Performance Diplomas

Practical performance Diplomas are available at Associate, Licentiate, and Fellowship levels. All three levels employ the same standard marking assessment grid, which also applies to any instrument or voice.

Suitable marking is achieved through a differentiated mathematical formula and reflects the different standards expected at each level.

Candidates will suggest and prepare suitable pieces which they submit for agreement by the School prior to submitting their application. It is the candidate's reponsibility to ensure all proposed works meet the agreed national standard for the assessment for which they wish to enter.

By working to set standards on the assessment grid, they will be able to improve their own standards during the preparation period prior to an assessment.

The grid also allows teachers to be aware of exactly what is going to be assessed as they are presented at the post-assessment level, one for each piece, thus enabling a clear view of achievement and where more work may be necessary.

The post-assessment report includes observations and comments which arose from the natural progression of the assessment. A computer-generated mark scheme allows for easy identification of the levels achieved, and this is further enhanced by a spreadsheet statistical analysis identifying strengths and weaknesses across all the pieces played.

Candidates are advised to download a Performance Assessment Grid before starting any preparation so they can understand exactly what is going to be expected of them and how it will be marked.

Candidates under the age of 21 who are students in full-time education, or from a disadvantaged background, are encouraged to apply to the Thomas Memorial Fund for a non-repayable bursary, which may be the full or partial cost of an NMSM assessment.

Applications for funding should be submitted at the same time as an application to enter for an assessment or examination.

NMSM Diploma Assessment Grid

 
Assessment Level ANMSM
Duration 30 mins
Playing time +/-3 mins
Works 3-8 contrasted pieces
Viva Yes, 15 mins
Perform from memory Candidate's choice
Improvisation Candidate's choice - 3 to 4 mins
Public recital Candidate's choice
Address audience Candidate's choice
Programme notes Yes
Written element & aural tests None
 
Assessment Level LNMSM
Duration 40 mins
Playing time +/-4 mins
Works 4-10 contrasted pieces
Viva Yes, 20 mins
Perform from memory Candidate's choice
Improvisation Candidate's choice - 4 to 6 mins
Public recital Yes
Address audience Yes
Programme notes Yes
Written element & aural tests None
 
Assessment Level FNMSM
Duration 60 mins
Playing time +/-5 mins
Works Suitable national pieces standard or specialised programme by a single composer
Viva Yes, up to 30 mins
Perform from memory Candidate's choice
Improvisation Candidate's choice - 5 to 8 mins
Public recital Yes
Address audience Yes
Programme notes Yes (in depth)
Written element & aural tests None