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Re: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: Amy B] #2064975
04/15/13 11:59 AM
04/15/13 11:59 AM
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Students (kids in particular) often need the motivation of an exam or deadline in order to get the work done. It's easier for adults to appreciate that the whole point is to become a better musician but many kids are not really interested in this. They want to be better than their peers and also want recognition for their work in the form of certificates and good grades. Right or wrong it's the way that education seems to work these days.

Parents are obsessed with comparing their kids to others. Now I'm not a parent so I don't fully understand it but most are only interested in pushing their kids through these graded exams as fast as possible. I'm always being asked when X will be taking their next grade. Maybe they like to boast about it to friends and neighbours or maybe it's all about getting value for their money, who knows?!

As a teacher I don't see any harm in graded exams or competition in piano playing. It's not the be all and end all and it's important to include other things in your teaching but it can serve a purpose and works well for many students. From a business perspective if I were not to offer these exams to my students I would soon find that most would go elsewhere.


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Re: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: keystring] #2065004
04/15/13 12:55 PM
04/15/13 12:55 PM
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AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by keystring
what do the test scores of somebody in the Yukon have to do with anything? What for?

Well put.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: AZNpiano] #2065038
04/15/13 02:14 PM
04/15/13 02:14 PM
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Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
what do the test scores of somebody in the Yukon have to do with anything? What for?

Well put.

What do the scores in Orange County have to do with the scores in San Fransisco? Why have tests at all? I believe Chris made some good points.

Do students go on to college? Do colleges, as a basis for admission, like to evaluate what and how a student has spent her years of youth and what they've learned? Could a standardized evaluation help in that regard?

For my students, though, it's mostly about having an annual goal. It's provides a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. I have an young 5th grader announce to me just a few weeks back that she wanted to go for the next higher level. We reviewed together what this would entail for practice, repertoire and performance. Her lessons have improved considerably. That seems to me sufficient reward.


"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: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: John v.d.Brook] #2065051
04/15/13 02:53 PM
04/15/13 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook

What do the scores in Orange County have to do with the scores in San Francisco? Why have tests at all?


I have already written the reasons for tests. When you have a large number of students such as in a classroom, you need to have a way of assessing whether what you are teaching is coming across. When you have an institution such as a school system, there are other reasons for the tests.

Otherwise, indeed, why have tests at all? I agree.

Quote

Do students go on to college?

I have two family members who entered music at the college level. The admission of both of them was based on their auditions, interviews, and tests administered by the college.

As an educator and as a student, I look at learning and anything that helps learning. That is the POV I tend to come from. If tests serve a purpose in learning, which can be extrinsic motivation, then there is a reason for them. Nonetheless, I don't see a purpose to comparing states and such. Therefore if a particular system doesn't do so, I don't see that as necessarily a detriment. If you care about comparing, then of course it is important.

Re: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: AZNpiano] #2065052
04/15/13 02:53 PM
04/15/13 02:53 PM
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Vancouver BC
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The Monkeys Offline
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
what do the test scores of somebody in the Yukon have to do with anything? What for?

Well put.


This has been debated to the death grin

Tesing, is a tool, and as many tools, it is a double edged sword. Testing exists for a reason, and it all about how to use it. You can benefit from it, or you can get killed by it.

It reminds me this thread : Parent requests testing

The discussion went on to the debate of "product vs process", which was interesting.
I would like to highlight what Kreisler said, as I couldn't say it better.

Originally Posted by Kreisler
I don't understand the idea of product *or* process. Both are important. One is not more important than the other because the two are linked.

You can't have a journey without a destination, nor can you have a destination without a journey. To believe otherwise is folly.

What we're really talking about is flexibility in the expectation of the destination. We could set a destination as a goal - "Perform Bach F Major invention this November." Or we could let the journey determine the destination - "We'll play whatever we have in our fingers this November."

There's a danger in both extremes, too. If we never set goals for ourselves, our journey starts to become meaningless. If all you do is stop and smell the roses, even the most beautiful roses become commonplace. Landmarks are important. Even Zen Buddhism and Yoga have goals.

Likewise, setting unreasonable or unhelpful goals can be equally dangerous. We can set ourselves up for constant failure and create a great deal of anxiety.

I've met many people on both sides. On one hand, I've met people who quit lessons because they didn't feel they were progressing. After a year or two, they didn't feel there were any landmarks to punctuate the journey. (This is why, for example, the e-citals in the Adult Beginners' Forum are so popular. It gives people a goal and a community, some third party affirmation of what they're doing.)

On the other hand, I've met a lot of people who are terrified of performing and quit because they didn't feel they were "good enough." Some people have an attitude that says "if you can't excel, there's no point in trying." I disagree, there is a point in trying - we often surprise ourselves when we attempt to achieve something great.

I think part of a teacher's job is to manage that balance. Not downplay one side or the other, but learn to respect both the journey and the destination for what they are and what they can do for us.

Re: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: The Monkeys] #2065076
04/15/13 03:34 PM
04/15/13 03:34 PM
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Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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With regard to assessment, I suggest the terms "output" vs "outcome" are more relevant than "product" vs "process."


gotta go practice
Re: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: TimR] #2065094
04/15/13 04:23 PM
04/15/13 04:23 PM
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Posts: 16,332
Canada
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Originally Posted by TimR
With regard to assessment, I suggest the terms "output" vs "outcome" are more relevant than "product" vs "process."

Product and process are not related to assessment. It is a term I borrowed from Martha Beth Lewis, who wrote an article on it which I found quite enlightening at the time.

Here is the article

M. B. Lewis - "My Teaching Philosophy and How to Write Your Own"


Re: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: John v.d.Brook] #2065098
04/15/13 04:29 PM
04/15/13 04:29 PM
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Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
For my students, though, it's mostly about having an annual goal. It's provides a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

I agree with that.

I'm not against testing at all, or else I wouldn't be putting students in CM. I was merely comparing two of the exam systems that I have seen.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: keystring] #2065117
04/15/13 05:08 PM
04/15/13 05:08 PM
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Northern VA, U.S.
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
With regard to assessment, I suggest the terms "output" vs "outcome" are more relevant than "product" vs "process."

Product and process are not related to assessment. It is a term I borrowed from Martha Beth Lewis, who wrote an article on it which I found quite enlightening at the time.

Here is the article

M. B. Lewis - "My Teaching Philosophy and How to Write Your Own"



Thanks for posting the Lewis piece, Keystring. It's very perceptive and powerful.


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Re: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: keystring] #2065174
04/15/13 08:05 PM
04/15/13 08:05 PM
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Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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Virginia, USA
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
With regard to assessment, I suggest the terms "output" vs "outcome" are more relevant than "product" vs "process."

Product and process are not related to assessment. It is a term I borrowed from Martha Beth Lewis, who wrote an article on it which I found quite enlightening at the time.

Here is the article

M. B. Lewis - "My Teaching Philosophy and How to Write Your Own"



Outcome is product. Output is process.


gotta go practice
Re: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: Amy B] #2065438
04/16/13 09:23 AM
04/16/13 09:23 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
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Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Originally Posted by Amy B
My question would be if you have compared Guild, RCM, and ABRSM and if you have any advice about choosing one.

Thank you.

Amy

Returning to Amy's question, two other, down-to-earth and practical considerations:

1 - Do you intend to live out your life in California or if you and/or mister right have a job opportunity you just cannot refuse in some other state, are you likely to relocate?

2 - Are your students, for the most part, likely to remain in CA or are their families likely to relocate to another state during their school years?

In either case, choosing one of the national/international systems would seem prudent.


"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: Guild vs. RCM vs. ABRSM [Re: Amy B] #2065450
04/16/13 09:48 AM
04/16/13 09:48 AM
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Canada
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I didn't have time to respond or clarify yesterday.

Originally I was looking at a suggestion where one system was deemed better than the other because it allowed for comparing the exam results of students across a larger geographic area. It seemed to assume that it was important to compare results of exam results of students, and that it was important to do so across as large an area as possible. Why this would be needed is up in the air for me.

For the purpose of teaching someone to play music on the piano well (understanding of music, interpreting it, mastery of the instrument) I cannot see the above helping that. If it is important for parents, students and/or teachers to compare results, then it does matter. I think it is important to have an idea of your criteria, and why you have them. It is all too easy to just blindly fall into things.

There is a second thing that John mentioned in another post which involved universality across a region. This is something that I see as making a difference, especially since people don't stay in the same place their whole lives anymore. John mentioned the RCM in Commonwealth countries - that's what we have where I am.

Over here we have teachers having all kinds of approaches and methodologies, such as Suzuki, traditional, "Russian" - and a large number of them follow the RCM syllabus. In that syllabus you have certain milestones for each grade: technical skills, technique, repertoire by era and style, ear training, theory. Regardless of how it is taught, a teacher going along the syllabus will probably cover these things. That means that if a student goes to another teacher like when she moves, the next teacher has an idea that certain things have been covered. If they apply at college, there is also an idea of certain things having been studied. So I liked this idea of "universality" that John highlighted.

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