Update from the General Manager

30 September

We have made every effort to provide examination services throughout the pandemic and we will continue to do so. However, in our view, it is not safe to bring people drawn from all parts of Victoria to an AMEB General Centre for face-to-face examinations in October or November.

Accordingly, arrangements for AMEB practical examinations in Term 4 will be as follows (subject to Public Health Directions):

1. Due to health and safety concerns, AMEB General Centres will not be able to open for face-to-face examinations in the 5th Metropolitan, 2nd Regional, 2nd Special Subjects or 2nd Rockschool Sessions. AMEB General Centres include the AMEB Studios in Hawthorn and Regional venues managed by AMEB Victoria.

2. We hope to be able to provide face-to-face exams in schools and private studios by arrangement, subject to Public Health Directions, acceptable COVID-Safe Plans, and the availability of examiners. We will email schools and private studios next week, to commence discussions about possibilities and preferences. For Term 4 2021, the minimum time required to enable us to provide a specialist examiner to a school or private studio is reduced to two hours.

3. Speech and Drama examinations will be ‘live’ online video presentations.

4. We aim to offer Associate, Licentiate and Certificate of Performance exams in the December Diploma Session (6-19 December); however, examinations will proceed only if safe to do so, under a conservative COVID-Safe Plan.

Options for candidates

Candidates for face-to-face Grade exams (Preliminary to Grade 8) are offered the option to:

(a) Transfer to a Video Repertoire exam (submissions close 30 November); or

(b) Withdraw from examination in 2021 and receive a refund of the entry fee.

Requests for transfers and refunds due 15 October

Please email your request to ameb-vic@unimelb.edu.au as soon as possible – to be received by Friday 15 October at the latest (no transfer fee will be payable for requests received by this date). Please include candidate names and numbers as recorded on AMEB Connect.

A reminder that AMEB Connect will close to new enrolments for Video exams at 11:59pm on 15 October.


AMEB Recorded Accompaniments are available for most instruments up to Grade 3, and special arrangements have been negotiated with APRA/AMCOS to enable copyright materials to be recorded for the purpose of providing accompaniment for video examinations in 2021. <read more>

Performing with an out-of-tune acoustic piano might be problematic for instrumental candidates and it is strongly recommended that pianos are tuned, if possible, before recording the examination performance.

Recording performances for examination purposes

The examiner is required to assess the candidate’s performance in relation to the published Objectives for the examination, irrespective of the examination mode: face-to-face or pre-recorded video. The same Award is issued to recognise the candidate’s achievement. Whilst professional recording equipment is not essential, it is important that the recording device can capture the nuances of the candidate’s performance and the maximum volume setting should be established manually (examiners appreciate that the dynamic range will be compressed somewhat, however, the candidate should be able to demonstrate control of dynamics, phrasing, etc.). <Read our guide to recording here>

Suitable pianos

A Piano qualification is awarded to recognise the demonstration of piano performance competencies. Therefore, it is important that an examination performance is recorded on an instrument that will enable the candidate to demonstrate their ability to meet the Objectives for the examination. A quality acoustic or digital piano is required to enable the candidate to perform at their best. Portable keyboards are not suitable. Specifications for digital pianos are listed in the 2021 Piano syllabus (p. 56) and the Piano for Leisure syllabus (p. 92) and are stated on our website. <read more>

What video exams are available?

Examinations by pre-recorded video submission are available for:

Music Repertoire grades from Preliminary to Grade 8
Compared with the Comprehensive exam, the Repertoire exam requires one additional piece to be presented, in place of Technical Work, Aural Tests, Sight Reading and General Knowledge (Extra List pieces are not required, but an Extra List work might be suitable for preparation as an Own Choice work). <read more>

Repertoire grade exams in the For Leisure syllabuses were added in 2020. <read more>

Please check the Repertoire examination requirements carefully. Each syllabus is available in digital form (PDF) from AMEB Connect at a price of $8.95.

P Plate Piano
Students can present for assessments by video at the end of each P Plate Piano book 1, 2 and 3. <read more>

AMEB Rockschool video exams are available in Performance Certificate and Graded Certificate subjects. Information may be found at https://rockschool.ameb.edu.au/videoexams/

Ungraded Performance Evaluations of 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 30 minutes
Performance Evaluation is useful for developing musicians whose study programs do not align with the requirements of AMEB Practical Exams, as the content of the evaluation is established by the teacher and customised to the needs of the individual student. <read more>

Ensemble Performance
A video Ensemble Performance exam offers a performance opportunity, plus feedback and recognition. Examinations are available for Strings, Brass, Woodwind, Mixed, and Percussion ensembles. <read more>

Information and updates

Please visit the AMEB Victoria website for the latest news. Our website is updated whenever there is a significant change to the teaching, learning and examining environment, and it contains a comprehensive guide to the services we provide. Each webpage can be sent to a printer, printed to PDF, or the page address can be forwarded to a candidate by email. (Just click on the icon near the bottom of each page.)

Contacting us

Please email your enquiries to ameb-vic@unimelb.edu.au or complete the Contact Form on the AMEB Victoria website and we will respond to you by phone or email at the earliest opportunity.

Administrative personnel are frequently working from home, so you might receive a call from Matthew, Lisa, or Jeremy from an unexpected number. Please note that messages cannot be left on our general telephone number during lockdowns. We wish you every success with your vitally important teaching programs un9der these challenging circumstances.

Alwyn Mott, BMus, DipEd(Melb), GradDipBusAdmin(Monash), AMusA
General Manager
AMEB Victoria

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