Latest exam updates

Performance Grades: Booking for June Performance Grades is open now until 13 May.

Performance Grade exams

We are now offering Performance Grade exams every month. Please check here for dates and fees. We are extending the introductory 15% discount for these exams so that it applies to all remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams in 2021. Just enter code ABPG15SG when you book. Please also read our terms and conditions here.

Performance Grades discount: system error

We currently have an error in our systems relating to discount codes. When you add the code your order summary will show that 15% has been added to the total, not taken away. However, the 15% discount will be applied to your booking and the correct total will appear at the top of the next screen before you pay. We're working to fix this and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Singapore office

On government advice, we will be following a more flexible and hybrid way of working. Although working from home is still encouraged, from 12 April we will be able to answer a limited number of calls and applicants can contact us via the Local Contact - ABRSM: Local exam contacts. We will continue to update you when further information is published by Ministry of Manpower.

Grade 5 Music Theory waiver (not applicable in the UK & Ireland)

We are extending our Grade 5 Music Theory waiver until 23 May 2021. This means that candidates with a Grade 6 to 8 Performance Grade exam submission date up to and including 23 May can take their exam without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. We are making this exceptional arrangement to allow candidates who have been unable to take an exam in recent months to progress with their learning. From 24 May, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return. For exam dates/exam submission dates after 23 May, all candidates taking a Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical Grade must first pass Grade 5 Music Theory.

How to avoid teaching burnout

1 year ago
Charlotte Tomlinson

Charlotte Tomlinson

Charlotte Tomlinson is an internationally renowned Performance Coach with an expertise in moving musicians through issues with performance anxiety & physical tension.

It can be very easy as a teacher to ‘overdo’ it and end up being in a situation where you burn out, which can lead to all kinds of symptoms such as physical and emotional fatigue, lack of enthusiasm and lack of confidence. So what actually is burnout in this instance? Is it physical or emotional or a mix of the two? How does it come about and what can be done about it?

Physical burnout

Making sure that there is a good balance between the administrative side of teaching, your contact hours with pupils and your personal life is essential to your overall health and well-being as a teacher. Here are some issues you might consider.

  • Work culture: If there is an expectation of long hours & hard work, or you feel you need to prove yourself to your employer, this can take its toll on your energy levels. You might feel you’re slacking if you don’t put in the hours.
  • Financial balance: Instrumental teachers tend to be self-employed and therefore generating income efficiently is important. Charging more per hour will mean you work fewer contact hours. This may be something to consider, but of course, it has to be balanced with what the market will accept.
  • Time boundaries: Teaching at weekends or after school or office working hours is something to be wary of because it eats into your personal life, and time to rest and recuperate. Watch that you’re not pushing your own boundaries to accommodate the pupil or the parent’s schedule rather than your own.
  • Hidden hours: If you’re keen to teach well and support your pupils, you may find that you are adding in extra hours without realizing it. Ten contact hours can easily become fifteen hours of work if you’re writing emails to parents as well or talking to them on the phone.


Emotional/psychological burnout

  • When you give too much: If your pupil is not engaged in learning as you would like, it is only too easy to try to compensate for that by giving too much and trying too hard. As the teacher, you could be giving about 70% with the pupil giving 30% and this can be emotionally draining. It can also happen if the pupil isn’t practising either because they’re not interested or because they simply have too much going on. By sitting back and asking them to engage more, you encourage them to be more responsible for their learning and you maintain your energy levels more efficiently.
  • Expectations: Wanting a pupil to do well or hoping for more than they are offering you can be very demanding on your energy. Sometimes the pupil simply can’t deliver as you would like for any number of reasons. Reducing your expectations of them can not only conserve your energy, but it can also take the pressure off them. They may feel more comfortable and start giving you more as a result!
  • Isolation: Teachers can often feel very isolated. If you teach at a school, you’re likely to have more automatic support. Seeing other teachers in the staff room or at lunch is an ideal opportunity to share teaching issues with them and give and receive support. If you teach privately without teaching at a school, it might be worth searching out local teachers where you can make connections and build a support network.


Teaching well needs energy so learning ways to conserve your energy is essential, not only so that you give of your best to the pupil but also for your own health and well-being.



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