Band Based Keys

Entry Level (Debut)

This section provides a summary of information about the Band Based Keys Entry Level (Debut). For full details of the requirements of the Entry Level (Debut) exam, please see the BandBasedKeys Syllabus Guide, and the Rockschool BandBasedKeys Entry Level (Debut) Grade Book.

Band Based Keys Entry Level (Debut) sections:

Entry Level (Debut) Sample
Grade Exam or Performance Certificate
Exam Structure
Assessment Information
Instrument Specification

Additional information you may find useful:

Exam Duration
Related Products
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Entry Level (Debut) Sample

A sample has been provided which illustrates the level of performing ability expected at this grade.

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Grade Exam or Performance Certificate

It should be noted that at each grade, there are two types of exam offered by Rockschool; Grade Exams and Performance Certificates. What's the difference? Grade Exams consist of 3 performance pieces, technical exercises and musicianship tests. Performance Certificates consist of 5 performance pieces and no other tests or exercises.


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Exam Structure

Rockschool graded examinations follow a holistic approach, due to the way that the underpinning knowledge integrates each section of the exam. This enables a better flow, and a more meaningful experience for candidates. A summary of the running order for each type of exam - Grade Exam and Performance Certificate - is given below, followed by a more detailed description of each section.

Rockschool Grade Exams follow a set running order, which is as follows:

Whereas, Rockschool Performance Certificates include the following:

Grade Exams

3 Performance Pieces

Entry Level candidates will play three out of the six pieces printed in the Rockschool Band Based Keyboards Entry Level (Debut) Grade Book. Each piece is no longer than one minute to enable players to sustain concentration and fluency. They will use simple note values and rhythms. Hand co-ordination will be basic and phrases will generally fall within five finger shapes occasionally requiring some finger changes. Articulations will be limited to understanding values and pieces will be written for one instrument patch only. Any simple instrumental techniques will be written out in the music.

Technical Exercises

Candidates will be given three technical exercises, including scales, chords and a riff.

Sight Reading

Candidates will be asked to play a four bar piece of unfamiliar music using the piano patch on the keyboard and will be given 90 seconds to prepare.

Ear Tests

Candidates will be given two ear tests - Rhythm Recall and Melodic Recall - which are played to them twice by the examiner on a CD. In Rhythm Recall candidates hear a two bar rhythm and are then asked to play the rhythm back on their keyboard on middle C. In Melodic Recall candidates hear a simple two bar melody and are then asked to play the melody back having been given the tonic note and the starting note.

General Musicianship Questions

Candidates will be asked five questions, which will refer to musical notation and theory from a piece of music that the candidate has played in the exam, and their knowledge of the instrument.

Performance Certificate

5 Performance Pieces

Entry Level candidates will play five out of the six pieces printed in the Rockschool Band Based Keyboards Entry Level (Debut) Grade Book. Each piece is no longer than one minute to enable players to sustain concentration and fluency. They will use simple note values and rhythms. Hand co-ordination will be basic and phrases will generally fall within five finger shapes occasionally requiring some finger changes. Articulations will be limited to understanding values and pieces will be written for one instrument patch only. Any simple instrumental techniques will be written out in the music.


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Assessment Information

Graded exams are assessed by examiners according to a set of grading criteria. Depending on how well the candidate performs in each section of the exam, they will be awarded a Pass or Unclassified.

Follow this link if you would like to read more detailed information about the assessment of graded examinations, including mode of study, unit specifications, grading criteria, grading formula and results & certification.


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Instrument Specification

Keyboards must have at least 61 keys with the following patches: acoustic piano, electric piano, organ, strings and synth.


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Exam Duration

The Entry Level (Debut) exam is 15 minutes long and we advise the candidates arrive 15 minutes before the exam starts.


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Related Products

You may find the following books useful for preparing for the band based keys entry level exam:

Rockschool Band Based Keys - Debut

Rockschool Band Based Keys - Debut

Price: £13.99
Media: Sheet Music and CD
Language: English
Learn more...
Rockschool Band Based Keys - Companion Guide

Rockschool Band Based Keys - Companion Guide

Price: £22.00
Media: Sheet Music
Language: English
Learn more...
Download Syllabus

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