ARSM Diploma in Performance

The ARSM now replaces the DipABRSM diploma.  Requirements of the performance-only ARSM remain unchanged and is available digitally as well as in person.  

The new LRSM and FRSM Music Performance diplomas released in November 2023 are digital assessments, moving away from the face to face format.

ARSM or ATCL Piano Diploma?

For most students who have completed their grade 8 and want to go further, this would be the question on their minds: ARSM or ATCL - what are the differences?


ATCL (Trinity College)


Grade 8 Pass


Recital Duration

28 to 32 min

32 to 38 min

Recital Content

Minimum 20 min from the ARSM repertoire list; up to 10 min of own-choice repertoire of minimum ABRSM grade 8 level

From the ATCL repertoire list; any own-choice repertoire must be of comparable level and not found in any current grade, certificate or lower diploma; programme with own-choice repertoire should submitted for prior approval 

Exam Format

Digital or Face to face

Digital only


Many students have found a big leap in the requirements between grade 8 and the DipABRSM and ATCL.  The ARSM provides an effective bridge between grade 8 and the DipABRSM and ATCL standards.

It is great for those who:

  • have not completed grade 8 at a high level and would benefit from further refinement before taking a higher level diploma
  • are returning to piano after completing grade 8 years ago
  • would like a challenge beyond grade 8 but only wish to play (without preparing other exam components)

A grade 8 qualification in the instrument presented is a prerequisite.

What ARSM Involves

ARSM is all about playing your instrument to a good level beyond grade 8.  Repertoire requirements are similar to DipABRSM but the performance time is shorter at about 30 minutes.  There may be a piece chosen of minimum grade 8 standard of up to 10 minutes in length.  

The programme presented in the performance exam should be well-balanced and varied.  It will be assessed on musical communication, interpretation and technique.  

You may download the syllabus here.

Under the training and guidance of Ms Clara Ong, her students obtained distinction and merit at the ARSM level.

To find out more about ARSM lessons with Clara at Novena Singapore, just send an email below.

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