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#3065098 01/04/21 12:18 PM
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Has anyone used Rock School for piano grades for non classical studies? Does Rock School hold a good reputation? Such as, if you clear RCM or ABRSM those grades are reputable and if you clear the grade you really achieved it. Do non classical students still do RCM or ABSRM?

Thanks!

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Sebs #3065220 01/04/21 05:36 PM
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I don't do any exams but I looked at the Rockschool piano syllabus grade by grade and it seems to mirror the technical requirements of ABRSM. The required speed for scales & arpeggios are exactly the same but instead of doing classical scales you need learn pop/rock things such as modal scales and suspended chords. I haven't seen the pieces but I imagine they are all arrangements of pop songs suitable for the given level. The aural tests are the same as ABRSM. Sight reading is the same as ABRSM but additionally also has an improvisation component.

So IMO Rockschool grade ~= ABRSM grade, except that it's geared towards pop/rock/improvisational styles.

Sebs #3065235 01/04/21 06:13 PM
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That sounds fairly interesting to me so I took a look at it.
It seems like the progression through the various grades (at least after Grade 3) is primarily based on the number of sharps or flats in the key signature. Is that consistent with ABRSM?


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Qazsedcft #3065351 01/05/21 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
I don't do any exams but I looked at the Rockschool piano syllabus grade by grade and it seems to mirror the technical requirements of ABRSM. The required speed for scales & arpeggios are exactly the same but instead of doing classical scales you need learn pop/rock things such as modal scales and suspended chords. I haven't seen the pieces but I imagine they are all arrangements of pop songs suitable for the given level. The aural tests are the same as ABRSM. Sight reading is the same as ABRSM but additionally also has an improvisation component.

So IMO Rockschool grade ~= ABRSM grade, except that it's geared towards pop/rock/improvisational styles.

Thanks for looking and providing feedback. I have been drawn to the idea of exams as a way to measure progress keep on track, etc. I just toy with the idea though. But since I don't study classical I wasn't sure RCM or ABRSM is suitable.

Sebs #3065411 01/05/21 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
I have been drawn to the idea of exams as a way to measure progress keep on track, etc. I just toy with the idea though. But since I don't study classical I wasn't sure RCM or ABRSM is suitable.
As you're currently learning with a pop teacher who has his own ideas, I don't think a progressive step-by-step graded syllabus like the Rock School is for you, even if you're not thinking of doing its exams. You'd need to work with a teacher who knows about (and preferably, also taught) ABRSM/Trinity etc and has an interest in pop and improvisation.


"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."
bennevis #3065723 01/05/21 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Sebs
I have been drawn to the idea of exams as a way to measure progress keep on track, etc. I just toy with the idea though. But since I don't study classical I wasn't sure RCM or ABRSM is suitable.
As you're currently learning with a pop teacher who has his own ideas, I don't think a progressive step-by-step graded syllabus like the Rock School is for you, even if you're not thinking of doing its exams. You'd need to work with a teacher who knows about (and preferably, also taught) ABRSM/Trinity etc and has an interest in pop and improvisation.

Thanks for the clarification. I was thinking of Rock School just as a way to measure where I am at and to measure progress but sounds like it's not good for that.

Not sure I follow your last statement. Are you saying to sit for those exams you typically want a special teacher that focuses on exams? Such as, if you want to sit for grade 2 is all you do study grade 2 syllabus materials all year with a teacher that knows how to prep and study for it? If that's the case it's probably not for me at all as I really enjoy my lessons and plan to stick with teacher for a long time.

Last edited by Sebs; 01/05/21 11:44 PM.
Sebs #3065785 01/06/21 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Thanks for the clarification. I was thinking of Rock School just as a way to measure where I am at and to measure progress but sounds like it's not good for that.

Not sure I follow your last statement. Are you saying to sit for those exams you typically want a special teacher that focuses on exams? Such as, if you want to sit for grade 2 is all you do study grade 2 syllabus materials all year with a teacher that knows how to prep and study for it? If that's the case it's probably not for me at all as I really enjoy my lessons and plan to stick with teacher for a long time.
If you wanted to follow the syllabus for Rock School (and certainly if you wanted to do the exams), you'd need a teacher who knows about it and teach you what you to know for each grade. Like all such exams, they have specific requirements for each grade (which includes technique and aural skills) that you have to achieve.

No, you don't study for one exam for the whole year - you just need to work on the pieces you have chosen and ensure you have achieved the requirements for the other stuff. Look at its syllabus and see what they require from students, grade by grade.

When I was a student, I spent about two months a year to master the pieces and the scales etc. I never "practiced" sight-reading or aural skills - I've already mentioned on numerous posts at length on how I 'practice without practicing' them.


"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."

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