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Hi all,

I'm doing some research on technique systems used across the world and need some help getting more info. All I know about directly is RCM, as I am an ARCT graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music based in Toronto. We have Conservatory Canada as well, but as far as I can tell in 10 years of teaching is that very very few are using this system compared to RCM.

Beyond this, I know only about the ABRSM system, which AFAIK is based from the UK? For some reason, I got the impression somewhere along the way that this system was also widely used in the US.

For the ABRSM system, can anyone point me to where I can find the complete technical requirements for each grade exam?

Otherwise, what are the other big systems (if any) in the world, and where can I get their technical requirements lists? Thanks in advance.

PS: Hopefully I don't have to buy more books just to get these lists, I had to buy the RCM piano syllabus but as an RCM teacher I should have had one by now anyways!

Last edited by kcoul058; 08/30/12 02:32 AM.
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You can find the ABRSM syllabus online.

There's also Trinity Guildhall which can be sourced online too.


Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata
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What are these systems for anyway? Are they a part of each conservatory? Is it a separate requirement, or just part of the school systems' curricula?

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RCM is part of the Royal Conservatory of Music which is in Toronto. Conservatory Canada is from Alberta I think... ABRSM is from London and Trinity Guildhall is from a college of music in London.

They run local and international exams too which are open to all students who learn how to play an instrument and are defined as graded exams, some are part of the school's curricula as well. What each requires of the student is quite different though. RCM is very different from Trinity and ABRSM, I was and am under that system even though I'm live in Singapore cause I studied overseas.

oh yes and I missed out info about the German system since my teacher studied there in the past, i don't know if it has changed. She said they don't really have a syllabus like we do where we pick rep from, rather for those who study at the music schools there they will do for example: one semester of Czerny, another of Bach...so on so forth

Last edited by pianist.ame; 08/29/12 11:35 PM.

Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata
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Is possible with the ABRSM exam to pass directly to the highest level? Meaning without takeing exams 1-8?. Can someone just take the 8th exam to receive full certification?


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Nope, you must take the Grade 5 exam


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That's Grade 5 Theory Exam. If you want to go past Grade 8 exams, ie. Diploma etc, you may need Grade 8 practical.

But for Trinity Guild Hall grades, you don't need to meet Grade 5 Theory criteria.

Originally Posted by pianist.ame
Nope, you must take the Grade 5 exam

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yup
'ABRSM: Grade 5 (or above) in Theory of Music, Practical Musicianship or a solo Jazz subject'



Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata
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Ok, so my point being here, is that are the vast majority of people worldwide studying for piano practical exams that have technique components, studying via either RCM or ABRSM? Are there any other popular examination systems besides these two?


Last edited by kcoul058; 08/30/12 02:35 AM.
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Originally Posted by pianist.ame
You can find the ABRSM syllabus online.

There's also Trinity Guildhall which can be sourced online too.


Thanks pianist.ame.

Anyone know about the difference between the ABRSM 2011/2012 and 2013/2014 piano syllabus versions? When does the 2013/2014 piano syllabus become enforced as the syllabus from which examinees must have their requirements prepared?

Also, how popular is the Trinity Guildhall examination system? Would you say there are hundreds or thousands of examinees for piano each year?

Last edited by kcoul058; 08/30/12 02:38 AM.
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Originally Posted by kcoul058
Ok, so my point being here, is that are the vast majority of people worldwide studying for piano practical exams that have technique components, studying via either RCM or ABRSM? Are there any other popular examination systems besides these two?



Actually RCM is not used worldwide but only in canada however it is similar to the National Certificate exam in the U.S.


Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata
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You're welcome!
Originally Posted by kcoul058
Originally Posted by pianist.ame
You can find the ABRSM syllabus online.

There's also Trinity Guildhall which can be sourced online too.


Thanks pianist.ame.

Anyone know about the difference between the ABRSM 2011/2012 and 2013/2014 piano syllabus versions? When does the 2013/2014 piano syllabus become enforced as the syllabus from which examinees must have their requirements prepared?

Also, how popular is the Trinity Guildhall examination system? Would you say there are hundreds or thousands of examinees for piano each year?


Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata
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Originally Posted by kcoul058
[
Anyone know about the difference between the ABRSM 2011/2012 and 2013/2014 piano syllabus versions? When does the 2013/2014 piano syllabus become enforced as the syllabus from which examinees must have their requirements prepared?
[...]


That information is available on the ABRSM website; why not go there and find out first-hand for yourself?

Regards,


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Originally Posted by pianist.ame

Actually RCM is not used worldwide but only in canada however it is similar to the National Certificate exam in the U.S.


That's not quite true. RCM is offered in the U.S. They recently partnered with Carnegie but the exams are the same in the U.S. as in Canada.



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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by kcoul058
[
Anyone know about the difference between the ABRSM 2011/2012 and 2013/2014 piano syllabus versions? When does the 2013/2014 piano syllabus become enforced as the syllabus from which examinees must have their requirements prepared?
[...]


That information is available on the ABRSM website; why not go there and find out first-hand for yourself?

Regards,


Ahh I see the answer in the FAQ, it's until May for the UK and Ireland, and a full year of overlap for all other countries. Thanks.

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Originally Posted by pianist.ame
Originally Posted by kcoul058
Ok, so my point being here, is that are the vast majority of people worldwide studying for piano practical exams that have technique components, studying via either RCM or ABRSM? Are there any other popular examination systems besides these two?



Actually RCM is not used worldwide but only in canada however it is similar to the National Certificate exam in the U.S.


Interesting, it appears to be more than just similar, it is seemingly identical. I might have saved some money just downloading the National Certificate piano syllabus instead of buying the RCM syllabus, but still it's good to have a paper copy on hand, and who knows if there are minor differences that aren't apparent at first glance!

Still, they have identical grade structures for Prep. A and B, Grades 1-10, and the Associate exams for Performers or Teachers.

I also noticed that RCM added a Licentiate exam at some point, seemingly only for Performers. I am interested to take that exam myself if I can work out my RH tension issue.

So to wrap up, I guess that the aforementioned systems represent what the majority of English-speaking countries are taking worldwide? I guess in the US, people are taking a mix of ABRSM, RCM or National Certificate exams, whereas in the UK and Ireland almost everyone is taking ABRSM or Trinity Guildhall. I wonder about Australia, South Africa and New Zealand!

Anyways, unless anyone knows of more info. on the topic not already present here, thanks to everyone for their help in greatly furthering my initial research.

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Originally Posted by kcoul058
I wonder about Australia, South Africa and New Zealand!
AMEB is widely used in Australia.


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Many education institutes and exam boards are coming to this part of the world for the fat meat*!

* Kids need extra-curricular certificates to enter into good schools. So many tiger/helicopter moms and dads.

ABRSM (UK);
Trinity (UK);
Shanghai Conservatory of Music (China);
Wiener Musik-Prüfungskommission (Vienna Music Exam Board) (Austria);
Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada) (but not very successful)





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There's also a Yamaha music exam system (but it is not quite popular in my country)...

http://www.yamaha-mf.or.jp/english/edu_system/grade.html (english; simplified content)

http://www.yamaha-mf.or.jp/grade/index.html (japanese)

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Originally Posted by currawong
Originally Posted by kcoul058
I wonder about Australia, South Africa and New Zealand!
AMEB is widely used in Australia.


Doh, AMEB only has a paid book to get the syllabus (I'm mostly interested in the Technical Requirements for each grade...)

Maybe I can convince my friend in Australia to mail me a copy of the syllabus, this is good to know, thanks!


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