Aural Training For ABRSM

The ABRSM practical music exams are available worldwide for a wide range of instruments and singing. They are graded from 1 through to 8. Grades 6, 7 and 8 carry points which are accredited toward UCAS points in the United Kingdom.

The exam has four sections:
  • scales and other technical exercises
  • prepared pieces
  • sight reading
  • aural test

    The aural tests account for a possible 18 marks out of a total of 120, but really they contribute far more than 12% of your score, because good aural skills also reflect in your playing and enjoyment of music.

    Musicians learn aural skills from all kinds of experience with music and from their teachers. But as the saying goes...” practice makes perfect!” and Hofnote aim to let students practise more. You need to have someone play the piano and ask you a question to practise for your aural tests, but now instead you can use this site.

    Hofnote want you to be confident as you enter your exam.

    What is Aural?
    Aural training is essential for developing the skills you need to play or sing with understanding. It develops the link between the technical and intuitive sides of music. There are two aspects to it:

  • The ability to hear and visualise the detail while listening to music, making the link from intuitive to technical. For example, listening to music and being aware of the things that make music work.
  • The ability to imagine sound when seeing written music, making the link from the technical to the intuitive. This enables skills such as sight reading and sight singing.

    Musicians with good aural skills are more able to communicate effectively and perform better. The Hofnote training system makes it easy for students to work at their own pace to consolidate their skills.

    Hofnote provide exercises for you to use for practise.
    Where we can, we give you instant feedback on how you are doing, and a chance to learn if you got the answer wrong.
    These exercises play a piece of music and then ask you to select the right answer or sing the part.
    We are not able to score your singing responses because microphones vary too much in quality.
    If you would like to try some demos go to the Courses and Demos tab at the top.

    Once you are enrolled onto a Hofnote course you can use any computer connected to the Internet to log in and do your exercises.

    Your teacher will be able to see how you are getting on if you decide to link your enrolment to them.

    How accurate is Hofnote?
    We are constantly upgrading the exercises, and put a premium on maintaining accuracy. Hofnote also have the site audited externally. This was the auditor’s report after reviewing all the exercises..

    Audit results from Anthony Whittaker, Pianist, Teacher, Examiner and Adjudicator: “Hofnote is a clearly thought-out and invaluable learning experience for music students of all ages and abilities. With the help of this site, instrumentalists and singers should be much better prepared for the aural test section of their examination. Good aural skills go beyond the exam room though. Hofnote will also help you to develop as a musician too!” - Anthony Whittaker, Pianist, Teacher, Examiner & Adjudicator.