The first ever Grade 8 in traditional Scottish music on the clarsach was achieved (with merit) by one of Karen's pupils Aoife MacLeod from Skye. Aoife is a pupil at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music, based at Plockton High School where the Trinity Guildhall exams took place. The new JAG clarsach syllabus features 4 pieces or sets of tunes, technical work which has been specially developed by Karen for traditional playing, and standard supporting tests of sight reading and improvisation.
Another new exam development was Performance Recital certificates, a post grade 8 qualification which was undertaken in Highland pipes, fiddle, accordion and group work. Karen worked closely with Nick Keyworth from Trinity Guildhall in developing these exams and next year it is planned to also include Gaelic and Scots song, flute/whistle, cello and guitar and piano accompaniment.
The Herald covered this story on 17 June 2008 (see external link).
New article: 1st July - Hi-Arts Website feature on the development of these exams.