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Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: keystring] #2792142 12/16/18 07:01 PM
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Keystrings, thanks for stating there are not step-by-step guidelines, I always thought it was a guided progression since there are levels. I understand now where the teacher really has to have the expertise to guide the student.


Deb
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Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: DFSRN] #2792154 12/16/18 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Phlebotomist can be on the job training, there are tech schools that offer this as well for a period of months. Paralegal is an associate 2 year degree.

Dear DFSRN, this is all true only because of those professions took advantage of the technological progress that had happened over the XX century.

Imagine how much longer would the education of a phlebotomist take if they couldn't take advantage of the gamma-sterilized single-use-plastic syringes and would be only allowed to reuse glass syringes sterilized in the autoclaves. I would guess that a polymerase chain reaction test could be somehow retrofitted to the steampunk technology from the turn of 19&20 centuries. Only instead of a drop of blood and couple of days it would take quarter of a liter of blood and several months of hard work with glassware and blotter paper.

Imagine if the paralegals wouldn't be allowed to use the computerized word-processing & databases, even typewriters and would still have to write everything in longhand using quills dipped in the ink and memorize all the law information.

And this is what the organizations like ABRSM/RCM so unlike any other institution in the XXI century. ABRSM student can achieve 8th grade without writing a single bar of music of their own. If ABRSM would be teaching English that would be completely unconscionable if the student only knew how to quote scriptures. It still happens in the XXI century, but not for any of the Western languages. This is why I used such archaic words like occidental & oriental, because this forum doesn't allow the discussion of religions.

This is also what negatively distinguishes ABRSM/RCM programs from the normal, modern accredited musical schools like Berklee in the USA and various equivalents abroad. Somebody who takes "Piano and Keyboard" track there would have at the minimum at least passing familiarity with what the technology progress delivered in the keyboard instruments marketplace.

If an ABRSM/RCM graduate is aware of the modern keyboard technology that is despite their education not because of it. In the XXI century even very cheap synthesizers have features like arpegiattor and style-directed automatic accompaniment.

Do you think that a commercial producer or music director is going to hire an octet (8-piece band) if that is the standard feature of the majority of the modern synthesizers that can be easily directed by the left hand of a pianist familiar with the current technology? This would quite non-competitive in the marketplace. And the range of products supporting auto-accompaniment is from $200 entry-level portable keyboards to the $200,000 top of the range Disklaviers that feature entire acoustic grand piano. This is why the musician unions in the UK tried to have the government ban the synthesizers.

Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: 90125] #2792180 12/16/18 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 90125


This is also what negatively distinguishes ABRSM/RCM programs from the normal, modern accredited musical schools like Berklee in the USA and various equivalents abroad. Somebody who takes "Piano and Keyboard" track there would have at the minimum at least passing familiarity with what the technology progress delivered in the keyboard instruments marketplace.


You seem quite confused. Maybe it's the influence of the low gravity on Mars on your grey cells.

I thought I'd explained in depth - more than once - what ABRSM is all about (a classical graded syllabus & examination system for pianists and classical musicians), but evidently you haven't understood a word, and keep confusing it with a pop/rock/jazz program of instruction for keyboard players.

Never mind......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: DFSRN] #2792183 12/16/18 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Richrf, I am a somewhat confused about your statement. Even for a hobby, say golf, fishing, tennis or any sort of lessons, those industries or people are in the position to provide instruction either group or private and charge for it. I understand people make a living providing instruction, I understand when I hire them or attend the piano school that hires them, this a student - instructor relationship. I am not clear how money (or fee for services) changes that relationship because that is the way the system works for piano lessons. I really don't think anything about it, I pay by the semester and take my lessons.

Respectfully,


It becomes a business relationship, and people in a business relationship act in a business manner, i.e., with a eye toward increasing revenue and developing predictable cash flow. For example, I noticed how one particular music teacher would always pay special attention to child students, especially those who entered and win competitions, because this would increase hey visibility and desirability among other parents. Thus, the monetary value of students created a bias for her energy and attention. It's true same in all professions. Money gets the energy and attention.

As the Godfather said "It isn't personal, it's business". The exams are designed to appeal to those who want exams and grades That's all.

Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: DFSRN] #2792394 12/17/18 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Keystrings, thanks for stating there are not step-by-step guidelines, I always thought it was a guided progression since there are levels. I understand now where the teacher really has to have the expertise to guide the student.


Deb, I should probably qualify this, so as not to give the wrong impression in the other extreme. It's a bit dicey since my experiences were along violin, and here we're discussion piano, but maybe I can pull something off.

1) You do have progression along grade levels. In one grade you might play 1-octave scales at a lower tempo in an easier key, and in the next grade progress to 2 or 3 octave, at a faster tempo, and harder keys. Your music might be in the keys that you practised in technique. The pieces will get harder and involve more things. The first theory exam in RCM is around grade 4, so one might imagine a student is studying theory by then. In an ideal world, you don't discover that G major has one sharp with I IV V chords being G, C, D(7) only when you start theory: your teacher will make you aware of it as soon as you play your first piece in G major. So you see a certain amount of things building on each other in stages. A certain cohesiveness can be applied by an astute teacher, such as the example of G major.

I'd say also as a student, if you have the syllabus, you can start seeing patterns of what is being taught, how things interrelate, what some of the teaching aims are, and aim for them yourself. I bought the syllabus late in the game.

2) There are other aspects to music learning. For example, when you get that RCM gr. 1 or 2 piece, will you learn that it is in ABA form, with the A's repeating, and the B being the same thing but in a new key? Or some other pattern that will help you play it. Will you learn to chunk and divide up your music, for practising it? Will you learn that the chords you are playing in the G major piece are G, C, D7 so that it's not just one set of notes followed by more notes to "learn"? .... An etude mostly has the purpose of practising a given technique. Will your teacher systematically teach you the technique, so that you will be applying it to the etude - since that is its point? Or will you simply end up playing it like a piece of music, however you can get at it, or after a quick "copy me"? Certainly skills might be systematically built by the teacher - i.e. step-wise. These are not written out in the RCM material - it is expected they will be taught.

It is 2) that I was thinking of.

I haven't used method books, but I've seen examples. These do seem to teach some of the "stuff inside" as per 2). We also see where novices take a method book, go only after the pieces and scales, and ignore that side of it. So it being there doesn't mean it gets used. We also see where an explanation and instruction in a book might not be the best one, or might be a poorish shortcut. A good teacher might not want to use such a book, because he has something better in mind. He may choose something like RCM, ABRSM etc. because of how open-ended it is.

I have also had a chance to browse through a Suzuki book, maybe gr. 5. The piece I looked at also contained comments, explanations, suggested ways of tackling this or that section. I don't know how good or bad these are. The RCM contained only the repertoire, and the teacher was expected to teach as he saw fit. Since you have something that is organized into some kind of order, that goes a long way.

Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: Richrf] #2792416 12/17/18 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
..............
Hi,

In my experiences, money always changes the nature of a relationship in many ways. When it has to do with a career (subsistence), even more so. That is one of the reasons I try to avoid mixing hobbies with money.

.....................
Do you have a piano? Paint brushes? Paint? Did you make them yourself or did you pay money for them? If you paid money for them, were they ruined for you?


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Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: Stubbie] #2792426 12/17/18 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by Richrf
..............
Hi,

In my experiences, money always changes the nature of a relationship in many ways. When it has to do with a career (subsistence), even more so. That is one of the reasons I try to avoid mixing hobbies with money.

.....................
Do you have a piano? Paint brushes? Paint? Did you make them yourself or did you pay money for them? If you paid money for them, were they ruined for you?




I think you missed the point. Business aren't looking out for your welfare, they are looking out for their own. A business relationship is different from a friendship. If you choose to believe otherwise, go ahead.

The OP wanted to know what the RCM and likewise were all about and I gave my take. Putting Royal in their names is good marketing, but doesn't change their spots. There are no benefits to the student when they change their books every two years. They are only interested in maintaining cash flow.

Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: 90125] #2792488 12/17/18 06:15 PM
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Quote
Do you think that a commercial producer or music director is going to hire an octet (8-piece band) if that is the standard feature of the majority of the modern synthesizers that can be easily directed by the left hand of a pianist familiar with the current technology?


90125, it think of it as two different things, those that want the band effect without a band, and the other is traditional. It is almost like, those play the piano just learning chords or learn to read music. My teacher is also a drum teacher, he accompanies me at times when I play to learn how to play with other instruments. I do have a DP that plays different instruments, it is easier to play with that then a real live drummer. I also have a Yamaha YUS 5, there is nothing like playing on a nice instrument. the sound of a real orchestra or band, there is nothing like it. I think there is use for both, but nothing takes the place of hearing the actual instrument. Keyboards just do not compare to an acoustic piano and synthesized drums are just not the same as a live drummer. Technology has its place, but sometimes it nice to get back to basics.


Deb
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Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: Richrf] #2792490 12/17/18 06:21 PM
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Richrf, I am lost again. If I buy say level 2 book and play it, but the book is changed later, I would not go back and purchase it since I already completed that level. I would think from surveys from users and teachers books are changed to improve the curriculum. I know in colleges books are updated, some are for money, others are to keep pace with the times, new data, andfeedback from users. Just my thoughts.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: Richrf] #2792495 12/17/18 06:31 PM
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Quote
It becomes a business relationship, and people in a business relationship act in a business manner, i.e., with a eye toward increasing revenue and developing predictable cash flow. For example, I noticed how one particular music teacher would always pay special attention to child students, especially those who entered and win competitions, because this would increase hey visibility and desirability among other parents.


I sure this happens, but this is just wrong. I would hope the teacher would take more pride in their work than just for a check or exposure. I have been in several areas of nursing from patient care to administration. I have always looked out for the best interest of the patient and not their ability to pay. We are dealing with people, professionals need to have high ethical standards, unfortunately this does not happen all the time. I wonder if the others were charged less because the student did not receive "special attention."

Thanks for your comments.


Deb
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Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: DFSRN] #2792505 12/17/18 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Richrf, I am lost again. If I buy say level 2 book and play it, but the book is changed later, I would not go back and purchase it since I already completed that level. I would think from surveys from users and teachers books are changed to improve the curriculum. I know in colleges books are updated, some are for money, others are to keep pace with the times, new data, andfeedback from users. Just my thoughts.


Textbooks are updated to outdate old books. It's a simple matter of planned obsolescence. Technology has adopted a similar strategy though a bit more ferociously. All with the goal of ensuring regular cash flow.

However, if you wish to hold onto the concept of the benevolent business (or government), who am I to argue.

Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2792515 12/17/18 07:48 PM
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How often does RCM update its piano syllabus? I'm seeing 2015, 2008, 2001. Am I missing some in-betweeners?


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Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: Richrf] #2792516 12/17/18 07:50 PM
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This has been stated a few ways before, and I'd like to put it onto perspective too. smile
Originally Posted by Richrf
It becomes a business relationship, and people in a business relationship act in a business manner, i.e., with a eye toward increasing revenue and developing predictable cash flow. For example, I noticed how one particular music teacher would always pay special attention to child students, especially those who entered and win competitions, because this would increase hey visibility and desirability among other parents. Thus, the monetary value of students created a bias for her energy and attention. It's true same in all professions. Money gets the energy and attention.

In this particular topic we have the organization(s), and the teachers. The focus here is on the teachers.

People will practise any profession for a number of reasons, including just to make money. There are musicians who teach because they can't make enough money performing, and there are teachers who teach because that is what they want to do. Let's talk about the latter.

If you actually talk to teacher, you find a lot of them get motivated and demoralized by similar things. The teachers I talk to want to build their students' skill over time, help them to eventually enjoy music even after they leave them, because they have learned enough. When they can do that, it is motivating. They will run into students who have been forced to be there by their parents and don't want to learn; parents who don't cooperate by even buying their child an instrument; who interfere by "reteaching" or pressuring their child or making it impossible to practise. This is demoralizing. They may get adult students with unrealistic ideas who won't work with them, or who quit after a few weeks because they didn't realize how much regular work and cooperation it takes - that is also demoralizing to the wish to work with someone long enough, so the preference for child students can happen that way. This is one part of the story.

You have the surrounding market forces. Locally everybody might be competing for whose child can get through grade levels fastest with the highest grades in exams or biggest wins in competitions. If you teach solidly and well, you might be left behind with almost no students. Tongues may wag about you teaching "less well" because the customers don't understand how music actually works. Other variants of the same. You'll see teachers moan about "transfer students" who are the fallout from those trends.

A teacher who makes a living from teacher will have to accept students who don't want to learn, whose parents don't support their learning, who make teaching difficult - because if you reject too many customers you won't survive. This has nothing to do with ambition, though there are always the ambitious ones, playing that particular game. The dream is to have enough students so that you don't have to teach someone who doesn't want to learn. That is not the same thing as wanting to teach only "talented" students. In fact, in some quarters I've heard that talented students might be more complicated and difficult to teach in some ways.

This is a broad perspective of what I've seen.

For other professions, you will see craftsmen who cannot practise their craft according to the standards they would like to hold, which would give them pleasure, because of larger commercial forces that run the show.

Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: TheophilusCarter] #2792518 12/17/18 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
How often does RCM update its piano syllabus? I'm seeing 2015, 2008, 2001. Am I missing some in-betweeners?


Every 7 years.


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Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: TheophilusCarter] #2792519 12/17/18 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
How often does RCM update its piano syllabus? I'm seeing 2015, 2008, 2001. Am I missing some in-betweeners?

I'm not up to date either.

When I was studying the instrument that was done under RCM, that would have been roughly 2001 - 2007 (almost 2008). I did the theory exams I think in 2006 - intermediate & advanced rudiments in the same year. For the 2nd exam I had to scramble because they changed things - what was covered in the exams was expanded, and my theory book was outdated. I studied like mad for 2 weeks to catch up to everything I was missing. So there was some kind of change within that time frame.

I was doing harmony theory after I left, working with another teacher less formally on these things. When I transitioned to level 2 and went for the next book, I discovered it had changed again. I think it was a matter of catching up, rather than "to make money". The theory I studied initially was behind the times in a few ways. They introduced the "jazz chords" in maybe half a page, and awkwardly, seven chords were a few lines - everything was Roman Numerals. Music has moved beyond that some time ago.

The newest version in the 2nd harmony book I got added "jazz chords" and also movable Do solfege syllables in order to be able to follow melodic line. The RCM doesn't publish the books. The music store was a bit cheesed off, though, because they didn't know about the change until last minute, so they had lots of books from the old syllabus on their shelf which were now no longer applicable for preparing for the new exams (were one to go that route). The excellent Sclater series did not update, so I don't know what that did to them. I got a nice low price for book 2, however.

Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist] #2792526 12/17/18 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
How often does RCM update its piano syllabus? I'm seeing 2015, 2008, 2001. Am I missing some in-betweeners?


Every 7 years.

Thanks. FWIW, that seems pretty reasonable to me.


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Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: TheophilusCarter] #2792530 12/17/18 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
How often does RCM update its piano syllabus? I'm seeing 2015, 2008, 2001. Am I missing some in-betweeners?


Every 7 years.

Thanks. FWIW, that seems pretty reasonable to me.


I would agree, better than college textbooks, they come out with new versions each year I think smile

I wonder what RCM's process is then to decide what to add/delete/move. I suppose they take a look at what students played and how well they did. If they score too high, maybe they move it down a level ... no idea though. I know pieces have changed levels, according to my teacher.


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Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist] #2792534 12/17/18 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist

I would agree, better than college textbooks, they come out with new versions each year I think smile

laugh It depends on the discipline. Those pesky scientists are always updating things, but I teach philosophy, so I'm still using 2500 year old texts! wink
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist

I wonder what RCM's process is then to decide what to add/delete/move. I suppose they take a look at what students played and how well they did. If they score too high, maybe they move it down a level ... no idea though. I know pieces have changed levels, according to my teacher.

I came across something when I was searching yesterday about this, and I think they also put out surveys to get teacher feedback. That seems like good pedagogy to me.


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Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2792563 12/17/18 10:12 PM
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ABRMS just released their 2019-2020 book, obsoleting the 2017-2018 book. I thought I might mention this because it was mysteriously ignored.

When it comes to making money (and in some cases survival), people do what they do. I am just an observer learning from it all.

Re: A quiestion on ABRSM, RCM etc.: what is it for? [Re: keystring] #2792573 12/17/18 10:50 PM
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Keystrings, I agree. I had taught online nursing school for the RNs going to their BSN (bachelor's degree). Some were there because he/she wanted to obtain a BS degree, others because they were required to get a BSN to keep their job. 2 year RNs with only the associate degree would not have a job. There is a move toward the BSN and more hospitals are hiring BSN nurses only. I could tell a difference in the student who wanted to be there and the one that was there to keep their job.


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