Category Archives: Examinations

When to apply for a piano exam

That’s obvious. When the student is ready, right? But is this how we really operate? I know I usually do things backwards. We – teacher/student/parent – decide at the beginning of the year that we’ll plan on doing a particular … Continue reading

Posted in Business of Teaching, Examinations, General, Piano pedagogy, Studio News | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

We’ve got it covered

Attending the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, held biennially in Lombard, Illinois, is on my bucket list. I haven’t made it there yet. Sigh. But in the meantime, I (we) can get a bit of a peek at some of … Continue reading

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Ear Training Tips

Exam results are trickling in – a time  for analysis and reflection. Ear training, I confess, is a bit hit-and-miss in my studio. Some students get it right away, and I tend to leave them to their own devices. More … Continue reading

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Viva la différence!

For teachers in Canada, there is a healthy, rich alternative to the ubiquitous exam system. Conservatory Canada is similar in the number of grades, theoretical subjects, general format, and credit in high schools. There are a number of striking differences … Continue reading

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Decipher the handwriting. And more.

“You have survived this season’s run of music festivals and competitions. You have your certificate. Maybe you even earned an award. Perhaps now you’re asking yourself, “Now what?” Please bring your written adjudication sheet(s) to your next music lesson … Your … Continue reading

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Theory exams when the student is ready

Imagine. Writing a theory exam when the student is ready – and at their convenience. Not being tied to those May/August/Dec or Jan scheduled exams. One more reason to choose Conservatory Canada as an exam system in Canada. New are … Continue reading

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When it’s OK to give up marks. And when it’s not.

A friend and colleague in town also blogs. She’s been blogging longer than I have. We meet for coffee sometimes to talk about teaching and blogging and all kinds of things. A couple of weeks ago we met with Kay, … Continue reading

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Okay. I’ll share my secret.

None of my students ever get the interval of a minor sixth wrong on the ear test portion of the exams. Ever. Forget the sappy Love Story tune. So not appealing to anyone under the age of 40. Maybe even … Continue reading

Posted in Examinations, Piano pedagogy, Practice Tips, Studio News, Theory, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

You win some. You lose some.

Reflections after the student Christmas Recitals. Win some: Best comment from a parent: “I can’t keep her off the piano. In the middle of dinner she has to get up to play a piece before she finishes eating.” Lose some: This … Continue reading

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On the “lowering of standards”

The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM), Canada’s largest exam system, recently announced changes to the theory requirements for their diploma, the Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (ARCT). I jumped for joy, in a manner of speaking, when I … Continue reading

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How to Ace a History Exam

Here’s where I hold my nose and go against all my principles of educating. The topic of the music history exams was being discussed on a forum recently (Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada; The Achievement Program in the US). The syllabus … Continue reading

Posted in Books about Music, Examinations, Theory | Tagged | 2 Comments

Nerves? What nerves?

I have officially mellowed. I’m sitting and waiting while my youngest daughter (15) is taking her grade 10 piano exam, writing with pen on paper, still resisting the devices and services which would enable internet access anytime, anyplace. As mother … Continue reading

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