Trinity College London Introduces Rock & Pop Exams

The well-known Trinity College London has recently announced the introduction of Rock & Pop music qualifications, with exams aimed at giving students the recognition they deserve for their exertions in their chosen instrument. The Trinity Rock & Pop exams can be taken by musicians and singers who are having lessons or are self-taught. Whether you are interested in a career in music or simply want to have a good time, these exams have been created to assist students to gain vital skills.

Beginning in 2012 the Trinity Rock & Pop exams will cover all grades, from Initial to Grade 8 and include exams for bass, drums, guitar, keyboard and vocals. The bass syllabus is aimed at developing skills such as basic positions, damping and picking techniques, slapped and pulled notes, slides and bends, harmonics and tapping techniques. Music from Talking Heads, The Ramones, Muse and Radiohead will feature in this course. Drummers will use music from Moby, Muse, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie to work on various drumming styles, signatures, strokes, tempos, fills, solo breaks, paradiddles, drags, flams, ruffs, ratamacues and rim shots.

The Trinity Rock & Pop Guitar exams will focus on basic positions, chords, damping and picking techniques, bends, harmonics, slides, and hammer ons and pull offs. Guitarists can rock to tunes by Green Day, The Strokes, Kings of Leon and Jack Johnson. Keyboard exams will look at basic melodies, chords, rhythms in various keys and styles, pedaling techniques, complex chords and scale passages. The keyboard syllabus will include music by Radiohead, Carly Simon, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. Last, but not least, is the Trinity Rock & Pop Vocals exams, with music by Jessie J, The Kinks, Beach Boys and Editors. The Vocals exams focus on singing styles and registers, improving sound, widening range, breathing techniques, long notes and sustained phrases. All syllabuses include supporting tests on play-back and improvisation.

The exams are supported by a CD with backing tracks and a demo, song book, performance notes, technical skill guidance and supporting tests. Further resources are also made available online. As performance is the chief part of the syllabus, the artist will be required to play or sing three songs along with completing a supporting test. Original songs can be used.

The new Rock & Pop exams are certainly an exciting development at Trinity College London and many young musicians are sure to enjoy receiving recognition for playing the music they like best.