Syllabus Update Announcement

We are pleased to announce that we will be launching our updated (2020) syllabuses throughout September following our annual review.  These syllabuses are available for use immediately after they are released. The previous syllabus also remains valid and can be used for the next 6 months until the end of March 2021.  Please note that with our ‘Free Choice’ option, pieces on the recital list of previous syllabuses (unless specifically re-graded) are available to use indefinitely and do not require approval for use in our exams.

There are a number of exciting improvements in this update which include:

  • New Digital Pieces from Tomplay:  We have partnered with Tomplay who offer a fantastic selection of additional online sheet music, much of which has pre-recorded accompaniments for learners to play along with online or by using their play along app.  These accompaniments can be used for practising and may be used as the accompaniment during an MTB exam.  They also offer a subscription option to access their entire library and MTB centres & learners are able to claim an exclusive 20% discount.  Learn more about Tomplay here.
  • New Look Syllabuses: Our new syllabuses have been designed to make it clearer what is required for an MTB exam and the options available.
  • New Uniform Structure & Marking Allocations:  Our new syllabuses now have a unified marking structure among all Classical instruments* with all syllabuses containing three sections:
      • Recital Section (60 marks):  This section contains three pieces each worth 20 marks.
      • Technical Section (25 marks):  This section includes technical exercises & scales from memory.  Some instruments have an ‘option 2’ with technical exercises and ‘alternative to scales from memory’ exercises.
      • Musicianship Section (15 marks): This section includes two options, Reading skills and Listening Skills or Reading Skills and a Duet.
  • New & Refined Technical Sections Content: For some instruments we have streamlined and improved the technical requirements and added new content such as additional printed scale music.
  • Revised Reading & Listening Skills: We now require all 6 exercises for the reading skills to be performed in an exam and our listening skills test options have been refined.   We have also provided recordings for our reading and listening skills so that learners can practise and use these recordings to take the musicianship section of the exam more effectively remotely. Video guides on these new skills are available on our Youtube channel here. The previous reading & listening tests can be used until 31/03/2021.
  • New Free Duet Options:  We have produced free downloadable duets for teachers to use for a number of instruments and we will be working towards making these available for all instruments over the next few months.  We will also provide recordings to play along with for our duets at a practise and exam speed.
  • New MTB Digital Books for Piano & Violin: We have released new Piano and Violin books and plan to continue to expand our new book selection over the coming months. To view our new Piano Grade 1-8 books visit our bookshop.


The updated syllabuses currently available are:

• Piano
• Violin
• Alto Saxophone
• Contemporary Drums
• Drums
• Cello
• Flute
• Classical Guitar
• Contemporary Guitar (NEW)
• Contemporary Singing (NEW)
• Singing
• Trumpet
• Trombone
• Euphonium and Baritone
• Cornet
• Ocarina (NEW)
• Eb Tenor Horn
• Tenor Saxophone

The rest of our updated Syllabuses are planned for release over the next 3 weeks.

To learn more about how we transition and review our syllabuses click here.


*Please note that our contemporary syllabuses for Guitar & Drums have a different structure with 4 pieces and technical exercises and all pre-grades have 3 pieces and technical exercises.

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