Junior RIAM Assessments in 2021

It is important for RIAM young musicians to set goals and celebrate their achievements. Assessments are an important part of that journey.

2021 is an extraordinary year, as COVID-19 requires planning that involves social distancing.

Therefore, a number of different assessment options will be available, allowing teachers and students the freedom to select a pathway which best matches their individual needs at this time.

These choices are based on the recommendations of the RIAM 175 Working Group as part of a wider review of the RIAM curriculum and will evolve in the coming years.

The underlying principle is that assessment will be ‘formative’ (conducted during the learning process) and ’summative’ (evaluating achievement at the conclusion of an instructional period).

The following structure aims to give teachers and students freedom of choice for this year:

1. Young Artists Programme (formerly known as the Young Scholar Programme)

Formative assessment – a preparatory meeting followed by a year-end review of targets set and achievements made between the student, teacher and Head of Faculty.

Summative assessment - A Performance Portfolio which includes evidence of performances such as Feis Ceoil, other competitions, recordings, solo recitals and concerts.

2. Levels 9, 10 and advanced levels 1,2 & 3

This group will undertake a similar means of assessment to the Young Artists.

3. Levels 1-8 Students

Formative Assessment - Feedback Week. 

This will take place again this year from 19 - 24th April 2021, giving students and parents the opportunity to reflect on the year and set goals for the future. An important part of this is the use of RIAM Practice Journal developed by Vourneen Ryan. This helps students and teachers alike to set goals, chart progress and address any areas which may require additional attention.

Summative assessment – exams.

There are two choices for this group:

* Participation in a RIAM Local Centre Exam in the Christmas or Spring sessions.


* Participation in an internal RIAM assessment using the existing curriculum (see below). Submission of pieces and scales will be done online, with the teacher giving a mark for sight-reading based on continuous assessment.


* Current Young Scholars and any student who is accepted onto the Young Artist Programme for 2021/22 will be exempt from further assessment.


* Any student taking Junior Cert or Leaving Cert state music exams in 2021 is exempt from assessment.


*New students are on a probationary year for their first year and are exempt from assessment.

4. Musicianship Exams

The written paper will take place in the usual format, with viva-voce and dictation done in class by way of continuous assessment.

5. Scholarships

These will be awarded as follows:

Young Artists Programme awardees will receive an automatic scholarship.

Advanced students will be offered the option to nominate a performance, competition or recital to be assessed for purposes of awarding scholarships. This must be communicated to the Junior RIAM office at least two weeks beforehand by the student and supported by the teacher

For other students marks from RIAM Exam or Internal Assessments will be reviewed and combined with a teacher’s mark. The highest qualifying students will be awarded a scholarship and in the case of a tie, the award will be shared. Any Junior or Leaving Cert student who chooses be exempt from assessment will not be eligible for a scholarship this year. New Students who are exempt from Assessment will not be eligible for a scholarship this year.

For more details on this, please contact the Junior RIAM team.

Annual assessment curricula for internal assessments for all instruments and voice are available to download below.