ARSM in Performance
- an ABRSM piano diploma

The ABRSM launched the ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) diploma in 2017 to offer a performance-only diploma qualification.  It is different from the other ABRSM diplomas in that it does not include viva voce or programme notes as part of the exam.

Important ABRSM Update (2023)

The ARSM now replaces the DipABRSM diploma which is being phased out.  Requirements of ARSM remain unchanged.

New requirements for LRSM and FRSM Music Performance diplomas will be released in November 2023. Moving away from the face to face format, these diplomas are planned as digital assessments.


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.

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

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