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Drastic measures for drastic times I guess.


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Here’s the link to the RCM website with Covid-19 updates about the exams:

https://www.rcmusic.com/learning/examinations/spring-2020-exams-update#panel-298

There’s an option to postpone. I’m not signed up for the spring exam but I don’t think I’d want to do a practical exam via Zoom. Lessons, ok, but not an exam.


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
It's what my teacher said last night. I know it's crazy and defeats the purpose. I guess it's so they can print it out ahead of time and have it ready. Otherwise, it would probably take too long to print out on the spot (assuming they have a printer), or try to use a phone/tablet to read it.
I told that to my 8-year-old student this morning during his lesson, and his response was, "That's not fair!"

Aside from that, how can you assess musical nuances like tone quality and dynamic shading through Zoom???


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
It's what my teacher said last night. I know it's crazy and defeats the purpose. I guess it's so they can print it out ahead of time and have it ready. Otherwise, it would probably take too long to print out on the spot (assuming they have a printer), or try to use a phone/tablet to read it.
I told that to my 8-year-old student this morning during his lesson, and his response was, "That's not fair!"

Aside from that, how can you assess musical nuances like tone quality and dynamic shading through Zoom???

I don't disagree with you at all there smile That's something the new teacher is working with me on and I still suck at, but it's getting better. Hard to undo old habits. I've been spending more time practicing on acoustic as well. I think that will help.


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Yes drastic times. Zoom doesn't capture the nuance or even the actual sound you're making as you play. At my university we have moved all our courses online and we're asked to be super flexible to just get the students through the semester. In some ways I feel like I'm encouraged to just give them the "pass" so no one is stressed any more than necessary. Perhaps this spring's exams are like a pass/fail. If you show up and appear to complete the exercises, you did it.


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I think the only decent way to get a decent sound with these apps is if it's coming straight from the piano to the camera via cable (such as an xlr connection.)... otherwise, you're always gonna get some sort of interference and not capture it the way it was played.... that is if you're on a digital.... with an acoustic it's a different story


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I have an RCM exam question. My teacher has been emphasizing the period of the piece and how it would have sounded as it was played. For instance, Burlesque in G Major would have traditionally been played on a harpsichord and would sound more "plucky" than the piece is written. She asked me to shorten the baseline to be more true to the sound expected:

How it is written (sort of): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44USVq5hXek


How she asked me to play it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnRKxlU7vWI


Which of these is more "right" for the exam?


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Originally Posted by oBreak
I have an RCM exam question. My teacher has been emphasizing the period of the piece and how it would have sounded as it was played. For instance, Burlesque in G Major would have traditionally been played on a harpsichord and would sound more "plucky" than the piece is written. She asked me to shorten the baseline to be more true to the sound expected:

How it is written (sort of): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44USVq5hXek


How she asked me to play it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnRKxlU7vWI


Which of these is more "right" for the exam?


Second sounds more "right" to me. My teacher literally just told me a few weeks ago about this and has taught me the technique to do that. Something like a flick of the wrist. The first version is too legato.

If you want to do well on your exam, your playing should emulate the way the official RCM recordings sound. If you have the RCM repertoire book, there should be an access code at the front or back cover.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 04/15/20 03:00 PM.

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Sorry, I clearly misread your post. You were asking about baseline, i.e., left hand. I was referring to the right hand when I was saying flicking of the wrist. However, I do agree that the left hand should be more detached.

Keep in mind I am the blind leading the blind. LOL. eek So you may not want to listen to me and hope someone with many more years of experience will drop in and provide some good advice!

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 04/15/20 03:09 PM.

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I vote for playing it the way your teacher thinks you should play it. The examiners are themselves piano teachers and piano professionals. They aren't going to mark you down for playing it the way your piano teacher has taught it as they themselves will be aware of those different performance styles. They are looking for other thinks when they listen to you play.

BTW, my RCM examiner wasn't even sitting close to me or watching my hands - he judged my playing largely by ear, I believe.


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To those that have sat the RCM exam before, after the exam, do we get some kind of paper certificate in the mail that says we completed the exam, or do we just get the online report card? Thank you!

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 04/24/20 01:45 AM.

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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
To those that have sat the RCM exam before, after the exam, do we get some kind of paper certificate in the mail that says we completed the exam, or do we just get the online report card? Thank you!
I only got an online report card. But I didn't look further online and nothing was ever physically mailed to me, not even the report card. Good question though, is there a piece of paper we can print out?


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You should get a certificate, I did for 3 and 5. I'm still waiting for Level 6 to be sent though, and I took that last August. Maybe something has changed.


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I only got an online report card. But I didn't look further online and nothing was ever physically mailed to me, not even the report card. Good question though, is there a piece of paper we can print out?


Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
You should get a certificate, I did for 3 and 5. I'm still waiting for Level 6 to be sent though, and I took that last August. Maybe something has changed.

Thanks to you both. I did it in January, after both of you, so if you didn’t get it yet, I shouldn’t expect to get it yet either. However, bSharp(C)yclist, for you it seems like an awful long time?

For me, maybe Covid19 might’ve slowed the mailing? I’m going to call next week to see if policies have changed.


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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
You should get a certificate, I did for 3 and 5. I'm still waiting for Level 6 to be sent though, and I took that last August. Maybe something has changed.
Thanks to you both. I did it in January, after both of you, so if you didn’t get it yet, I shouldn’t expect to get it yet either. However, bSharp(C)yclist, for you it seems like an awful long time?

For me, maybe Covid19 might’ve slowed the mailing? I’m going to call next week to see if policies have changed.
An 8 month delay in mailing suggests to me it isn't coming and as you mentioned, policies may have changed. I'd be curious when you call if they tell you a certificate is available online somewhere for you to printout yourself?


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
An 8 month delay in mailing suggests to me it isn't coming and as you mentioned, policies may have changed. I'd be curious when you call if they tell you a certificate is available online somewhere for you to printout yourself?

I’ll keep you guys updated as to what I find out.


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I emailed them, I'll let you know what I hear. For the other certificates, they came about 4 months after I took the exam.


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I emailed them, I'll let you know what I hear. For the other certificates, they came about 4 months after I took the exam.

Thanks for the info.


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I do have a question for those that took the online theory test, instead of in person. The in person test I had scheduled for May will convert over to the online one. I'm wondering what the format is? I think they will send something to me in May and then I have about 2 months to finish.

I was planning to take the piano practical exam in August, but I wonder if that will happen. Might get delayed until later in the year.


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I was planning to take the piano practical exam in August, but I wonder if that will happen. Might get delayed until later in the year.

My teacher doesn’t think the August exam will be back to normal because either things will still be closed or there will be a surge of examinees due to those who postponed from spring. She actually suggested I should consider postponing, especially if I didn’t want to do it online. Which is fine. I will just start on material for the next grade before I do the exam.


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