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Problems in Assessing Performance – Trinity replies

problems assessing performance - trinity replies

Those of you that read my recent blog post about the different gradings behind the RockSchool and Trinity Rock exam boards may have been waiting for a reply from Trinity (or you may have forgotten all about it – don’t worry, I’m not offended).  Well, wait no longer for I have received just such a reply from Nicholas Keyworth, their Chief Examiner in Music.  Just like RockSchool, they’ve been kind enough to let me publish the response here… 

“All songs in the Rock & Pop syllabus have been carefully selected as they include specific techniques which are recognised as important for the grade level. The chosen songs have been arranged to meet the parameters for the levels of difficulty for each grade while staying true to the original and retain their authenticity. So, the techniques and skills in ‘You’ve Got the Love’ by Florence and the Machine meet the level expected of a Grade 6 vocalist. The songs are also arranged to fit the appropriate length of performance that candidates should be able to sustain at a certain level.

Additionally, the examiner marks the candidate’s performance based on approved criteria for the level, so the candidate needs to meet the level expected for the grade. These criteria evaluate the ‘fluency and musical detail’, ‘technical control’ and ‘communication and style’ of the candidate’s performance.

The songs in the syllabus for each grade and instrument are included in one book with helpful performance notes and background information. This supports the candidate in preparing the techniques they will need to learn in each of the songs. They are also available as single-song download packages and a wide range of additional songs will be available as download packages later in the year.

The final paragraph aside, this is a very similar reply to RockSchool’s and I’m very appreciative that Nicholas has taken the time to do so.  It makes a lot of sense that a piece can be seen as demanding enough for Grade 8 performers to show off their abilities, whilst still being accessible enough for a Grade 6 performer to provide their own interpretation.  Just check out YouTube for a whole host of covers of an almost infinite list of songs for evidence that a song can be performed to many different standards.  

I’d be really interested to listen to a performance that passed Grade 6 for Trinity and another that passes Grade 8 for RockSchool.  That could be brilliant CPD.  

Speaking of CPD, I’ll be at the Trinity Rock Workshop in Haslemere on Thursday night from 6.30pm.  I’m looking forward to having a greater insight into these exciting new qualifications.  

In the meantime, I noticed that RockSchool has taken down the link to it’s list of new graded voice pieces.  I doubt that I have that much impact but I really hope it wasn’t my fault!