AMEB video examinations

> Exam preparation and enrolment
> Accompaniment for video instrumental and vocal exams
> Guide to recording a video performance
> Guide to uploading to YouTube
> Enquiries
> FAQs
> Video exam submission form


Grade examinations in almost all Practical Music syllabuses are available in Comprehensive and Repertoire exam formats (except for Brass Band). Repertoire examinations in Piano for Leisure, Singing for Leisure and Saxophone for Leisure were added in 2020. 

Typically, compared with the Comprehensive exam, the Repertoire exam requires an additional work to be presented. The additional piece may be selected from the prescribed Lists for the syllabus and grade, or may be an Own Choice work of comparable standard.

Repertoire examinations, from Preliminary to Grade 8, are available face-to-face, or by pre-recorded video submission.

The requirements of a video Repertoire exam are the same as the requirements for a face-to-face Repertoire exam. Please refer to the 2021 Manual of Syllabuses for details of examination requirements, including number of pieces and maximum performance times.

The Manual of Syllabuses is available in digital format (PDF). An individual syllabus, a subject group or a complete manual may be purchased on AMEB Connect at discounted prices.

Level 1 (Preliminary – Grade 4)

For Level 1 Repertoire exams (Preliminary to Grade 4), candidates must prepare four works: 3 List works + 1 Own Choice work of similar standard. (Own Choice works may be selected from the published Lists.)

For Level 1 ‘For Leisure’ Repertoire exams (Preliminary to Grade 4), candidates must prepare four works: 2 List works + 2 Own Choice works of similar standard. Click here to read about ‘For Leisure’ Repertoire exams.

Level 2 (Grades 5 – 8)

For Level 2 Repertoire exams (Grades 5 to 8), candidates must prepare five works: 3 List works + 2 Own Choice works of similar standard. (Own Choice works may be selected from the published Lists.)

For Level 2 ‘For Leisure’ Repertoire exams (Grades 5 to 8), candidates must prepare four works: 2 List works + 2 Own Choice works of similar standard. Click here to read about ‘For Leisure’ Repertoire exams.

Exam preparation and enrolment

1. The teacher selects a program of work and sets an ‘examination date’. The ‘examination date’ will be the target date for the recording. This will provide a clear goal for the student to work towards. Of course, the recording date can be deferred, by the teacher, according to circumstances at the time.

2. Prior to the recording date, the teacher, the parent or the candidate if over 18 years, enrols for the examination on AMEB Connect. Enter candidate enrolment details; select Series 60 Video Repertoire Exam; select the syllabus from the list (only available Repertoire subjects will appear); select the Grade; and confirm the enrolment.

To enrol for a Video Repertoire examination on AMEB Connect: 1) select Series 60 Video Examinations; 2) Select the Syllabus and Grade.

To enrol for a Rockschool video examination on AMEB Connect 1) select Series 35 Rockschool Video Exams; 2) Select the Syllabus and Grade.

3. The enroller will receive a confirmation of enrolment. Details of the process for submitting the recording can be found below.

4. Complete the recording on any preferred date following the instructions on this page. The video exam submission must be recorded no earlier than three (3) weeks prior to enrolment and submitted no later than six (6) weeks after enrolment. Note that the examination performance must be recorded in one ‘take’: one continuous recording with no editing. A declaration will need to be provided, stating that the performer is the person named on the enrolment and that the examination performance was recorded without any assistance, other than from an accompanist, as required.

5. The exam supervisor will upload the exam performance to the submission form on the AMEB Victoria website and will provide details of the examination performance, including the works performed, and complete the supervisor’s declaration.

6. When completed, click on ‘submit’ to forward the form to AMEB Victoria. The video exam performance will be assessed by a Rockschool or AMEB Specialist Examiner. (The exam will show as ‘awaiting scheduling’ on AMEB Connect until the video is uploaded and scheduled to an examiner for marking. An email will be sent to the enrolling person when the assessment is complete.)

7. Once the assessment has been made, the report and result will be available on AMEB Connect. The turnaround time will vary from two to four weeks, depending on the volume of examinations. Certificates will be mailed to successful candidates of lower-grade examinations and to successful candidates from Grade 6 and above who have notified us following completion of that the Additional Requirement in theory has been completed.

Once a video performance has been assessed by an AMEB Examiner and an official AMEB report and result has been issued, the recording cannot be accepted for re-assessment.

Accompaniment for video instrumental and vocal examinations

Accompaniment is essential for AMEB Practical examinations wherever the pieces presented are provided with piano accompaniments. Candidates must arrange their own accompanist (who may be the teacher).

Engaging an accompanist and negotiating a professional fee is a matter for the candidate and the accompanist, as the examining body AMEB is not able to provide advice on these matters. Lists of accompanists may be found on the following websites:

Using official AMEB recorded accompaniments in examinations
Pieces presented for some subjects can be accompanied by an official AMEB recorded accompaniment. The special provision provided in 2020 which allowed candidates to arrange their own professionally recorded accompaniments for Grades 4 and above no longer applies. (Click here for a list of AMEB recorded accompaniments.)

When performing in examination with an official AMEB recorded accompaniment on CD candidates must use the tempo provided on the CD. When performing in examination using an app that slows down or speeds up tempo without affecting pitch, the candidate may choose a tempo commensurate with their ability and interpretative judgement in demonstrating the technical, musical and artistic objectives for the level.

Candidates are encouraged to use an acoustic piano in AMEB examinations. Digital pianos may be used but must meet the following specifications: keyboard size – 88 notes; action – weighted and touch sensitive; pedals – fixed and functioning as for acoustic pianos.

Guide to recording a performance for a video exam

Program of work and performance time

The program of work must be chosen with reference to the current Syllabus. The number of works and the duration of the recording must not exceed the maximum performance time listed in the Repertoire Exam section of the 2021 Manual of Syllabuses for the particular instrument and grade.

Camera and microphone

Choose a quiet location with good lighting and minimal ambient noise. It is recommended that the candidate dress as if presenting for a face-to-face exam.

A high-quality recording device should be used; a recent-model smart phone or tablet might be suitable (test both audio and vision). Video resolution of 720p is recommended (minimum 480p, maximum 1080p). As a minimum, the camera must capture the performer’s face, upper body, both hands and the instrument. (It is not necessary to show the accompanist in the video recording.) For a piano exam, the whole keyboard and the foot pedals should be captured in the frame. A suitable height and angle might be achieved by using a tripod or by resting the camera on a table, pile of books or a music stand.

Whilst DSLR cameras may offer high-quality video and can accept external microphones suited to recording musical performances, most DSLR cameras have a maximum recording time of 30 minutes. If the examination performance is greater than 30 minutes, it would be acceptable to end the recording at a suitable point and record the final work/s as a separate video clip. The date and time code should display on both video clips (if possible) and there should be a gap of only one or two minutes between the end of the first clip and the beginning of the second clip.

It is important that the sound is appropriately balanced between the solo part and the live or recorded accompaniment (if any). Candidates for higher grades may wish to consider using an app or device that allows control over the sensitivity and input gain of the microphone to assist in capturing a greater level of expressiveness in the musical performance. Whilst we are not able to recommend particular products, a few possible microphones, apps and cameras that we understand can record high-quality audio are listed below.

External microphones for use with mobile phones (check for compatibility)

  • Zoom iQ7 (This is an external microphone, we do not recommend using Zoom Meetings to record exam performances).
  • Shure MV88
  • RØDE i-XY
  • RØDE VideoMic

Mobile phone video apps that allow manual control of audio

  • FV-5 (supported Android devices)
  • Filmic Pro (iOS devices and some Android devices)

Dedicated video cameras for recording high quality audio

  • Zoom Q4 (This is an external camera, we do not recommend using Zoom Meetings to record exam performances).
  • Zoom Q2n (This is an external camera, we do not recommend using Zoom Meetings to record exam performances).

Recording

If the camera has a function to display the date and time the recording was created it should be activated; if this is not possible, a phone or tablet device displaying the current date and time must be shown to camera at the beginning of the recording. When the candidate (and accompanist, if required) are ready to commence the examination performance, the recording should commence with the candidate introducing themselves, stating the date of recording, the subject and the grade, followed by the title of the first item e.g.: “My name is Jane Smith. Today is the <date> and I am presenting for an examination in <name of subject (instrument)>, Grade X. My first piece is XXXXX.” The presentation should proceed as if it was a performance for an examiner situated in the room at the camera location. Recording should be continuous and there should be minimal gaps between each work. Each subsequent work should also be announced, e.g.: “I will now play XXXX.” The recording should cease immediately after the last work has finished.

Guide to uploading to YouTube

Video examination performances are submitted privately to AMEB Victoria via YouTube. The enrolling person or candidate must create a Google account, then a YouTube channel, to which the video will be uploaded. The visibility setting should be set to unlisted so that the video can be shared with AMEB but will not appear in YouTube search results.

The following guide applies to uploading on a PC or Mac through a standard web browser. Experienced users may be able to directly upload videos from a mobile device.

Creating a Google account
  • Go to https://www.youtube.com/
  • At the top right, click sign in
  • If you have a Google account, enter your details; if you are a new user click Create Account.
Create a personal YouTube channel
  • Select the camera icon at the top right of the window Create a video or post > Upload video
  • Insert your name and select Create channel.
Upload video

Your video should be submitted before 30 November.

  • Log in to your YouTube account and select the camera icon at the top right of the window, then select  > Upload video.
  • Click Select files to upload or simply ‘drag and drop’ the video file to the window.
  • Video processing commences, once completed, click Next then click the radio button, Yes it’s made for kids.
  • Click Next, video elements will be displayed (not required), click Next again.
  • Ensure the visibility setting is set to unlisted, then save.
Submit the performance to AMEB
  • Click the account menu at the top right of the screen and select > My channel. A list of your videos will be displayed.
  • Select the video to be submitted to AMEB, then click Share, which is displayed under the video on the right.
  • After the share window pops up click copy, next to the URL, to copy the link to the clipboard.
  • Navigate to the AMEB Victoria Video Submissions page, complete the form details, paste the link into the box labelled Video link and click click Submit.

Enquiries

A member of AMEB Victoria’s administrative team would be pleased to answer any queries concerning Video Repertoire Exams and may be contacted by email during normal business hours (Monday to Friday from 9am till 5pm). > Contact us

FAQs

Does the Video Repertoire Exam performance require an accompanist?
If the work is written with accompaniment it must be performed with accompaniment which may be provided by an associate artist or a recording.

I am recording at home, how should I film the exam?
A quite location, with good lighting should be chosen. A candidate for an instrumental or voice exam should face the camera and perform as if the examiner is behind the lens, ensuring that face, hands and instrument are shown. For a piano exam, the whole keyboard and the foot pedals should be shown, if possible.

Does the candidate need to prepare Technical Work?
No. There are no Technical Work requirements for Repertoire exams. However, generally one additional work is required.

What is the cost for a Video Repertoire Exam?
The cost is the same as the equivalent ‘in-person’ exam.

Will the candidate receive a certificate?
Yes. Once the assessment has been made, the report and result will be available on AMEB Connect and the appropriate certificate will be mailed to each successful candidate. The turnaround time will vary from two to four weeks, depending on the volume of examinations.

What if the recording is not of examinable quality?
If the Examiner finds that the recording is not of acceptable quality the performance cannot be assessed. It will be necessary to submit a new recording for examination and a reschedule fee will be charged to cover the Examiner’s time.

Click here to submit a video performance

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