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Rocksteady Music School launches inclusive exam-free music qualification for UK schoolchildren

child playing drums
(Image credit: COROIMAGE/Getty Images)

Rocksteady Music School, the UK's largest music school for 4-11 year-olds, have developed a new progressive style of music qualifications in partnership with Trinity College London, aimed at primary age children of all backgrounds.

The qualification does away with the traditional exam-focused approach, replacing this with a system in which children are observed during lessons to find out if they're successfully performing the requisite skills to achieve the qualification.

Rocksteady's founder Mark Robinson commented: "Rocksteady’s innovative teaching methods make gaining a music qualification more accessible and inclusive. Children can focus on learning, having fun and engaging positively whilst being fully supported by Rocksteady’s technology, systems and processes.  

“For some children the pressure surrounding traditional exams can be a significant barrier to both learning and enjoyment. Our new and progressive method, awarded by Trinity College London, allows more children to gain a qualification in music. It opens up music to a new generation of children who can enjoy learning and developing without the fear of failure.”

The qualification was developed in response to research undertaken by Rocksteady that found 79% of parents believe the existing school examination process could be improved to suit each child's unique way of learning, with 65% of parents concerned about the impact of exam pressure on their child's mental health.

CEO of Rocksteady Scott Monks added: "It’s all about making music more accessible and inclusive for Primary School children, and taking a different approach to things like the long term decline in GCSE and A Level music - in fact in the first year alone we expect more kids to achieve this qualification than the total number currently taking A Level music."

Find out more on Rocksteady's website. 

Matt Mullen

I'm the Features Editor for MusicRadar, working on everything from artist interviews to tech tutorials. I've been writing about (and making) electronic music for almost ten years, and when I'm not behind my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard or a synthesizer. My latest obsession is the Arturia MicroFreak, which will have to do until I've saved up for a Prophet-6...