Putting performance first

Build authentic skills
Develop the skills that are specific to your instrument and authentic to the performer you want to be. A combination of bowing exercises and performance-led studies, along with orchestral extracts, develops essential and authentic skills and techniques progressively through the grades.

Explore diverse repertoire
Our strings specialists have developed wide-ranging repertoire lists, which now features more female composers and contemporary works. Pieces have been selected to develop expressive playing and instrument-specific techniques, and include a diverse range of styles and genres.

Benefit from industry expertise
Use the syllabus, supporting books and online resources, developed with prominent string players, to explore our exams and see where they can take you.

We offer Strings exams from Initial to Grade 8. The Initial exam acts as an introduction to the exam system for new performers.

The Strings 2020-2023 Syllabus

  • Wide ranging repertoire lists featuring diverse styles and showcasing more female composers and contemporary works.
  • Supporting a range of teaching approaches is at the heart of the syllabus, with pieces suitable for group and whole-class strings programmes plus works from books and pedagogies including Vamoosh, Stringsongs and Suzuki offered at early grades. Duets are now an option for Initial to Grade 3 for all bowed strings.
  • Instrument-specific technical work is a hallmark of Trinity exams. With a variety of options available, each individual learner can play to their strengths and build confidence in their technique. Orchestral extracts are now available for Harp for Grades 6-8.
  • A range of books is available including Take Your Bow for mixed-strings group teaching, with selected pieces featured in the syllabus. The repertoire lists also include items from Raise the Bar Violin, three volumes of favourite pieces from previous syllabuses, and Performance Edition: Violin, four books featuring previously unpublished pieces by contemporary composers.

Further information

Full details (including our procedures, syllabus requirements, what to expect, and what to bring with you) can be found in our Information & Regulations.

Information & Regulations

The Strings 2016-2019 Syllabus and overlap information

In response to the situation created by COVID-19, Trinity has extended the usual one year overlap between syllabuses during which time candidates may offer pieces and technical work from either the 2016-2019 or 2020-2023 syllabus, but not a mixture of both. This has now been extended to 31 August 2021.

There is no overlap for supporting tests, and the previous aural tests and improvisation tests can therefore no longer be used.

Strings 2016-2019 Syllabus overlap information


Keep in touch

Make sure you don’t miss the latest news from Trinity College London. Sign up for email updates about your subject area.