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AP Music Theory to RCM

Posted By: MadLad0913

AP Music Theory to RCM - 08/14/19 03:27 AM

What is the equivalent level of AP Music Theory to RCM Theory? I'm thinking about doing level 8 this year, but if AP Music Theory can transfer credit to me for my RCM exam, I will just do AP next year (I'm a Jr. in HS right now).
Posted By: BruceD

Re: AP Music Theory to RCM - 08/14/19 04:36 AM

First, you have to compare the material covered in AP Music Theory to the various examinations in theory that the RCM requires at its various levels. Presumably you know that there are progressive requirements for RCM theory from
- Rudiments (Levels 5, 6, 7 and 8 (basic, Intermediate, Advanced)
- Harmony (Level 9)
- Harmony and Counterpoint or Intermediate Harmony (Level 10)
- Harmony and Counterpoint or Advanced Harmony plus Analysis (ARCT diploma level)

If the Syllabus https://www.rcmusic.com. (enter "theory requirements" in the search box) doesn't answer your questions, contact RCM with your questions.

Regards,
Posted By: BruceD

Re: AP Music Theory to RCM - 08/14/19 04:54 AM

Once you have established equivalencies (for Level 8, you say) - if there are any with AP Theory - then would you not have to consult with your school's advisor to see if you can get credit for your RCM theory? We don't know your school and what the requirements might be or what they might accept in lieu of those requirements.

It would seem to me that if you are doing theory for RCM level 8, which is Level 8 Theory or Advanced Rudiments, that might not be the equivalent of AP Theory; that's something that you need to find out.

Regards,
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: AP Music Theory to RCM - 08/14/19 06:38 AM

AP and RCM are completely unrelated. There is a large section of overlap, but then they go in different directions. Both are very difficult for different reasons.

My guess is that nothing will transfer as far as credit is concerned. However, having prepared for one will definitely help you prepare for the other.
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: AP Music Theory to RCM - 08/14/19 02:55 PM

A related topic is the value of AP Theory to American high schoolers considering conservatory. While all theory exposure is helpful, every music school has a certain way they do things, and it is better not to try to "AP out" of the first theory courses, which lay the groundwork for the more advanced ones.

(This is especially true for schools that covertly indoctrinate undergraduates into The Cult of Schenkerian Analysis, but that's another topic. ha )
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: AP Music Theory to RCM - 08/15/19 05:45 AM

Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
A related topic is the value of AP Theory to American high schoolers considering conservatory. While all theory exposure is helpful, every music school has a certain way they do things, and it is better not to try to "AP out" of the first theory courses, which lay the groundwork for the more advanced ones.

(This is especially true for schools that covertly indoctrinate undergraduates into The Cult of Schenkerian Analysis, but that's another topic. ha )

I've been helping many of my piano students with the AP Music Theory test which, in my opinion, bears very very little resemblance to what actually happened during my undergraduate classes.

But, more pragmatically, most students who take AP Music Theory do not end up being music majors, anyway. Most kids take the class to boost their over-inflated GPA and then get an easy 4 on the test to "look good" on the college resume. And if they were really going to major in music, most schools have a placement test for that kind of stuff, and entering Freshmen get placed in the proper class.
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: AP Music Theory to RCM - 08/16/19 06:37 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano


But, more pragmatically, most students who take AP Music Theory do not end up being music majors, anyway. Most kids take the class to boost their over-inflated GPA and then get an easy 4 on the test to "look good" on the college resume. And if they were really going to major in music, most schools have a placement test for that kind of stuff, and entering Freshmen get placed in the proper class.


And then, while giving them credit hours for Theory, colleges still make the non-music majors take Music Appreciation as a "core" requirement.

Eons ago, nobody I knew in music school had taken AP Theory, and the kids who had taken private piano lessons generally knew enough to place in the 101 level class instead of the "remedial" 100 one. I remember my piano teacher working with flute and clarinet players intending to major in music: they tended to have a lot of trouble with inverted chords. 😁
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