Music Exams

If you are working hard to make progress with your music, you need some way of recognising your success and reassurance that you are on the right road. This is exactly what music exams offer!  Once your tutor has decided you are ready, Bristol Plays Music will facilitate the exam process.

Why take a music exam?

·         It gives you a focus, a goal to work towards.

·         It helps you improve and feel good when you pass an exam.

·         Grade 6 and above can help get UCAS points for university entry.

Our aim is to make the exam experience as rewarding as it can be and we place the candidate at the centre of that process. It takes a lot of energy to get one person into an exam.  Anything up to six different people can be involved: the candidate, teacher, accompanist, examiner, co-ordinator and parents and requires some understanding and patience. We will try to accommodate potential clashes with other commitments and when considering whether to enter for ABRSM or Trinity, you will at least know the week of the exam.

At BPM Southmead you are able to take music exams from 3 different exam boards, click on the links below to find out more about each board and their syllabus.

Please note these dates are subject to change.

Board Winter Exams Spring Exams Summer Exams
London College of Music* w/c tbc w/c tbc w/c tbc
Trinity College w/c 2 December 2019 w/c tbc w/c tbc
ABRSM w/c 9 December 2019 w/c tbc w/c tbc
ABRSM Theory Wednesday 6 November 2019  tbc  tbc

*BPM is proud to be the official regional centre for the London College of Music

How to Enter 

Now your tutor has decided you are ready to enter an exam, follow the instructions below.

  • We are a public centre for London College of Music exams, and so click on the link above and follow the instructions to enter.
  • To enter for ABRSM or Trinity please contact or call us on 0117 204 7140

Further Info

For ABRSM and Trinity exams we employ an in-house accompanist.  This cuts the cost to the candidate and we will put you in contact with the accompanist for a rehearsal.  It is also possible to use one of our pianos before the day to become familiar with it.  We are always happy to let people have a look around our centre beforehand (call to check first).  On the day of the exam there will be a rehearsal room, for a brief warm up and we also offer free parking!

We hold three sessions a year, Autumn, Spring and Summer. As a rough guide, they will be in the three weeks before the end of each double term but this can sometimes vary.  Please refer to the table of dates above.

Music Theory

As instrumental skills progress, development in music theory and musicianship becomes increasingly important in helping students to perform with sensitivity, understanding and confidence.  We offer music theory exams Grade 1-8.

To enter ABRSM theory exams please contact or call us on 0117 204 7140


ABRSM Letter for December 2019

Trinity Letter for December 2019

ABRSM Theory Letter for November 2019

We’re changing

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon, and this means we’re changing too.

Bristol Plays Music is run by Bristol Music Trust, the charity that also runs the venue formerly known as Colston Hall. These two organisations will soon unite under one name: Bristol Beacon.

Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

More info Enter site