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RNIB Braille Music Certificate

Braille sheet music

The RNIB Braille Music Certificate is a braille course that is aimed at sighted learners such as parents, teachers and teaching assistants who support individuals using braille music and have completed the RNIB Certificate in Contracted Braille (UEB).

A secure knowledge of print stave notation (suggested ABRSM Grade 5 level) is necessary for this course.

The course covers most signs required up to GCSE level. It consists of a year of self-study, with tutor-marked assessments and an exam at the end and is one of the most well recognised certificate courses in music for blind and partially sighted people.

Note: This is a follow-on course from the RNIB Certificate in Contracted Braille (UEB). As a result, students must have completed the RNIB Certificate in Contracted Braille (UEB), preferably with a grade C or higher, before enrolling on this course.

Download the enrolment application

Course content

Students receive all the materials and tuition needed to complete the course.

The course includes the following:

  • Braille music notes and rests
  • The octave sign
  • Key signatures, accidentals, and time signatures
  • The slur, tie and other phrasing marks
  • Dynamics and expression
  • Nuances and accent signs
  • Doubling
  • Print section endings and their repeats
  • The Braille repeat
  • Irregular note grouping
  • Ornaments
  • Chords
  • Fingering
  • In-accords
  • Stem signs
  • Common music layouts
  • Miscellaneous items.

It does not cover any of the following:

  • Material covered in the RNIB Certificate in Contracted Braille (UEB) Course
  • Other music notation not listed above. Please refer to Krolick, B. [ed.] (1996) New International Manual of Braille Music Notation for information on signs not covered
  • Exam-specific information. Please refer to the document G021 Braille Music and Unified English Braille on the UKAAF website
  • Skills in teaching braille to blind individuals.

Enrolment dates

There are two starting dates for the course each year: 1 February and 1 October. The closing date for receipt of applications for each intake is 23 January or 23 September respectively. Any applications received after these dates will be held until the next enrolment deadline.

Course structure

This correspondence course consists of four self-study units, each of which is completed with a tutor-marked assessment. The final examination tests all the skills learned during the course.

Students should be aware that each unit could involve up to 30 hours of study, although the actual amount of study time will vary from one student to another. Three months are allocated for the completion and assessment of each unit.

All four assessments must be submitted for marking by the date specified and must be completed to progress with the course. Each assessment contributes up to 10% of the final grade, with the exam making up the remaining 60%.

Tutorial support will be available to provide feedback and advice by email or telephone.

What you will need for the course

All learning materials are provided by email (compressed/zipped files). Sighted learners are expected to read braille by sight rather than touch and most of the course material will be in print format.

All students are expected to have access to a computer/printer and will be provided with a link to download the free Perky Duck software to complete their brailled assessments. An email account is required for the submission of the assessments.


The cost of the course is £150 per person.

How to enrol

To enrol on the February or October intake of the RNIB Braille Music Certificate course, please Download the enrolment application and complete the application form and return it to our address below.

Completed application forms should be sent to:

Racheal Jarvis, RNIB, 1st Floor, Midgate House, Midgate, Peterborough, PE1 1TN

Or email your completed form to [email protected]

Terms and conditions

  • Applications will be acknowledged within two weeks of receipt.
  • Fees must be paid prior to the start of the course and no course materials will be dispatched until the receipt of payment.
  • RNIB reserves the right to impose a charge of £75 for places cancelled after the application deadline of the course.
  • Students are required to complete the course assessments within the given timeframe. Extensions will only be considered if made in writing and will not be granted for periods longer than three months. Only one extension will be permitted on the course. If, due to extenuating circumstances, a longer period away from study is required, application in writing with supporting evidence must be made. Reasons might include:
  • Serious personal illness (or serious illness of an immediate family member)
  • Bereavement
  • Maternity/paternity leave
  • It is not possible to extend registration on the course because of other reasons such as pressure at work, moving house, etc.
  • RNIB accepts no responsibility for the free software provided, this is installed at the user's own risk. RNIB provides no technical support for this software.
  • Except in the case of fraud or personal injury resulting from an act or omission by RNIB the maximum liability of RNIB to the student shall be capped at the price you have paid for the course and in particular RNIB shall not be liable for any indirect, economic or consequential loss the student may suffer.
  • Training materials provided are copyrighted and are for the student's personal use only.

Music Certificate Re-take

If you've completed the full RNIB Braille Music Certificate and wish to re-take the exam in order to pass or improve your grade, we offer a re-take option.