The NMSM provides two levels of Liturgical Organ Accompaniment assessment:
This is a fundamental assessment at Grades 5-6. Candidates are expected to play four hymns from a set list covering all seasons of the church's year plus two voluntaries.
An introduction, first verse and last verse are required for each hymn and the last verse may be a variation. Candidates also select from the same set list and play three suitable pieces.
The hymns and pieces do not need to reflect the same choice. There is a viva following the assessment.
Candidates will need to apply for a guidance pack, which includes all the necessary information, advice and an application form.
Candidates are also required to register as a subscribing member of the School prior to, or at the same time as submitting an application for assessment.
This diploma is not assessed at a service. It is the candidate's choice if he/she wishes to invite a group of singers for the hymn accompaniment.
The diploma is usually conducted at an NMSM centre (in the UK). However, candidates may elect to be assessed at a church of their own choice. In this case, it is the candidate's responsibility to secure the necessary permissions for us to attend and carry out the assessment.
An additional charge will need to be negotiated between the candidate and the School in respect of any travelling required by one of our assessors to the candidate's church.
There are no written requirements or ear tests for this assessment.
2. ANMSM Diploma in Liturgical Organ Accompaniment
Candidates of any denomination can enter for this assessment. Our scheme is focused around pipe or digital instruments, but not keyboards or pianos.
The School recognises the wide variations in patterns and forms of worship and seeks to assess and support candidates on an individual basis in their own church, where there may or may not be a choir or strong musical tradition.
The purpose of the assessment is to recognise achievement by candidates in supporting and providing good levels of musical accompaniment, appropriate to the requirements of the candidate's church.
The assessment looks at every aspect of pre-service, incidental, and post-service music - hymns, hymn accompaniments, anthems etc. There is no set grid for this assessment, but a comprehensive report and advice will be sent to the candidate following the assessment. There will be a short viva voce following the service.There are no written requirements or ear tests for this assessment.
Candidates are advised that it is their responsibility to secure the necessary permissions for us to attend and carry out the assessment.
We wish to stress that an assessment at a public service of worship is conducted in as discreet a manner as is possible.
We do not wish to engineer a church service into a public examination. It is our intention that the candidate, although being assessed, focuses on the worship, rather than the assessment.
Our role in this scenario is to recognise, advise, and comment on the candidate's ability to fulfil his or her role as a church musician.