Free Choice Pieces – Guidance For Teachers

There are lists of repertoire selected by the Board (MTB Exams) for each instrument at every exam level, for the pieces in the recital section which meet the expectations we have at each grade. These can be viewed on the MTB Exams Syllabus page.

However, the Board allow the use of free choice pieces for some or all of these options. It is important that the repertoire selected for ‘Free Choice’ pieces is of an appropriate standard/difficulty to enable candidates to demonstrate the level of skills expected for the particular exam being taken.

Teachers opting to take advantage of this ‘Free Choice’ route can gauge the standard of repertoire by various means for each exam.

For Pre- Grade Introductory to Grade 8:

  • Check the pieces/studies against the criteria outlined in the appropriate document ‘MTB Exams Levels & Expectations for Graded Free Choice Pieces’ 
  • Compare with existing MTB graded repertoire lists
  • Look at the technical exercises for each grade at MTB
  • Look at repertoire which has been reviewed by another organisation as being suitable for a particular grade.

For Diplomas:

  • Check your proposed pieces against the criteria outlined in the appropriate document ‘MTB Levels & Expectations For Diploma Free Choice Pieces’
  • Compare with the existing AMTB and LMTB set works and examples of appropriate repertoire lists, which define the technical facility expected at each level. 
  • Look at repertoire which has been reviewed by another organisation as being suitable for the equivalent diploma level.

We strongly recommend that if you have any doubt whether your free choice pieces meet our criteria for diplomas, you use our optional Free Choice Approval Service.

Submitting pieces that do not meet our criteria may affect your result. We therefore recommend that teachers/candidates who are unsure if their piece meets the above criteria use this Approval Service before learning the repertoire.

Please note that once pieces have been approved, they will be added to our internal approved pieces list and do not need to be approved for future exam submissions.

Jazz Improvisation: Candidates wishing to submit pieces containing Jazz improvisation may do so as part of the free choice recital section of an MTB exam. Exams containing 2 or more pieces with Jazz improvisation will be marked by a Jazz specialist who will normally specialise in that section of instruments (i.e. Wind, Brass etc).

*Please note that we do not offer qualifications on behalf of any other awarding body.

Ready to make an entry?
Sign up today to get started.

Sign Up

Stay in tune. Sign up for the latest news and offers.