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Course Information - Arab Music

The Academic Music Programme is structured in a way that tailors to the specific educational needs and age of our students. Our courses cater for students from 6 to 18 years of age. These courses are ideal opportunity for students who have a passion for music and want to play Arab musical instruments. Our main objective is to inspire the next generations to preserve Arab musical heritage.

The programme is designed for students who are serious about studying music and for those who are trying to pass a performance entrance exam in order to study in specialized or higher institutes of music internationally. The programme in the Arab Music Department is based on the instrument, Western theory and solfege, Arab maqam, jawqa/Arab choir, percussion and takht or instrumental ensemble.

The programme is set into 6 levels divided into 2 phases:

Preparatory (1-2) and Basic (1-6)

Admissions process

Preparatory Level 1 & 2

This phase is an introduction to the Arab Music programme, and is for students aged between 6 and 8 years old. It aims to prepare students to join the following grade levels by teaching them theoretical and practical lessons covering rhythm, tempo, melody and music shapes.

Preparatory Level 1 (6 to 7 year olds)

The instruments offered for Preparatory 1 are kaman, Arab violin (group lesson) and Arab percussion (individual lesson).

At the end of the academic year, parents will be invited to meet with the Head of Department to discuss their child’s Preparatory 2 instrument recommendation (which will be based on their teacher’s feedback).

This level covers the following lessons:

Students in Prep 1 can choose from the below instruments offered:

Preparatory 2 (7 to 8 years old)

Students enrolled in preparatory 2 will choose from the following instruments: ‘ud, nay, kaman (violin), qanun, Arab percussion (Tabla, Riq Daf and Tar), this level covers the following lessons:


Basic level (Level 1 to 6)

These levels are an intensive academic programme for children who are aged between 9 and 16 years old. Students must be committed to studying music and diligent in their daily practice.

Levels 1 to 6 are part of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) theory exam. Students in the Arab music department must sit for the ABRSM exam in March of every year. Students who pass the exam will get a certificate from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. . Exam fees should be paid separately.

This stage consists of the following:

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

This level is designed for students aged between 14 to 16 years who have spent 5 to 7 years in the Academic programme. This level concludes the previous levels. It may continue over two years depending on the student’s prior knowledge and experience. Students will have the choice to continue to attend western theory classes, particularly if they are thinking in pursuing a musical career, or for students who are interested in studying music at university level. Students who are only interested in learning the instrument can skip the theory class and attend the followings:

Music Technology Class

The course will focus on the main functions and features of Pro Tools 9 software. Students will learn to record their instruments, use MIDI sequencing, audio editing and create loops. Student will be able to start a new session and finish with bouncing their music to wave or MP3 files. The course will also cover basic Finale 2012 software function. Students are expected to be able to write and print their music sheets.

Assessment and certification in the Arab Music Department


Sharqiyyat Practical Exam: The Sharqiyyat practical exam is for all students in the Arab Music Department who have completed 18 months of instrumental tuition. The exams are held in two sessions during the academic year; the first in December and the second in May. The instrumental teachers will be providing the grade levels for the students. The examination includes set repertoire pieces, maqam drills and sequences, in addition to sight-reading requirements. Students of all levels should prepare one piece from each list A, B and C mentioned in the curriculums in addition to some mandatory pieces. The panel will choose which pieces the student will play. If the student is in the Music for All Programme and would like to sit for Sharqiyyat practical exam they’ll have to get approval from their teacher. Certificate and upgrade level is awarded subject to the student fulfilling theory, instrumental and performance criteria.
  • Students perform regularly on recitals and concerts throughout the year both individually and in their retrospective ensembles.
  • Students in the Academic programme receive a 2 in their final term reports

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