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From time to time AMEB (NSW) sends examiners to private studios to examine students. This policy ensures that examinations are conducted in a safe and suitable environment.
Before scheduling an examiner to a private studio or school, a timetable of four hours (or six hours on a Saturday) of examining per instrument category, or speech and drama, must be in place.
When using private studios
Candidates, accompanists, parents and visiting teachers must respect the facilities at the private examination studio. They should:
- wait quietly in the area directed by the host teacher or the host’s representative
- leave the premises upon completion of examinations and
- not interrupt examinations in progress.
Learn more about requesting a venue for an exam.
Studio inspections and feedback
AMEB (NSW) examiners submit a Private Studio Report to the AMEB (NSW) after each examination day. Private studio owners must address any issues identified before scheduling further examinations.
AMEB (NSW) reserves the right to inspect the studio to ensure that it continues to meet the criteria.
- The studio must be set up at least 30 minutes before the start time of the first examination
- The host (or host’s representative) will meet the examiner and escort them to the examination studio
- Teachers are not to discuss their students with the examiner
- Recording of any part of the examination is not permitted under any circumstances
- Notes, cards, gifts or other tokens are not to be offered to visiting examiners. They will not be accepted under any circumstances.
- Timetables must not be changed on the examination day. An AMEB (NSW) examiner may mark a student ‘absent’ if they do not attend at their allocated time.
- If teachers need to rearrange a candidate's examination time, they must contact the AMEB (NSW) office at least five business days before the examination date.
- Teachers or studio hosts are NOT to make contact with examiners regarding timetables.
Criteria for Use of private studios
Private studio owners/managers must:
- complete the Private Studio application form and
- meet the private studio minimum standards.
Exceptions to the Private Studio Policy criteria may be considered if requested at the time of enrolment.
Private studio minimum standards
Examination room must be:
- Clean, tidy and comfortable
- Well ventilated with suitable heating/cooling
- Well lit
- Free of disturbance from external sounds, such as students warming up in other rooms
- Have no visible access from other rooms.
It must also have a performance space of adequate size for the syllabus being examined. For example, a piano studio must be at least 3 metres x 4 metres. Other instruments, voice and speech and drama examinations will require larger spaces.
Easy access for disabled persons should be provided at the venue for the use of:
Venues should also have access to:
- Onsite parking or free untimed parking within walking distance
- Public transport for metropolitan studios
- A separate waiting area with seating for candidates and accompanying persons
- Clean and accessible toilet
- Hand-washing/drying facilities including disposable paper towels or a separate hand towel for the examiner
- Tea/coffee facilities for the examiner
- Lunch venues nearby
Venues must be able to offer a piano:
- In good condition with an even and responsive touch
- With a standard size keyboard
- Tuned within one month of the examinations to C=522
Digital pianos may only be used for Level 1 piano examinations:
- P Plate Piano
- Grade 1-4
A firm, stable chair or piano stool, preferably adjustable, must also be provided.
A solid desk/table for the examiner to write on:
- must be at a reasonable height and size (90cm x 60cm)
- have a clear working surface (free of table cloth, vases etc)
- card tables are not acceptable
A chair for the examiner:
- must be a suitable height to the desk/table
- preferably adjustable
- garden chairs are not acceptable
- A stable adjustable music stand for instrumental and Voice candidates
- A suitable chair for the page turner
- A suitable chair for instrumental music candidates or Speech & Drama candidates
- A suitable sound system that has been tested and is in working order
Furniture arranged appropriately for the instrument being examined:
Piano: examiner must have a clear view of the candidate’s hands and the keyboard
Other instruments and Voice:
- Candidate: must have eye contact with the accompanist
- Examiner: must have a clear view of the candidate.
Speech and Drama: examiner must have an unobstructed view of the candidate/s.
Health and safety
- Emergency exits marked and clear of any obstacles or debris
- Provision of a First Aid kit
Private studio owners are responsible for ensuring they have:
- current Public Liability Insurance policy
- for a minimum of $20 million.
This may be included in their house insurance policy.