Trinity Digital Exam Information

Here is information about how the exams are undertaken, recording advise and the marking schemes for these types of exams:



I came across this video showing how the student presents their scales exercises sheet to the camera at the start. This was a good example of how to start the exam.

Trinity provides quite a lot of information on how to do the recording so I have provided it in the links below:

Trinity's filming guidance:  Looking through the material the one thing I picked up on is that the scale book and song book covers need to be clearly showing during the performance - with book at the side (as we normally sit) it might not be clearly visible.

If you look at the demonstration video

they have music book in front but lower so as show the book cover - you can see that the camera is at a higher position so we can clearly see the guitar being played.

Here is the link for the Trinity Guide for videoing - the second link gives more information on recording.


Marking Schemes

I've been looking further into how Trinity marks the new style digital exams which now do not have the two supporting tests (e.g. sight reading, aural etc). However the 20 marks that were awarded between those two tests are now allocated to a new element called 'Overall Performance Criteria'.  Below I have linked the relevant material on the Trinity Website on how they justified the new element and what it means to somebody taking one of theses exams. The Technical Exercise part (including scales etc) and the three songs have exactly the same marking weight and criteria as for face to face exams.

I will try to paraphrase how a guitarist should interpret this new element and things to do to get good marks - the key point is in the element's title - 'Performance'. The best I can interpret this is that during the whole performance (Scales/exercises and then 3 songs) you are being assessed on your 'performance to the audience' - the X-Factor part such as Professionalism, Musicianship, Control and Engagement.  There may be other interpretations but you should get the idea that you don't want to look like a rabbit in the headlamps and you should look 'professional'. We have probably all been to music concerts when you walk out and go 'that person never did a thing wrong'  and 'wow they were nervous and it showed'. 

To me it stands to reason that if for example, you play your songs with great confidence and they sound exactly like how they should then you will give a great 'performance' both musically and visually to the audience. So taking care of the songs (and scales) which the marking criteria also take account of 'performance' will indeed translate to good marks for the new element,

The 20 marks are addressed in two parts:

Performance delivery and focus (10 marks):  assesses the focus, assurance, and continuity of the performance – i.e. are the musicianship skills sustained meaningfully throughout the candidate’s performance? Are they maintained in a focussed way as they move between pieces and across the technical work?

Musical Awareness (10 marks): assesses whether the candidate has sound musical knowledge of their whole programme – ie are they able to demonstrate a sustained awareness of the appropriate interpretations of their pieces, moving fluidly between styles or genres? Is there a sustained commitment to the personal interpretation of the score? Are they confident in their delivery of the entire programme?

So for a guitarist thinks about these following tips for the Performance delivery and focus.

1. Control between switching books for Scales to Songs - and holding the list of scales/exercises you are going to do nice and clearly to the camera before performing them (this is also to show nothing else is written (e.g. the notes of a scales etc)

2. Post it notes identifying where your next song is so no searching time

3. Control when retuning strings or having to retune a particular string 

For Musical Awareness think about the following:

1. Is your visual presentation of a song reflective of the mood of the song (don't smile and jig around to a sad slow song!)

2. The characteristics of a songs in musical features can mean good clear hand movements (ponticello  tasto etc)

3. Think of how the players in an orchestra prepare at the start of a song - nice pause. Then their body language moves with the piece.

I have also attached how Trinity allocated marks for these sub-unites of the new elements it is on pages 23 and 24  - it's worth a read and because they are quite subjective in interpretation then we're always at the mercy of how individual examiners interpret them - though this is the same for marking in the other parts of the exam which I found very frustrating over the past couple of years.

I will give each student a sheet that needs to be held up prior to playing the scales and exercises part of the exam. Please keep it safe or make copies in case you lose it.

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