We’re delighted to announce the publication of ABRSM Songbook Plus – a series of five new books supporting their new Singing syllabus that brings together some fantastic repertoire. The new books are available now and the revised Singing syllabus will come into effect on 1 January 2018.
Exciting new books and resources
The Songbook Plus series covers Grades 1–5 of the new ABRSM Singing syllabus. Each book includes a selection of songs from the syllabus in a variety of styles; highlights include songs from Matilda and Porgy & Bess as well as favourites by Purcell and Rutter. These new books complement ABRSM’s existing Songbooks, also for Grades 1–5, providing singers at this level with even more choice.
They’ve also released a new Singing Practice Partner app, which contains 66 piano accompaniments for songs in the books. And if you’re looking for inspiration, why not listen to the Songbook Plus playlist on Spotify? You’ll find plenty of different performances and recordings to help you find the songs you want to sing!
Refreshed song lists for all grades
For the new Singing syllabus, ABRSM have reviewed and renewed the songs lists at all grades. From core classics and opera, to songs from the stage and screen, there’s something for everyone!
London-based singing teacher, author and ABRSM examiner Heidi Pegler was one of our syllabus consultants. She emphasises that:
“old favourites are still there but you’ll find new songs to add to the vast singing teacher library. Special attention has been paid to treble and counter-tenor voices to ensure they have enough choice. But all singers should find something which will appeal to them and show them off at their best.”
So what will you find in the new lists? There are wonderful arrangements such as Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz (Grade 4); favourites like Purcell’s Fairest Isle (Grade 5); songs specially chosen for young voices (Monsters!, Grade 2); and hits from stage and screen (Popular from Wicked, Grade 8).
Penny Milsom, ABRSM’s Executive Director: Products and Services, sums up their approach to creating a syllabus.
“We’ve listened to and consulted teachers and students to choose songs that are exciting, imaginative and inspiring.”
More flexibility at Grades 6–8
As well as introducing new songs at all grades, ABRSM have made some changes to the accompanied song requirements at Grades 6–8. The idea is to provide more choice and flexibility so that singers at this level can perform repertoire that showcases their emerging strengths and interests.
From January 2018, singers at Grades 6–8 will perform three songs in their exam, rather than four. Each song will be marked out of 30. At the same time, ABRSM have expanded the number of repertoire lists; singers at these grades can choose their three songs from five different lists. Candidates no longer have to sing in two languages or sing certain songs in their original language. Furthermore, songs can be sung by any voice type and in any key, which is already the case at Grades 1–5.
Syllabus dates and overlap arrangements
The new ABRSM Singing syllabus comes into effect on 1 January 2018. An overlap period applies for songs from the old syllabus which candidates in the USA (and all countries outside the UK or Ireland) can perform until 31 December 2018. However, from 1 January 2018 Grade 6–8 candidates should only perform three songs. During the overlap period, candidates at these grades presenting songs from the previous syllabus can choose from any three of the four old lists.
Whether you’re a teacher, a student or just a budding singer looking for some new songs to sing, there’s something here to help you on your way!