in all areas of popular music – and here’s a few reasons why:

Communicate freely with other musicians: Even if they play instruments you’ve never laid eyes on before.

Become a Musical Director: Gain the confidence and articulation to direct and work with bands, performers, studio engineers and composers.

Understand rock and pop’s more unusual instruments: Discover more about rock & pops more uncommon instruments; how they’re notated, and how to arrange your own brass and string sections.

As an internationally recognised qualification: Our music theory grades can be taken anywhere in the world.

Earn UCAS points: By taking the Popular Music Theory exam you can add another extra curricular credit to your university application.

Summer exams

The deadline for the Popular Music Theory exam is 18th June 2018.

Enter here to gain your qualification with RSL!

Good luck!

The RSL Team.

CMU:Music Education Conference

May 15th, 2018 by

CMU: Music Education Conference @ the Great Escape Festival 2018

Catch us on the panel!

RSL will be attending The CMU Education Conference taking place on Wednesday, 16th May 2018 at the wonderful Great Escape Festival, Brighton. The festival, which provides a platform for upcoming artists from around the world, returns to Brighton for its 13th edition, bringing with it 450 of the most exciting up and coming artists of 2018.

In 2016 alone, music contributed £4.4 billion in GVA (gross value added) to the economy, proving that the UK music industry continues to be one of the UK’s biggest success stories with a rich, respected heritage.

The event attracts a wide array of education professionals who have a great opportunity to network, discuss the current state of music education, and engage in profitable discourse with the aim to support students who have the ability to become a part of the UK’s popular music industry.

Like many, we want music education to prosper and be available to people who enjoy music and want to take part; unimpinged by any financial or physical factors. With that in mind,  RSL’s Strategy Manager, Dan Francis will be on the panel discussing progression in arts education; with a focus on: Performance Diplomas, Music Theory Music Production and much more.

Click here to view the full programme.



RSL attends MMA Conference 2018

May 10th, 2018 by

The MMA Conference is back!

We are excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at this year’s MMA National Music Teaching Conference! The conference will be a three day event from 18th-20th May 2018, and will be held at Eton College (Berkshire). The MMA conference connects an array of music education professionals from music administrators, instrumental teachers and heads of department.

We’re always eager to attend events that present a great opportunity for music education professionals to network effectively with inspirational people from inside the music industry. If you would like to share ideas on good practice, develop your classroom skills, and participate in industry-focused activities – then please feel free to come along.

As many more music education professionals react to the rapid growth in the Music Production market, we’re finding that interested parties can find themselves feeling lost when it comes to introducing it in their current teaching timetable. This year, Music Producer expert Sam Vasanth will be representing Rockschool to help you with this very task, with a seminar on the RSL Music Production syllabus, which provides an overview of all the elements featured in the grade exam.

RSL’s Strategy Manager, Dan Francis, will also be in attendance to present an overview of how the material fits within the wider context of each school level, and how it can be used alongside other exams, such as the EPQ qualification.

To view the full programme timetable – just click here.

We’ll see you there!

The RSL Team