Rockschool

Learn the Trumpet

Be bold and make passionate statements with Rockschool Trumpet.

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Celebrating horn sections

With 6 pieces per Trumpet grade – at least three pieces being shared repertoire across all Horn Section syllabuses – Rockschool Trumpet will support your journey of instrument mastery and ensemble performance.

Learning Platform Grade Books

Complete publications

The Rockschool Trumpet publications provide you with everything you need to take a graded exam: a diverse range of repertoire (including professionally arranged and recorded backing tacks), a truly innovative range of technical exercises and supporting tests.

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Iconic music

Throughout the grades, we’ve hand-picked tunes from some of the world’s biggest artists across a diverse range of genres. This expansive choice of songs can be used in your graded music exam, as material for auditions and performances as a section, or for your own enjoyment.

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Groundbreaking technology

These digital releases, powered by MatchMySound, come complete with an interactive score player allowing you to slow down and loop specific sections of pieces. Gamify your learning experience by receiving automated feedback on your practise sessions!

Learning Platform Teacher Access

Recognised around the world

All our qualifications have been designed with industry relevance, student engagement, and academic rigour in mind. Upon completion of an RSL graded music exam, you will have earned a globally recognised qualification, designed to support progression routes towards higher education and the creative industries.

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Benchmarked progression

RSL Awards’ graded music exams motivate and encourage musicians of all ages and abilities through a system of progressive mastery. From our introductory grades all the way through to Grade 8, these graded qualifications enable candidates to develop and enhance their musical skills, knowledge and understanding in an exciting, engaging and consistent manner.

Learn the Trumpet with Rockschool

Ready to discover the world of Rockschool Horn Section? Check out the video below to find out how this syllabus has come to life and what makes Rockschool the best option for you.

How it works

Whether you’re learning the trumpet independently or with a music teacher, it’s easy to get started learning with Rockschool.

01

Download the syllabus and buy your grade book

Our publications provide you with everything you need: professionally arranged and produced repertoire alongside innovative technical exercises and supporting tests.

02

Start practicing with our innovative resources

From our interactive e-books to Learning Platform app, our teaching and learning resources are here to support you become a better musician.

03

Sit the exam and reap your rewards

If you’re ready and want to take a Graded Music Exam, achieve your very own Rockschool qualification after putting in the hours of dedication towards mastering your instrument.

Trumpet
Grade 1

The Grade 1 Trumpet exam is for candidates who have been typically learning for six months to one year. They have mastered the key basic level skills and since acquired greater use of technique, rhythms, co-ordination and musical understanding. There is also an opportunity to build on basic improvisation. There are two types of exams available at Grade 1, Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 20 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 20 minutes (approx.)
RS-Instruments-Trumpet

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Trumpet Grade 1 book contains everything you need to sit your Grade 1 exam – in one essential book. It’s packed with essential techniques and theory for beginners picking up the fundamentals of trumpet.

Trumpet Grade 1

The essential syllabus for the aspiring, contemporary Trumpeter. Rockschool Trumpet Grade 1 will ...
Graded Music Exam Grade 1

Graded Music Exam: Grade 1

All Instruments - General guidance: Graded Music Exams Overview - How to book an exam UK / Republ...

Performance Pieces

The pieces in the grade book can be used for both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. The expectation and length of pieces are designed so candidates can acquire a solid understanding and execution of notation accuracy, values, evenness of sound, tone quality/consistency, technical control, articulation, expression, style awareness and sync at an early intermediate level.

Featured Repertoire:

  • Tequila – The Champs
  • Afterglow – Ed Sheeran
  • Sunny – Bobby Hebb
  • We Found Love – Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
  • Happy – Pharrell Williams
  • Cissy Strut – The Meters

Technical Exercises

At Grade 1 there are three groups of technical work. The examiner will ask for a selection of scales (Group A) and arpeggios (Group B). All scales and arpeggios should be prepared with tongued and slurred articulation. The examiner will announce the key, scale or arpeggio type and articulation for each example.

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo: Crotchet=50 bpm

  • C major scale, 1 octave
  • C major pentatonic scale, 1 octave
  • A natural minor scale, 1 octave
  • A minor pentatonic scale, one octave

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios

Tempo: Crotchet=50 bpm

  • C major arpeggio, one octave
  • A minor arpeggio, one octave

 

GROUP C – Technical Study

Candidates are to perform their choice of one of the three technical studies given in the grade book. The examiner will ask which study the candidate has prepared.

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

At Grade 1, candidates will be offered the choice between Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation. Before seeing the test, the examiner will ask the candidate which they would like to perform. Before seeing the test, the examiner will ask you which you would like to perform. Once you have decided you cannot change your mind. An example is shown in the Grade 1 book.

Sight Reading

In the Sight Reading test, the examiner will give you a melody to be played to a metronome click.

The test will be:

  • 4 bars duration
  • In the key of C major
  • At a tempo of crotchet = 100
  • In 4/4 time
  • Based on whole notes (semibreves), half notes (minims), quarter notes (crotchets) and associated rests.

The examiner will show you the notation, and you will have 90 seconds to prepare. You may ask for a metronome click at the start of, or throughout your practise time. After the 90 seconds practise time, the examiner will play you the click track again, and you will be required to perform the test.

Improvisation & Interpretation

In the Improvisation & Interpretation test, the examiner will give you a 5-bar chord progression in the key of C major. You will first be given 90 seconds to prepare, after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is for you to practise and the second time is for you to perform the final version for the exam. For each playthrough, the backing track will begin with a one bar count-in. The tempo is crotchet=95.

During the preparation time, you will be given the choice of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning. The backing track is continuous, so once the first playthrough has finished, the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Ear Tests

In this section, candidates are tested on their melodic and rhythmic recall skills. There are two tests: Melodic Recall and Rhythmic Recall.

Melodic Recall

Tempo: Crotchet=95 bpm

The examiner will play you two consecutive notes. You will need to identify whether the last note is higher or lower than the first. You will hear the test twice, each time with a on bar count-in.

Rhythmic Recall

Tempo: Crotchet=95 bpm

The examiner will play you a two-bar rhythm on the note ‘C’. You will hear the test twice. You will then hear a one bar count-in, after which you will be required to play back the rhythm on your instrument on the same note, to a drum backing.

General Musicianship Questions

In this part of the exam candidates will be asked five questions drawn from the topics listed below. For the notation section, the examiner will ask you to choose a piece you’ve played in the exam.

Notation

Candidates may be asked to identify the following on their score:

  • The treble clef or time signature
  • Note pitch names
  • Half note (minim), quarter note (crotchet) or eighth note (quaver) values
  • The tempo marking

 

Instrument Knowledge

Candidates may be asked to identify one of the following parts of your instrument:

  • Bell
  • Mouthpiece
  • Valves

 

Music Theory

Candidates may be asked to:

  • Describe the construction of a major or minor triad

Exam Structure

There are two types of exam available, a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Grade Exam

3 Performance Pieces (two of which may be Free Choice Pieces) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 60% of the exam mark
Technical Exercises (Section A, B, C and D for Level 3 qualifications) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 15% of the exam mark
Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation (Debut to Grade 5); Quick Study Pieces (Grade 6 to Grade 8) Candidates are given an unseen test to prepare and perform This accounts for 10% of the exam marks
2 Ear Tests Candidates respond to 2 aural tests. These account for 10% of the exam marks
5 General Musicianship Questions Candidates answer 5 questions based on one of the pieces performed These account for 5% of the exam marks

Performance Certificate

5 Performance Pieces only (three of these can be Free Choice Pieces) These account for 20% of the exam mark each.

Assessment Criteria

Performance Pieces

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Technical Exercises

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 13–15 11–12 9–10 4–8 0–3
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Ear Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Supporting Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

General Musicianship Questions

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 5 correct responses 4 correct responses 3 correct responses 2 correct responses 0-1 correct responses

Performance Certificate

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Trumpet
Grade 2

The Grade 2 Trumpet exam is for candidates who have been typically learning for one year to eighteen months. They have mastered the key basic skills up to Grade 1 and since acquired greater use of technique, rhythms, co-ordination and musical understanding. There is also the continuing opportunity to develop improvisation skills. There are two types of exams available at Grade 2, Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 20 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 20 minutes (approx.)
RS-Instruments-Trumpet

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Trumpet Grade 2 book contains everything you need to sit your Grade 2 exam – in one essential book.

Trumpet Grade 2

The essential syllabus for the aspiring, contemporary Trumpeter. Rockschool Trumpet Grade 2 will ...
Graded Music Exam Grade 2

Graded Music Exam: Grade 2

All Instruments - General guidance: Graded Music Exams Overview - How to book an exam UK / Repub...

Performance Pieces

The pieces in the grade book can be used for both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. The expectation and length of pieces are designed so candidates can acquire a solid understanding and execution of notation accuracy, values, evenness of sound, tone quality/consistency, technical control, articulation, expression, style awareness and sync at an early intermediate level.

Featured Repertoire:

  • Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens
  • In the Midnight Hour – Wilson Pickett
  • Chariots of Fire – Vangelis
  • Game of Thrones – Ramin Djawadi
  • A Message to You Rudy – The Specials

Technical Exercises

At Grade 2 there are three groups of technical work: scales, arpeggios and a technical study.

All scales and arpeggios need to be played in straight feel, prepared with tongued and slurred articulation, in the rhythms, keys, octaves and tempos shown in the grade book. Candidates may use their book during the exam for all groups.

Group C is played as indicated below

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo: Crotchet=55 bpm

  • D major scale, one octave
  • D major pentatonic scale, one octave
  • Bb major scale, one octave
  • D natural minor scale, one octave
  • D minor pentatonic scale, one octave
  • Either B natural minor scale or B harmonic minor scale, one octave, candidate choice.

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios

Tempo: Crotchet=55 bpm

  • D major arpeggio, one octave
  • Db minor arpeggio, one octave
  • Bb major arpeggio, one octave
  • B minor arpeggio, one octave

 

GROUP C – Technical Study

In this group, the candidate will be required to perform their choice of one of the technical studies shown below.

  • Study 1: Dynamics and articulation.
  • Study 2: Syncopation and 3/4 time.
  • Study 3: Dynamics and 2/4 time.

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

In this section, candidates can choose between a Sight Reading test or an Improvisation & Interpretation test. The examiner will ask which the candidate has chosen before then showing the test. Once the candidate has chosen, they cannot change their mind.

Sight Reading

The test will be:

  • 6 bars duration
  • In the key of D or Bb major
  • At a tempo of Crotchet=100
  • In 4/4 time
  • Based on half notes (minims), quarter notes (crotchets), eighth notes and associated rests.

The examiner will show the candidate the notation, and the candidate will have 90 seconds to prepare. The candidate may ask for a metronome click at the start of, or throughout their practise time. After the 90 seconds practise time, the examiner will play the candidate the click track again, and they will be required to perform the test.

Improvisation & Interpretation

In the Improvisation & bInterpretation test, the examiner will give the candidate a 5-bar chord progression in the key of Dmajor or Bb major. The candidate will first be given 90 seconds to prepare, after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is for the candidate to practise and the second time is for the candidate to perform the final version for the exam. For each playthrough, the backing track will begin with a one bar count-in. The tempo is crotchet=95.

During the preparation time, the candidate will be given the choice of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning. The backing track is continuous, so once the first playthrough has finished, the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

 

Ear Tests

In this section, candidates are tested on their melodic and rhythmic recall skills.

Melodic Recall

The examiner will play the candidate a two-bar melody with a drum backing using the D major scale. The first note of the melody will be the root note and the first interval will be ascending. The candidate will play the melody back on their instrument.

The candidate will hear the melody twice. Each time the melody is played it is preceded by a vocal count-in. There will then be a short gap for the candidate to practise. After the third vocal count-in (signifying the assessed part of the test) the candidate should play the melody along to the drum backing. The tempo is crotchet=95.

Rhythmic Recall

The examiner will play the candidate a two-bar rhythm on the note ‘G’. The candidate will hear the test twice. The candidate will then hear a one bar count-in, after which they will be required to play back the rhythm on their instrument on the same note, to a drum backing. The tempo is crotchet=95.

 

General Musicianship Questions

The final part of the exam is the General Musicianship Questions (GMQs) section, where the examiner will ask five questions drawn from the topics listed below. For the notation section, the examiner will ask the candidate to choose a piece they’ve played in the exam.

Notation

Candidates may be asked to:

  • Explain the meaning of the time signature
  • Identify note pitch names including accidentals, or identify the key signature
  • Identify rhythm values found in the piece drawn from the following: half note (minim), dotted half-note (dotted minim), quarter note (crotchet) or eighth note (quaver) and associated rests
  • Identify the tempo marking or genre of the piece

 

The Candidate’s Instrument

Candidates may be asked to identify one of the following parts of their instrument:

  • Valves
  • Tuning slide

 

Music Theory

The candidate may be asked to describe the construction of a dominant seventh chord.

Exam Structure

There are two types of exam available, a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Grade Exam

3 Performance Pieces (two of which may be Free Choice Pieces) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 60% of the exam mark
Technical Exercises (Section A, B, C and D for Level 3 qualifications) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 15% of the exam mark
Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation (Debut to Grade 5); Quick Study Pieces (Grade 6 to Grade 8) Candidates are given an unseen test to prepare and perform This accounts for 10% of the exam marks
2 Ear Tests Candidates respond to 2 aural tests. These account for 10% of the exam marks
5 General Musicianship Questions Candidates answer 5 questions based on one of the pieces performed These account for 5% of the exam marks

Performance Certificate

5 Performance Pieces only (three of these can be Free Choice Pieces) These account for 20% of the exam mark each.

Assessment Criteria

Performance Pieces

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Technical Exercises

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 13–15 11–12 9–10 4–8 0–3
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Ear Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Supporting Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

General Musicianship Questions

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 5 correct responses 4 correct responses 3 correct responses 2 correct responses 0-1 correct responses

Performance Certificate

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Trumpet
Grade 3

The Grade 3 Trumpet exam is for candidates who have been typically learning for eighteen months to two years and who are ready to consolidate their final stage as a beginner player. They have mastered the key skills up to Grade 2 and since acquired greater use of technique, rhythms, co-ordination and musical understanding. Improvisation phrasing is now confident and articulate and candidates have started to develop the beginnings of stylistic awareness. There are two types of exams available at Grade 3, Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 25 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 25 minutes (approx.)
RS-Instruments-Trumpet

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Trumpet Grade 3 book contains everything you need to sit your Grade 3 exam – in one essential book.

Trumpet Grade 3

The essential syllabus for the aspiring, contemporary Trumpeter. Rockschool Trumpet Grade 3 will ...
Graded Music Exam Grade 3

Graded Music Exam: Grade 3

All Instruments - General guidance: Graded Music Exams Overview - How to book an exam UK / Republ...

Performance Pieces

The pieces in the grade book can be used for both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. The expectation and length of pieces are designed so candidates can acquire a solid understanding and execution of notation accuracy, values, evenness of sound, tone quality/consistency, technical control, articulation, expression, style awareness and sync at an early intermediate level.

Featured Repertoire:

  • He’s a Pirate – From ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’
  • Havana – Camila Cabello
  • The Pink Panther – Henry Mancini
  • Jump – Van Halen
  • How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) – Marvin Gaye
  • Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

Technical Exercises

At Grade 3 there are three groups of technical work: scales, arpeggios and a technical study.

In this part of the exam, the examiner will ask for a selection of scales (Group A) and arpeggios (Group B) drawn from the lists below. All scales and arpeggios should be prepared with tongued and slurred articulation. The examiner will announce the key, scale or arpeggio type and articulation for each example. Where shown, you may choose the type of minor scale (natural, harmonic or melodic).

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo: Crotchet=60 bpm

  • A major scale, one octave
  • Eb major scale, one octave
  • Eb major pentatonic scale, one octave
  • C natural minor scale, one octave
  • C minor pentatonic scale, one octave
  • Either E natural minor scale, or E harmonic minor scale, or E melodic minor scale (candidate choice), one octave
  • Chromatic scale, starting on C, one octave

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios

Tempo: Crotchet=60 bpm

  • A major arpeggio, one octave
  • Eb major arpeggio, one octave
  • C minor arpeggio, one octave
  • E minor arpeggio, one octave

 

GROUP C – Technical Study

In this group, the candidate will be required to perform their choice of one of the technical studies shown below.

  • Study 1: Natural minor, harmonic minor scale and 6/8 time.
  • Study 2: Syncopation and 12/8 time.
  • Study 3: Phrasing, passing notes and o time.

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

In this section, candidates can choose between a Sight Reading test or an Improvisation & Interpretation test. The examiner will ask which the candidate has chosen before then showing the test. Once the candidate has chosen, they cannot change their mind.

Sight Reading

In the Sight Reading test, the examiner will give the candidate a melody to be played to a metronome click.

The test will be:

  • 8 bars duration
  • In the key of A major or Eb major
  • At a tempo of Crotchet=100
  • In 4/4 or 6/8 time
  • Based on half notes (minims), quarter notes (crotchets), dotted quarter-notes (dotted crotchets), eighth notes and associated rests.

The examiner will show the candidate the notation, and the candidate will have 90 seconds to prepare. The candidate may ask for a metronome click at the start of, or throughout their practise time. After the 90 seconds practise time, the examiner will play the candidate the click track again, and they will be required to perform the test.

Improvisation & Interpretation

In the Improvisation & Interpretation test, the examiner will give the candidate an 8-bar chord progression in the key of A major or Eb major. The candidate will first be given 90 seconds to prepare, after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is for the candidate to practise and the second time is for them to perform the final version for the exam. For each playthrough, the backing track will begin with a one bar count-in. The tempo is crotchet=95.

During the preparation time, the candidate will be given the choice of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning. The backing track is continuous, so once the first playthrough has finished, the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

 

Ear Tests

In this section, candidates are tested on their melodic and rhythmic recall skills.

Melodic Recall

The examiner will play the candidate a two-bar melody with a drum backing using the A major scale. The first note of the melody will be the root note. The candidate will play the melody back on their instrument.

The candidate will hear the melody twice. Each time the melody is played it is preceded by a vocal count-in. There will then be a short gap for the candidate to practise. After the third vocal count-in (signifying the assessed part of the test) the candidate should play the melody along to the drum backing. The tempo is crotchet=95.

Rhythmic Recall

The examiner will play the candidate a two-bar rhythm on the note ‘G’. The candidate will hear the test twice. The candidate will then hear a one bar count-in, after which they will be required to play back the rhythm on their instrument on the same note, to a drum backing. The tempo is crotchet=95.

 

General Musicianship Questions

The final part of the exam is the General Musicianship Questions (GMQs) section, where the examiner will ask five questions drawn from the topics listed below. For the notation section, the examiner will ask the candidate to choose a piece they’ve played in the exam.

Notation

Candidates may be asked to:

  • Explain the meaning of the key signature
  • Explain the meaning of the tempo marking
  • Identify note pitch names including accidentals, or identify rhythm values found in the piece drawn from the following: half note (minim), dotted half-note (dotted minim), quarter note (crotchet), dotted quarter-note (dotted crotchet), eighth note (quaver), sixteenth note (semiquaver) and associated rests
  • Identify the tempo marking or genre of the piece

 

The Candidate’s Instrument

The candidate may be asked to explain how the tuning slide is used to tune the trumpet.

 

Music Theory

The candidate may be asked to describe the construction of a minor seventh chord or a major seventh chord.

Exam Structure

There are two types of exam available, a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Grade Exam

3 Performance Pieces (two of which may be Free Choice Pieces) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 60% of the exam mark
Technical Exercises (Section A, B, C and D for Level 3 qualifications) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 15% of the exam mark
Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation (Debut to Grade 5); Quick Study Pieces (Grade 6 to Grade 8) Candidates are given an unseen test to prepare and perform This accounts for 10% of the exam marks
2 Ear Tests Candidates respond to 2 aural tests. These account for 10% of the exam marks
5 General Musicianship Questions Candidates answer 5 questions based on one of the pieces performed These account for 5% of the exam marks

Performance Certificate

5 Performance Pieces only (three of these can be Free Choice Pieces) These account for 20% of the exam mark each.

Assessment Criteria

Performance Pieces

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Technical Exercises

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 13–15 11–12 9–10 4–8 0–3
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Ear Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Supporting Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

General Musicianship Questions

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 5 correct responses 4 correct responses 3 correct responses 2 correct responses 0-1 correct responses

Performance Certificate

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Trumpet
Grade 4

The Grade 4 Trumpet exam is for candidates who have been typically learning for two to three years and who are ready for intermediate level playing. They have mastered the key skills up to Grade 3 and since acquired greater use of technique, more complex rhythms, co-ordination and musical understanding. Candidates will be developing a sense of expression and continuing to broaden their stylistic awareness, and there is also the opportunity to improvise which will be growing in assurance and articulation. There are two types of exams available at Grade 4, Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 27 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 25 minutes (approx.)
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The essential syllabus for the aspiring, contemporary Trumpeter. Rockschool Trumpet Grade 4 will ...
Graded Music Exam Grade 4

Graded Music Exam: Grade 4

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Performance Pieces

The pieces in the grade book can be used for both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. The expectation and length of pieces are designed so candidates can acquire a solid understanding and execution of notation accuracy, values, evenness of sound, tone quality/consistency, technical control, articulation, expression, style awareness and sync at an early intermediate level.

Featured Repertoire:

  • (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – Carole King
  • Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  • On Broadway – George Benson
  • Put It Where You Want It – Average White Band
  • Rehab – Amy Winehouse
  • Mas Que Nada – Sérgio Mendes

Technical Exercises

At Grade 4 there are three groups of technical work: scales, arpeggios and a technical study.

In this part of the exam, the examiner will ask for a selection of scales (Group A) and arpeggios (Group B) drawn from the lists below. All scales and arpeggios should be prepared with tongued and slurred articulation, using either straight or swung rhythms. The examiner will announce the key, scale or arpeggio type and articulation for each example. Where shown, the candidate may choose the type of minor scale (natural, harmonic or melodic).

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo: Crotchet=70 bpm

  • F major scale, one octave
  • E major scale, one octave
  • E major pentatonic scale, one octave
  • C# natural minor scale, one octave
  • C# minor pentatonic scale, one octave
  • Either F natural minor scale, or F harmonic minor scale, or F melodic minor scale (candidate choice), one octave.
  • E chromatic scale, one octave
  • C blues scale, one octave
  • F mixolydian mode, one octave

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios

Tempo: Crotchet=70 bpm

  • F major arpeggio, one octave
  • E major arpeggio, one octave
  • C# minor arpeggio, one octave
  • F minor arpeggio, one octave

 

GROUP C – Technical Study

In this group, the candidate will be required to perform their choice of one of the technical studies shown below.

  • Study 1: Cut time, articulation and dynamics.
  • Study 2: Swung 8ths and minor blues.
  • Study 3: Waltz, intervallic jumps and dynamic contrast.

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

In this section, candidates can choose between a Sight Reading test or an Improvisation & Interpretation test. The examiner will ask which the candidate has chosen before then showing the test. Once the candidate has chosen, they cannot change their mind.

Sight Reading

In the Sight Reading test, the examiner will give the candidate a short piece to be played to a backing track.

At this grade, there will be two bars where the candidate will need to improvise melodies to complement the surrounding notated melody during their performance. Chord symbols are shown as guidance for the two bars of improvisation.

The test will be:

  • 8 bars duration
  • In the key of E major or C# minor
  • Melodies are predominantly diatonic with occasional accidentals
  • In 4/4 or 6/8 time

The candidate will first be given 90 seconds to prepare, after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is for the candidate to practise and the second time is for them to perform the final version for the exam. For each playthrough, the backing track will begin with a one-bar count-in.

During the preparation time, they will be given the choice of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning. The backing track is continuous, so once the first playthrough has finished, the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Improvisation & Interpretation

In the Improvisation & Interpretation test, the examiner will give the candidate a 12-bar lead sheet, over which they will be required to improvise a melody on their instrument. Two bars within the test will contain notated melody which the candidate must perform as written during their performance.

The candidate will first be given 90 seconds to prepare, after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is for the candidate to practise and the second time is for them to perform the final version for the exam. For each playthrough, the backing track will begin with a one-bar count-in.

During the preparation time, they will be given the choice of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning. The backing track is continuous, so once the first playthrough has finished, the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

The test will be:

  • In the key of E major or C# minor
  • 12 bars duration, of which 2 bars containing notated melody are to be played as written, and the remaining 10 bars are to be improvised
  • Predominantly diatonic, but may contain occasional non-diatonic harmony and accidentals
  • In time, with a straight or swung eighth-note (swung quaver) feel
  • At a tempo of Crotchet=95–105

 

Ear Tests

In this section, candidates are tested on their melodic and harmonic recall skills.

Melodic Recall

The examiner will play the candidate a two-bar melody with a drum backing using the E major scale. The first note of the melody will be the root note. The candidate will play the melody back on their instrument.

The test begins with a reference root note. The melody will then be played twice. Each time the melody is played it is preceded by a vocal count-in. There will then be a short gap for the candidate to practise. After the third vocal count-in (signifying the assessed part of the test) the candidate should play the melody along to the drum backing. The tempo is Crotchet=95.

Harmonic Recall

The examiner will play the candidate a four-bar chord sequence in the key of C major, drawn from chords I, IV and V. The test contains one chord per bar, and the first chord will be the root chord. The candidate will be asked to identify the chord sequence.

The test begins with a reference root note. The chord sequence will then be played twice. Each time the chord sequence is played, it is preceded by a vocal count-in. After the second playthrough, the examiner will ask the candidate to state the chord sequence. The candidate may use chord names (C major, G major etc.) or numerals (I, V etc.). The tempo is Crotchet=95.

 

General Musicianship Questions

The final part of the exam is the General Musicianship Questions (GMQs) section, where the examiner will ask five questions drawn from the topics listed below. For the notation section, the examiner will ask the candidate to choose a piece they’ve played in the exam.

Notation

Candidates may be asked to:

  • Explain the meaning of the time signature or key signature
  • Explain the meaning of the tempo marking or any dynamic marking found on the score
  • Identify note pitch names (including accidentals) or identify rhythm values found in piece – half note (minim), dotted half-note (dotted minim), quarter note (crotchet), dotted quarter-note (dotted crotchet), eighth note (quaver), sixteenth note (semiquaver), eighth-note triplets (quaver triplets), and their associated rests.
  • Explain the meaning of any articulation or expression mark found on the score

 

The Candidate’s Chosen Piece

The candidate may be asked to give one example of a musical feature of the piece which is representative of the genre, e.g. rhythmic features, harmonic features, tempo, feel etc.

 

Music Theory

The candidate may be asked to describe the construction of a diminished or augmented triad.

Exam Structure

There are two types of exam available, a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Grade Exam

3 Performance Pieces (two of which may be Free Choice Pieces) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 60% of the exam mark
Technical Exercises (Section A, B, C and D for Level 3 qualifications) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 15% of the exam mark
Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation (Debut to Grade 5); Quick Study Pieces (Grade 6 to Grade 8) Candidates are given an unseen test to prepare and perform This accounts for 10% of the exam marks
2 Ear Tests Candidates respond to 2 aural tests. These account for 10% of the exam marks
5 General Musicianship Questions Candidates answer 5 questions based on one of the pieces performed These account for 5% of the exam marks

Performance Certificate

5 Performance Pieces only (three of these can be Free Choice Pieces) These account for 20% of the exam mark each.

Assessment Criteria

Performance Pieces

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Technical Exercises

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 13–15 11–12 9–10 4–8 0–3
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Ear Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Supporting Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

General Musicianship Questions

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 5 correct responses 4 correct responses 3 correct responses 2 correct responses 0-1 correct responses

Performance Certificate

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Trumpet
Grade 5

The Grade 5 Trumpet exam is for candidates who have been typically learning for three years or more and who have fully consolidated their intermediate level playing. They have mastered the key skills up to Grade 4 and since acquired a greater use of appropriate technique, more complex rhythms, coordination and musical understanding. Candidates will have developed a good sense of expression, have a strong grasp of stylistic awareness, and there is also the opportunity to improvise which is now individual, assured, accurate and expressive. There are two types of exams available at Grade 5, Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 27 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 25 minutes (approx.)
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Trumpet Grade 5

The essential syllabus for the aspiring, contemporary Trumpeter. Rockschool Trumpet Grade 5 will ...
Graded Music Exam Grade 5

Graded Music Exam: Grade 5

All Instruments - General guidance: Graded Music Exams Overview - How to book an exam UK / Republ...

Performance Pieces

The pieces in the grade book can be used for both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. The expectation and length of pieces are designed so candidates can acquire a solid understanding and execution of notation accuracy, values, evenness of sound, tone quality/consistency, technical control, articulation, expression, style awareness and sync at an early intermediate level.

Featured Repertoire:

  • Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye
  • Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
  • Fallin’ – Alicia Keys
  • Son-of-a-Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
  • Ghost Town – The Specials
  • Somebody to Love – Queen

Technical Exercises

At Grade 5 there are three groups of technical work: scales, arpeggios and a technical study.

In this part of the exam, the examiner will ask for a selection of scales (Group A) and arpeggios (Group B) drawn from the lists below. All scales and arpeggios should be prepared with tongued and slurred articulation, using either straight or swung rhythms. The examiner will announce the key, scale or arpeggio type and articulation for each example. Where shown, the candidate may choose the type of minor scale (natural, harmonic or melodic).

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo: Crotchet=80 bpm

  • G major scale, two octaves
  • G major pentatonic scale, two octaves
  • B major scale, to the 12th
  • Either G natural minor scale, or G harmonic minor scale, or G melodic minor scale (candidate choice), two octaves
  • G dorian mode, one octave
  • C dorian mode, one octave
  • F dorian mode, one octave
  • Eb chromatic scale, one octave
  • G blues scale, two octaves

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios

Tempo: Crotchet=80 bpm

  • G major arpeggio, two octaves
  • B major arpeggio, to the 12th
  • G minor arpeggio, two octaves
  • C dominant 7th arpeggio, one octave

 

GROUP C – Technical Study

In this group, the candidate will be required to perform their choice of one of the technical studies shown below.

  • Study 1: Syncopation, stabs and unison-style lines.
  • Study 2: Jazz waltz, swung 8ths, and use of mute.
  • Study 3: Falls, articulation and dynamic contrast.

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

In this section, candidates can choose between a Sight Reading test or an Improvisation & Interpretation test. The examiner will ask which the candidate has chosen before then showing the test. Once the candidate has chosen, they cannot change their mind.

Sight Reading

In the Sight Reading test, the examiner will give the candidate a short piece to be played to a backing track.

At this grade, there will be four bars where the candidate will need to improvise melodies to complement the surrounding notated melody during their performance. Chord symbols are shown as guidance for the four bars of improvisation.

The test will be:

  • 12 bars duration
  • In the key of G major, G minor or B major
  • Melodies are predominantly diatonic – there may be occasional accidentals
  • In 4/4, 6/8, or 12/8 time

The candidate will first be given 90 seconds to prepare, after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is for the candidate to practise and the second time is for them to perform the final version for the exam. For each playthrough, the backing track will begin with a one-bar count-in.

During the preparation time, the candidate will be given the choice of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning. The backing track is continuous, so once the first playthrough has finished, the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Improvisation & Interpretation

In the Improvisation & Interpretation test, the examiner will give the candidate a 12-bar lead sheet, over which they will be required to improvise a melody on their instrument. Four bars within the test will contain notated melody which the candidate must perform as written during their performance.

The candidate will first be given 90 seconds to prepare, after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is for the candidate to practise and the second time is for them to perform the final version for the exam. For each playthrough, the backing track will begin with a one-bar count-in.

During the preparation time, the candidate will be given the choice of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning. The backing track is continuous, so once the first playthrough has finished, the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

The test will be:

  • In the key of G major or G minor
  • 12 bars duration, of which 4 bars containing notated melody are to be played as written, and the remaining 8 bars are to be improvised
  • Predominantly diatonic, but may contain occasional non-diatonic harmony and accidentals
  • In time, with a straight or swung eighth-note (swung quaver) feel
  • A maximum tempo of Crotchet=115

 

Ear Tests

In this section, candidates are tested on their melodic and harmonic recall skills.

Melodic Recall

The examiner will play the candidate a two-bar melody with a drum backing using the B major or G minor scale. The first note of the melody will be the root note. The candidate will play the melody back on their instrument.

The test begins with a reference root note. The melody will then be played twice. Each time the melody is played it is preceded by a vocal count-in. There will then be a short gap for the candidate to practise. After the third vocal count-in (signifying the assessed part of the test) the candidate should play the melody along to the drum backing. The tempo is Crotchet=95.

Harmonic Recall

The examiner will play the candidate a two-bar chord sequence in the key of C major, drawn from chords I, IIm, IV, V and VIm. The test contains two chords per bar, and the first chord will be the root chord. The candidate will be asked to identify the chord sequence.

The test begins with a reference root note. The chord sequence will then be played twice. Each time the chord sequence is played, it is preceded by a vocal count-in. After the second playthrough, the examiner will ask the candidate to state the chord sequence. The candidate may use chord names (C major, G major etc.) or numerals (I, V etc.). The tempo is Crotchet=95.

 

General Musicianship Questions

The final part of the exam is the General Musicianship Questions (GMQs) section, where the examiner will ask five questions drawn from the topics listed below. For the notation section, the examiner will ask the candidate to choose a piece they’ve played in the exam.

Notation

Candidates may be asked to:

  • Explain the meaning of the time signature or key signature
  • Explain the meaning of the tempo marking or any dynamic marking found on the score
  • Identify any note pitch name(s) or rhythm value(s) found on the score
  • Explain the meaning of any articulation or expression mark found on the score

 

The Candidate’s Chosen Piece

The candidate may be asked to give one example of a musical feature of the piece which is representative of the genre, e.g. rhythmic features, harmonic features, tempo, feel etc.

 

Music Theory

The candidate may be asked to describe the construction of a diminished 7 chord or a minor7b5 chord.

Exam Structure

There are two types of exam available, a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Grade Exam

3 Performance Pieces (two of which may be Free Choice Pieces) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 60% of the exam mark
Technical Exercises (Section A, B, C and D for Level 3 qualifications) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 15% of the exam mark
Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation (Debut to Grade 5); Quick Study Pieces (Grade 6 to Grade 8) Candidates are given an unseen test to prepare and perform This accounts for 10% of the exam marks
2 Ear Tests Candidates respond to 2 aural tests. These account for 10% of the exam marks
5 General Musicianship Questions Candidates answer 5 questions based on one of the pieces performed These account for 5% of the exam marks

Performance Certificate

5 Performance Pieces only (three of these can be Free Choice Pieces) These account for 20% of the exam mark each.

Assessment Criteria

Performance Pieces

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Technical Exercises

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 13–15 11–12 9–10 4–8 0–3
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Ear Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5