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Pikka Offline OP
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Hello,

Which one do you like more? ABRSM or RCM?

I am currently on Alfred Adult All in one level 2 and have been thinking of moving to an exam system - only for syllabus and structure. I do not intend to take exams. I would like to learn more Classical music and feel an exam system structure might be more enjoyable than the Alfred book.
Do you have any suggestions?

RCM consists much more repertoire, but do you study every piece in the book?
And ABRSM has very limited repertoire. Do you study only those pieces and then move on to next level?

And do you have opinion on comparison with overall cost for the two? (Excluding the exam cost).

Thank you so much!

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What costs? The cost should be minimal if anything. If you want to buy the Syllabus for each, they are available for purchase if you want a hard copy, but there's no need for that since the Syllabi are on line.

As far as RCM is concerned, the book for each level ("Celebration Series") contains only some of the pieces listed; the rest from the complete lists are either to be purchased individually or to be downloaded individually (if you want to study them). Just as an example; In RCM level 3, there are over 100 selections listed in the Syllabus; a few more than 20 are in the "Celebration Series" for that level. In the higher levels, there are over 300 selections available! You can buy the book for each level, but with much of the material available online, I don't see why you would. Except for modern compositions, most can be downloaded free from IMSLP.org.

There are so many pieces available in the RCM system at all levels that it would be pointless to think of tackling everything in the lists or everything in the published book for that level. With ABRSM, the selections are much more limited in number, as I recall; it's up to you and/or your teacher what you study from either program.

I don't know what you mean by "enjoyable." The Syllabus for RCM lists the pieces and the technical and other requirements for each (exam) level. It's matter-of-fact and straightforward. There is no instruction involved - or at least there never was, and I can't find any indication that that is so online - unless you study the various levels with a teacher.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by Pikka
Hello,

Which one do you like more? ABRSM or RCM?

I am currently on Alfred Adult All in one level 2 and have been thinking of moving to an exam system - only for syllabus and structure. I do not intend to take exams. I would like to learn more Classical music and feel an exam system structure might be more enjoyable than the Alfred book.
Do you have any suggestions?
Either would be fine for developing all-round classical skills.

Choosing which one is a moot point as you're not doing exams, as they are very similar (if you bear in mind that ABRSM grade = RCM x 0.8). Don't forget it's not all about the pieces (plus studies for RCM) that you learn - it's all the other stuff too: scales & arpeggios (N.B. not all at once but more added gradually at each grade), aural skills and sight-reading. And music theory - again, commensurate with each level. Not all at once: no point learning stuff you won't be encountering or using for several years. Much better to properly assimilate each and everything you learn, because you're playing it and using it, rather than as an abstract theoretical construct (like learning E=mc2 without understanding how you could use it in practice, nor its implications).

When you've forgotten all about the pieces you once learnt at each grade/level (like I have: I can't remember a single piece I learnt for any of my grade exams, nor even for my diploma exam - I just wanted to keep moving onward and upwards as my skills improved, and go on to pastures new: classical music is inexhaustible that way), you'll find yourself using more and more of all those other skills that you've developed as part of keeping up with the syllabus grade by grade. Like having the aural skills to pick out the harmony parts of Allegri's Miserere or pop bands like ABBA, and singing along (should you wish to accept the mission), or just supplying the harmony to a melodic line, should you be called upon to do so in an impromptu sing/play-a-long with a long-lost relative you've just found via FB; or being able to sight-read a Christmas song you've never heard or knew the existence of until someone plopped the score on the music rest before you could say: "Now, I'll take some requests" after a few too many vodka martinis and Joplins.

Quote
RCM consists much more repertoire, but do you study every piece in the book?
And ABRSM has very limited repertoire. Do you study only those pieces and then move on to next level?

And do you have opinion on comparison with overall cost for the two?
You shouldn't stick just to playing pieces used in exams for either board. Think in terms of having three pieces on the go at any one time, in different styles, at different levels of completion, and as you finish with one, start a new one. Don't stagnate on any one piece, even if you like it very much - you can always find more, and you can always return to it at any time, and play it better when you have better skills. (My experience when I was a student at your current level was that I soon lost interest with an old favorite when I discovered and learnt a new one.) You'll be learning some fifty short pieces a year at the lower levels, which is more than in any one of the RCM or ABRSM books.

With ABRSM, if you look at their pieces over a decade, the list of pieces are changed every two years, so you do have a wide selection. For instance, this:

http://www.chsg.org.uk/_files/subje...evel-Music-Difficulty-Levels-Booklet.pdf

And all the non-contemporary pieces are, of course, free from IMSLP.


"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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Originally Posted by Pikka
Hello,

Which one do you like more? ABRSM or RCM?

I am currently on Alfred Adult All in one level 2 and have been thinking of moving to an exam system - only for syllabus and structure. I do not intend to take exams. I would like to learn more Classical music and feel an exam system structure might be more enjoyable than the Alfred book.
Do you have any suggestions?

RCM consists much more repertoire, but do you study every piece in the book?
And ABRSM has very limited repertoire. Do you study only those pieces and then move on to next level?

And do you have opinion on comparison with overall cost for the two? (Excluding the exam cost).

Thank you so much!

Do you live in the US or Canada?

The reason why I ask is because I think it’s easier to find an RCM teacher in Canada and easier to find an ABRSM teacher in the US.

At least that was my experience.

I am doing the RCM and I like it. I have a teacher in Canada and am located in the US (I’m originally from Canada).

My teacher makes me do about 8 pieces per level.

Last edited by Ampersand; 04/21/21 10:00 PM.

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