Ukulele grades

(It’s important to point out that the music for a grade test will be printed in black and white, so pupils will need to have made the transition to reading notes without colours. Check out the Rainbow Ukulele Black and White Tunebook #1 and #2).

The ukulele is still something of a newcomer on the music education scene, but yes, there are grade tests for ukulele! Several of the smaller exam boards have developed their own syllabuses. Here are some more details and links, and some idea of how the Rainbow Ukulele books fit in. 

MTB (Music Teachers Board)

As the name implies, these tests are teacher-administered and teacher-assessed. The teacher submits a recording of the tests and MTB moderates them to ensure consistent standards (see comments about Music Medals above).

For Ukulele, MTB has two pre-Grade 1 levels called Introductory and Higher, and then tests for Grade 1 up to Grade 5. Pupils would be ready for Introductory towards the end of Rainbow Ukulele Book 1, Higher by early in Book 2, Grade 1 by the middle of Book 2 and (probably) Grade 2 by the end of Book 2.

MTB publish their own booklets for each grade. They also publish lists of alternative pieces in case pupils are working from other books – and I am delighted to say that there are some pieces from Rainbow Ukulele on their lists!

Nationwide Music Exams

Nationwide also offer two pre-grade tests (Foundation 1 and Foundation 2), and then grade tests up to Grade 8. You can opt to do a traditional test with an external examiner, or you can do a performance assessment. The performance assessment is not strictly a grade test but uses material from the same syllabus – the pupil is filmed playing the pieces during a music lesson, and the clip is then submitted to the exam board and assessed by expert examiners.

RGT (Registry of Guitar Tutors)



RGT publishes its own exam booklets for Initial Grade and then Grades 1 – 4. Each booklet contains a number of Rhythm Studies (chord strumming exercises) and Melodies, along with a number of other tests. There is a choice between doing a traditional style test with an examiner, or a Filmed Performance Test which can be done during a music lesson.