music exam

Having a professional music certificate is a rewarding experience” Shosanya 2020

First and foremost and with humility, I am delighted to have been bestowed this opportunity to share my experience with you and talk on this interesting  topic Music Professional Examinations and their Relevance Today.

I will start by asking a question “Are music professional exams relevant today?” My answer is YES.

Now, Let us imagine ourselves as a teacher or student and ask this question – what really is the role of professional exams especially in this 21st century?  There are a few salient points to consider which I will deal with in the course of this lecture.

Moving on, there are some few questions that comes to mind in this contexts;

“What is the reason for professional exams?” “As a music teacher, do I need professional exams?” “Where can I work with my professional exam certificate?”

Now, permit me to say that as a music teacher or student, It is important we build our professional skills and explore more on theory and practical aspects of music. The situation of our country and parents are certificates conscious and value any one with requisite certificates.

READ ALSO: How To Play Musical Instrument on All Keys in 5 Steps

Professional music certificate is recognized all over the world. It is one of the ways to connect with the music bodies as music educators.

Shosanya, 2020


The relevance of professional music examinations cannot be overemphasized especially as a music teacher because most employers will likely demand for them.

Professional music examinations are relevant especially in this age. As a music teacher we need to be skilled and be qualified to teach in any school – either private or government.

1. It boost your credential

Let me use myself as a practical example, in the course of my teaching either at home or online, 85% of parents while interacting with me, will ask about my qualifications. I guess it may be because of my fee. This suggests that your qualifications and professional music certifications will boost your credentials and invariably affect the premium value of your training charge.

2. It gives you added advantage during interviews

Let me quickly bring your attention to this salient point. Being a qualified music teacher with professional certificates is a plus for you during interviews or while planning to teach anywhere. I stand to be corrected.

As a music teacher apart from being competent, we should also strive to have certificates and develop ourselves. We should invest more in buying of books and taking exams not because it’s a must, but to challenge ourselves and be in the present at the moment.

3. It gives you a professional status

Having a professional music certification would simply imply that you are a professional musician. This is especially true since it would require that you must have enrolled in some professional courses, written and passed the certification examination before being awarded the required certificate. This places the musician on a professional level different from just any musician with a skill or talent. Having a music certification gives and accord a professional status to musicians.

4. It prepares you for the next level of study

Having a professional music certification has now become a requirement for several further studies in the music profession. This is also true with wriring some other professional music examinations. A typical example is that, to qualify for the MTNF/MUSON Diploma program, a minimum of Grade 5 MUSON certification or ABRSM equivalent is required.


There are a handful of professional music examination bodies globally. We have various boards that conduct professional music examinations namely; ABRSM, TRINITY, MUSON, LCM, Rock School for contemporary music art, to mention a few. These bodies are highly regulated in maintaining standards in music education.

These music professional examination bodies provide carefully structured syllabus requirements, progressive goals to work towards, an objective evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses in a learner’s performance and recognition for achievement.

Let me also point out that your university certificate in music isn’t enough. Taking the banking sector for example they ask for ACIB (Associated Chartered Institute of Bankers), ICAN  – Institute of Chartered Accountants in Nigeria to  mention a couple. These are professional bodies in banking industry so there’s nothing stopping us from having same in music.

My advice to all is that we should encourage ourselves to exhibit innate talents and know when to write these exams. We should be fully prepared physically and mentally. I stand corrected but some teachers don’t believe in all these professional exams. Let us change this mindset and look at it as an assessment of our performance and plan to improve on whatever comments we have. I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to have a professional certificates exams but I think it helps us study, read and practice. Keep preparing and set a specific goal, it could be seen as a milestone to greater achievement.

I also encourage us all to take either teaching, instrumental, performing or professional courses as this will help foster our teaching and performing skills.

Article by Shosanya Babatunde

Shosanya Babatunde is a Choir Master and Organist. He holds
M.A (Music Edu), M.A (Theory/Composition), B. Sc (Hons), P.G.D.E (Music Edu), P.G.D.E. (NTI) Dip. Music, I.G.C.S.E Music Examiner.

Photo Credit: Dayne Topkin from StockSnap

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