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Which exam do your students take? #1632278 03/03/11 09:08 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 158
Gisele Offline OP
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I have 2 talented students who I'd like to have tested sometime this year. (Both of them started taking lessons in September. One is 7 and the other is 8.) Which exam do you prepare your students for?

(I am still a relatively new teacher so any advice is appreciated!)

Gisele


Gisele Sum, gsum82-piano@hotmail.com
Piano and Theory Teacher
Principal Church Organist and/or Choir Accompaniment
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Re: Which exam do your students take? [Re: Gisele] #1632675 03/03/11 04:59 PM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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My students participate in the National Piano Playing Auditions sponsored by the National Guild of Piano Teachers. It's a bit late in this season to enroll, but you, as a teacher, could enroll now and begin to learn the process so your students could participate next year. It's fairly rigorous.

Our MTNA Adjudications process begins this month, so that's out the window as well.

There are some other programs around, but I cannot speak authoritatively about them. You should join your local Music Teacher's association so you can be informed about what's happening locally and regionally in upstate NY. And I wouldn't be surprised if Eastman had some program you could participate in.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Which exam do your students take? [Re: Gisele] #1635546 03/07/11 10:25 AM
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samasap Offline
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My Students sit exams for The Associated Board of thee Royal School of Music and Trinity Board.

Re: Which exam do your students take? [Re: Gisele] #1635607 03/07/11 11:49 AM
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Minniemay Offline
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California Certificate of Merit.


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Re: Which exam do your students take? [Re: Gisele] #1635846 03/07/11 04:37 PM
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Luke in ChiTown Offline
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Hi Gisele,

I really like the curriculum of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. It is by far the most widely used assessment program for developing musicians in Canada. The examinations are now available here in many states as well. In this country, it is referred to as the National Music Certificate Program. Some thoughts about this program...

1) I really like the wide variety of repertoire. You can use selections contained in the series "Piano Perspectives", or you can draw from a large number of additional pieces from the syllabus. I think the "Piano Persepctives" books are great for most students as their primary lesson books once they are out of the methods.

2) Technique, sight-reading, and ear-training are all a part of the examination requirements. In general, I find our American students are more likely to play at a high level, but be lacking in these musicianship skills. Knowing that it is part of the examination helps keep me focused on including these skills in the lessons week in and week out.

3) The theory examinations are extremely tough, especially at the higher grade levels. In fact, I know teachers who refuse to get on board with this program because they think the theory tests are too demanding. Again, compared with international students, I would say that many US students studying music in college are considerably deficient in their theory backgrounds. (I know that I was!)

4) This is a very professionally run program. The standards to which the examiners are held is very high and they undergo continuing training to insure that students are receiving judgement under a uniform criteria, whether they are in New York City or the corn fields of Iowa. Students receive exam scores that actually mean something.

It can be very daunting to start with this program, and by all means I would encourage you to have students participate in more accessible programs like the Guild auditions or the NFMC festivals. But I would seriously give the National Music Certificate Program some serious thought. Maybe just starting out with one or two students in the early grade levels, and working from there. You can get some basic information on the program on their website at http://www.nationalmusiccertificate.org. I'm happy to try to answer any questions you might have.

Best of luck,
Luke

BTW, a supposedly big announcement is going to be made at the MTNA national conference in Milwaukee at the end of the month regarding the NMCP... Could be interesting.



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Re: Which exam do your students take? [Re: Gisele] #1635887 03/07/11 05:26 PM
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ll Offline
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I use RCM, CM, and Guild. More advanced and promising students participate in more than one, if their parents choose so (which most do!).

While I agree with Luke's post for the most part, there is one thing I disagree with:

"wide variety of repertoire"

The variety of repertoire is actually SEVERELY lacking, and in my opinion, has too many random 20th century composers I can't get students interested in. The syllabus is limited in that respect - it may give a seemingly large selection of repertoire to choose from per level, but the choices are ridiculous sometimes. Not to mention, many of the study pieces (2 required at almost every level) that must be played as well as the repertoire choices are very random and I don't see merit in many of them.

However, as only the very promising and hard-working students will take it, I'm pleased to deal with that for the other factors: intense theory when we get to that point, and a strong focus on musicianship as well.


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I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.
Re: Which exam do your students take? [Re: Gisele] #1636076 03/07/11 10:30 PM
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musiclady Offline
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One level lower than you think they would do well at. For most kids with a good degree of natural ability studying that long, sometimes introductory, usually Level 1, occasionally Level 2 or even 3 if the student is particularly good. (I've had a few of that type!) Especially if their technical elements or sight reading is not up to par.

Meri


Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com
Re: Which exam do your students take? [Re: Gisele] #1636398 03/08/11 08:40 AM
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Gisele Offline OP
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Thanks everybody. I'll check into each of the options. I'm not sure who's more nervous though-the students or myself!

One task which will be difficult is moving the students from the popular series used now (Faber and Faber) to the official book of exam music. I am using the books from the Royal Conservatory with 3 adults and all of them find it very challenging.

Gisele


Gisele Sum, gsum82-piano@hotmail.com
Piano and Theory Teacher
Principal Church Organist and/or Choir Accompaniment
Re: Which exam do your students take? [Re: Gisele] #1636478 03/08/11 10:37 AM
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Minniemay Offline
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You do not have to move exclusively to those books. Keep using your course of choice and add in the exam material.


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
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Re: Which exam do your students take? [Re: Gisele] #1636552 03/08/11 12:13 PM
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Pete the bean Offline
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I teach pop/jazz lessons and I do not find the standard classical education curriculum prepares students well for entry into the commercial/jazz music education system or just playing in a high school band.. So I have completed 4 grades of my own exam material.

It has been a lot of fun and hard work writing pieces and preparing the backing tracks. The tracks really aid with feeling the pulse and learning to be part of a group. I get to tailor the technical requirements so they prepare the students for improvisation.

My students are given a choice to do other material. It sure feels good when they say they prefer to work my material.

I hire a colleague to examine so the students get an unbiased evaluation.

Last edited by Pete the bean; 03/08/11 01:07 PM.
Re: Which exam do your students take? [Re: Pete the bean] #1640769 03/14/11 12:55 PM
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Karisofia Offline
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Gisele,

No need to transfer out of Piano Adventures at this point. This series is represented at the earlier levels (1-2B) in the syllabus (Exam levels: Preparatory A & B). Faber & Faber level 3 has at least one Grade 1 piece. The Developing Artist Series also has some of the pieces. You just have to compare with the syllabus.

I will agree with the "wide variety of repertoire"--especially when compared with ABRSM that offers about 6-8 pieces per category. My students often like the 20th century pieces. Upper levels appear to be very standard repertoire.

The etude selection is somewhat limited, and for that reason may appear random. (How does one pick among the 3.5 million studies out there?) I do not find them to be pointless. And there is an option to replace one with "Teacher's Choice" using any appropriate repertoire. Certain popular music is even acceptable!

I do not limit this program to only my highest producing students. It has served equally well to challenge the average (or under-average) student to continue making progress.

Find someone familiar with the program to help you transition into it. And feel free to contact me or post questions here. (I log in sporadically.) You will not regret using the program.


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