MTB Exams are delighted to announce the launch of our new Performance Diplomas for candidates who are continuing their musical education beyond grade 8.

Our Performance Diplomas assess your ability to present a recital program. The exam consists of a performance of a selection of pieces, with no technical or musicianship exercises required.

To learn more about the different elements of our Performance Diplomas please press on the plus symbol next to the headings below. To view the Diploma syllabus for each instrument please click on the relevant instrument on the main syllabuses page here. To view pricing for our AMTB & LMTB please click here.

Performance Diploma repertoire lists are currently available for the following instruments: Piano, Classical Guitar, Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Cello and Singing.  If you would like to take a diploma in one of these other instruments ahead of the syllabus release date, please contact and they will advise how to submit a programme for approval.

What are Performance Diplomas?

MTB’s new performance diplomas provide an opportunity for learners to achieve their professional qualifications.

MTB Performance Diplomas are set at two levels: an Associate of the Music Teachers’ Board (AMTB) and a Licentiate of the Music Teachers’ Board (LMTB).

AMTB: Performances at this level should demonstrate an ability equivalent to a music student who has completed their first year of undergraduate study as a music specialist.

LMTB: Performances at this level should demonstrate an ability equivalent to an undergraduate music student who has completed the final year of their course and should be of a professional standard. 

Performance Diplomas comprise a videoed recital with a Target Duration which includes a set work plus at least one other piece.

Having achieved a level of proficiency to be able to pass Grade 8, you may wish to continue studying and developing your performing ability to a higher or even professional level. The AMTB is a high level qualification demonstrating that you have a level of competency well beyond that of grade 8 and is a stepping stone to the LMTB professional level diploma. The LMTB diploma is a qualification providing reassurance to employers and to fellow musicians that you play or sing to a professional level.

There are no pre-requisite qualifications required to enter the AMTB or the LMTB, although you must be at least 16 years of age to enter the LMTB (there is no age requirement for the AMTB).

What are Target Durations?

Each diploma has an associated Target Duration which represents the length of your whole performance, right from your first entrance to final exit. It includes any spoken contributions you might choose to include and any stage choreography. It does not however, include tuning up time before the performance begins. This should be completed before beginning the recording, as if you were tuning up offstage before entering for your performance. If you feel it is necessary to tune up again between pieces, you should do so, and this would be considered part of the overall performance duration. Your performance can be presented with or without an audience. An audience could comprise one, two or just a few people or it could be in a concert situation with a larger number of people present. If you choose to present your performance live or streamed to an audience (be that one person or a group) then the Target Duration includes any appreciation/applause up to your final exit.

At these levels, MTB realistically expects you – the performer, to be responsible for the Target Duration of your programme. It should be a skill which you have acquired over time and now have the confidence to use to benefit your planning. For this reason, for our Performance Diplomas we provide a minimum and maximum time for your recital as well as a target duration. Performances with a total length outside of these parameters will be penalised.

  • AMTB –Target Duration: 35 minutes (Minimum duration 32 minutes – maximum 38 minutes)
  • LMTB – Target Duration: 45 minutes (Minimum duration 42 minutes – maximum 48 minutes)

How should I select suitable pieces?

There are two routes available when taking a MTB Diploma:

Route 1 Set Work*:

Perform one of the pieces from the Set Works list and a selection of pieces from the suggested appropriate repertoire list or free choice pieces. Programmes for this option do not need to be approved in advance by MTB.

Route 2 Pre-Approved Programme:

Use the MTB Exams Free Choice Approval Service to submit a proposed programme including pieces from the suggested appropriate repertoire list or free choice pieces of an appropriate standard.  Only Pre-Approved programmes may be used for this option.

Please note, we do not approve individual diploma free choice pieces, only complete programmes. Our review ensures your programme meets the minimum technical requirements for this level but it does not comment on the quality or whether the suggested programme meets the target duration, these are the candidate’s responsibility.

For guidance on selecting free choice pieces please click here).

In order to access the highest marks for your performance it is vital you display a range of technical and expressive skills.

*Singing does not include an option for route 1, only route 2 is available.

Apart from the pieces, what else should I consider for a Performance Diploma?

When preparing for your performance you should consider the visual elements as well. How you dress, the performance space and how it looks as well as your awareness of how you come across to the listener are all very important factors in how well your performance will be received. For this reason, it is important to video your performance from an audience’s perspective. So, video your performance from a sensible distance so that you, the performer, and your instrument are clearly visible.

We have provided detailed recording advice here on how best to record an exam in video.

Should I Introduce my items?

You must clearly convey the content of the programme. You may do this either through a written programme or by introducing your items verbally. Different performers will have their own preferences. This may be coloured by how comfortable you are when speaking to an audience, whether this creates a welcome break from your playing or if you find this causes you to lose focus.

You are not required to provide any additional information about your programme but you may decide it is helpful and adds to your performance to say a few words about the pieces you have chosen. This could be done verbally or as part of your written programme. Written lists of pieces including any additional notes should not exceed one page or if presented verbally should not prevent you from displaying an appropriate level of played content.

When submitting the written programme please photograph and submit this as part of the additional attachments during the app/website submission process.

What is the examiner looking for in a Performance Diploma?

Examiners will mark performance Diplomas using the following 5 categories:

  • Accuracy – 20 marks
  • Expression – 20 marks
  • Technique – 20 marks
  • Stagecraft & Sense of Performance – 30 marks
  • Programme – 10 marks

The detailed marking criteria for Performance Diplomas can be downloaded here.

Performances are marked out of 100:

How do I enter a Performance Diploma?

Performance Diplomas can be entered and taken at any time. Simply go to the ‘Make an Entry page and select the category and instrument and under the grade setting select AMTB or LMTB.

How do I record and submit a Performance Diploma?

Download the MTB Exams ‘Record & Submit 2021’ app here which will enable you to record and submit your Performance Diploma using just a mobile phone or tablet.

Or you have the option to record the video using any other device or system and submit it on our website submit an exam page.

We have provided detailed recording advice here on how best to record an exam in video.

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