Self Rating Guide

This self-rating guide is heavily based on that of the Viola da Gamba Society of America. In each category, circle the number beside the description that fits you best. Try to be really honest with yourself as you’re the only person who will see your answers. False modesty may have you placed in a class that bores you, and overconfidence may result in you holding back more advanced players. The clearer you can be about your skills, the better your class placements will be for you and the rest of the class.


  1. Select the self-rating guide that applies to you and rate yourself honestly. Add up your score.
  2. Check your score against the Rating chart below.
  3. Check the standard required for enrolment. If your score is too low, contact EMSQ or your local early music society in your state so that we can recommend a teacher who may be able to bring you to the required standard before enrolments close. Note: there are limits to numbers.
  4. Use the rating when filling out your enrolment form.
Rating chart
0-7 – B – Beginner
8 – 15 – B+ – Beginner plus
16 – 19 – LI – Lower intermediate
20-23 – LI+ Lower Intermediate plus
24-27 – I – Intermediate
28-31 – I+ – Intermediate plus
32-35 – UI – Upper intermediate
36-39 – UI+ – Upper intermediate plus
40-44 – A – Advanced
45-50 – A+ – Advanced plus

Minimum levels for enrolment

Minimum level for winds will be Lower intermediate.

Minimum level for strings will be around grade 5 or upper intermediate.

Minimum level for lutes will be intermediate.

The only beginner group offered will be for viols as we are encouraging people to take up this instrument.

Keyboard players for both harpsichord days should be approximately grade 5 AMEB or above.

Singers should be at least grade 5 AMEB and preferably above.

The reason for these minimum levels is that we do not have the finances, space or resources to cater for absolutely everyone, much as wel would like to. We want to allow as many people as possible to play together in diverse groups. We understand some people may be disappointed, but EMSQ (or your local early music society and teachers) should be able to assist you to improve your standard to take part in future workshops. We will have an auditing option and public concerts are open to all.

If there is one particular category on the self-rating score on which you fall down while being competent in others, you may wish to choose a class that might address your lack of skill in that area. If your score comes out at beginner or beginner plus, please note that only the viol workshop will cater for beginners.

Copyright EMSQ 2019