We have just entered over 40 pupils for the latest round of Associated Board of Music exams. For each candidate, be it for a Grade 1 or Grade 8 exam, there will be a series of aural tests to complete as part of the exam.

The aural tests exist because developing aural awareness is an important part of musical training. It is important that musicians are able to apply a ‘musical ear’ to all aspects of their learning and to their wider musicianship.

At Sedbergh, we are very fortunate to benefit from unrestricted access to an online resource that helps pupils prepare for these aural tests. E-Musicmaestro, which was a finalist for ‘Best Digital/Technological Resource’ at the Music Education Expo in London, is a structured training programme that the pupils can access from their own computer with hundreds of practice questions as well as sources of advice that help to build confidence.

We have been using the resource for over a year now to complement the training that pupils receive from teachers, and initial studies suggest that the average mark in the aural test section has risen by 20 per cent.

Follow Sedbergh: