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About Percussion assessments

We offer a range of assessments for percussionists learning the snare drum, timpani, tuned percussion and combined percussion. These include Practical Grades and Performance Grades at Grades 1 to 8 and Music Performance diplomas for advanced musicians.  Read on to find out more.  

We also offer Performance Grades for Drum Kit. You can find details on our Drum Kit page.



Percussion – Practical Grades

Practical Grades are face-to-face exams that focus on all-round musical knowledge and skills, including performance. Exams are available at Grades 1 to 8. In the exam you perform three pieces, play scales or studies (depending on your instrument) and take sight-reading and aural tests.   


Download a PDF of the full Percussion Practical Grades qualification specification. This includes the syllabus and marking criteria as well as detailed information about exam requirements.

Percussion – Performance Grades

Performance Grades are digital exams assessed from a video recording. They have a strong focus on performance, including communication, interpretation and delivery.  In the exam you perform a programme of four pieces.  

Exams are available at Grades 1 to 8. There are no booking periods or exam sessions so you can choose when to book, record and submit your exam.  

As well as reading the qualification specification and the syllabus for your instrument, you should also read our Performance Grade guidance which includes important information about recording and submitting your exam video.  Follow the link below to find out more. 


Download PDFs of the Performance Grades Qualification Specification and Percussion syllabus.

Percussion studies

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