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#2266364 - 04/24/14 11:05 AM Adult intermediate level question - what to do?  
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Spuds Offline
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Hi. I am not sure if this is the right forum but thought you experts would have advice. I am an adult, and quit Grade 8 Royal Conservatory / Canada system, a billion years ago, ha, ha. Now, I have been playing for fun for years, but I would like to get back into more serious playing, and perhaps even challenge the Grade 9 RCM material. But, I have no piano teacher in my small town that teaches to this level. All I would really like is to be able to say that I can play at an RCM Grade 9 level. I know there is a Leisure Player exam in the UK but is there something like this in Canada? Any suggestions on how I can obtain some kind of "certification" in leisure play if I don't take the whole RCM curriculum? Hopefully this makes some sense..... Thanks

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#2266379 - 04/24/14 11:40 AM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Spuds]  
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Peter K. Mose Online content
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Never heard of the Leisure Player designation, but there's nothing to stop you from taking a Grade 9 RCM piano performance exam. Or Grade 8. If you don't pass, no one has to know, and you are free to try again - as many times as you like, until you pass.

But more important than being able to say what your level is, or getting a piece of paper, would be playing the piano for true enjoyment. Dust off your skills, and move forward with classical repertoire. A teacher would help. Commute a longer distance to find him/her. Maybe just see them once or twice a month.

#2266381 - 04/24/14 11:44 AM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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This might be an ideal application for Skype.


gotta go practice
#2266398 - 04/24/14 12:15 PM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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Thanks for the quick reply. The only real reason for wanting an official level is for my current position, part-time elementary music teacher. There isn't another teacher here in my small town that has a music background and so I am it, ha, ha.

#2266429 - 04/24/14 01:41 PM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Spuds]  
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Peter K. Mose Online content
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Why would it matter? You're already teaching. Just keep at it. Does someone want to unseat you?

If it's official you want, then you had best do the theory and history exams as well as a playing exam. It might take you a couple of years. I wouldn't bother.

#2266574 - 04/24/14 07:07 PM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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Well I only have my Grade 7 RCM and no other musical training, so I am always thinking that anyone who comes along with a stronger academic music background would "beat me" in any future competitions for employment. My current position is only part-time and so far only for this year. Lots of others looking to get work at the school here so just trying to improve my chances. Had also thought of taking University Music courses but that would have to be on-line. Thanks for the reply.

#2266656 - 04/24/14 10:19 PM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Spuds]  
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TimR Offline
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Originally Posted by Spuds
Well I only have my Grade 7 RCM and no other musical training,


Then I retract my Skype suggestion.

I think Skype might be a good way of improving your piano skills, but that's not really what you need now.

You're teaching general music without a background in it, and I'm not so sure that playing better piano is going to help. For the sake of the kids you are teaching, you should try to broaden your skill base. For that you don't need a higher level piano teacher. You need some general music pedagogy classes and some ensemble experience, among other things.


gotta go practice
#2266769 - 04/25/14 07:54 AM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: TimR]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Spuds
Well I only have my Grade 7 RCM and no other musical training,


Then I retract my Skype suggestion.

I think Skype might be a good way of improving your piano skills, but that's not really what you need now.

You're teaching general music without a background in it, and I'm not so sure that playing better piano is going to help. For the sake of the kids you are teaching, you should try to broaden your skill base. For that you don't need a higher level piano teacher. You need some general music pedagogy classes and some ensemble experience, among other things.


I'm inclined to agree here, I think having a degree in music education will carry a lot more weight than getting further in RCM. Of course, by going to a college for music you will also be able to take private lessons. Does your rural location prevent you from attending a college or university?

When teachers get degrees they are often eligible for higher pay, so that might be something to look into even if you have to drive quite a bit to make it happen.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#2266814 - 04/25/14 10:09 AM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Morodiene]  
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Hi. Thanks for the reply. To be clear I do have actually two university degrees, but neither is in Music. Part of my job is part-time Music teacher. So I just thought in lieu of additional music courses, (which I would have to access by distance) that my piano background, theory etc would help me for next year. Unfortunately many of my Province's Music teachers do not have an academic music background. One year you might be teaching music but the next year you are teaching Kindergarten, or in Senior/Junior High, English / Computers, or whatever else they assign you. My specialty is science/social studies and not music at all, smile

#2266838 - 04/25/14 11:14 AM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Spuds]  
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I just don't see how increasing either your piano performance skills or your knowledge of arcane music theory concepts will help you teach elementary school music.

Isn't there any way to do additional study on those specific areas?

Be a cheerleader, not a coach.


gotta go practice
#2266848 - 04/25/14 11:31 AM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Spuds]  
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I am not exactly sure what the issue is here.

It sounds like:
You wish to be well qualified in order to keep your job. Unless you have to re-apply every year, I don't know why your employer would be looking at other candidates.

Are you hoping to continue teaching music and wish to be more competent or would you prefer to work in your fields of science and social studies?

If you want to be able to state truthfully "I play at level 9" for whatever reason, then work on that.



Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2266957 - 04/25/14 02:13 PM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: malkin]  
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My goal is to take a number of elementary music workshops/courses over the next few summers, but in my spare time I was wondering if my getting a higher level of certification in RCM would assist me in future employment. This "gig" is part time, and temporary but you never know about upcoming years. Just trying to keep my options open and make use of existing skills/training, and will work on upgrading elementary music in my summer spare time.

#2267229 - 04/26/14 03:48 AM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Never heard of the Leisure Player designation, but there's nothing to stop you from taking a Grade 9 RCM piano performance exam. Or Grade 8. If you don't pass, no one has to know, and you are free to try again - as many times as you like, until you pass.
. . .


It sounds like that's worth trying. I don't remember the exam fee (I took my last RCM exam about 30 years ago), but I don't think it's very high.

Pick some repertoire, and start practicing . . . Is there a theory requirement as well?

"Self-taught" isn't easy, but it's possible.

. Charles


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2268332 - 04/28/14 07:11 PM Re: Adult intermediate level question - what to do? [Re: Charles Cohen]  
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Spuds Offline
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Thanks for the advice.

Last edited by Spuds; 04/28/14 07:11 PM.

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