Category Archives: Examinations

When to apply for a piano exam

Apply for an exam when the student is ready.  Of course. 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 … Continue reading

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

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

Posted in Canadiana, Examinations, Piano pedagogy | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Examinations, General, Performance, Piano pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Business of Teaching, Examinations, General, Performance, Practice Tips, Studio News | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

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

Posted in Business of Teaching, Examinations, Theory | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

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

12 Most Written Comments on Exams

A number of years ago I went to a Conservatory Canada teacher workshop given by Ontario teacher and examiner Emily Dow. She presented the listening protocol used by examiners and left us with this useful list. I’m sure we’ll all … Continue reading

Posted in Examinations, Piano pedagogy, Practice Tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What to wear… what to wear….

To students – yes, you should dress nicely for any performance – festival, competition, even exams. You don’t need an evening gown or a suit and tie, but please, PLEASE don’t show up in sweats and flip-flops (we’ve discussed the … Continue reading

Posted in Examinations, Performance, Studio News | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A helpful parent

You know the situation. Good, musical student (about 10 years old) – parental involvement (both musicians) – everything should be progressing well, but you still end up saying the same things over and over and over again. Problem: a lack … Continue reading

Posted in Examinations, Piano pedagogy, Studio News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Please be kind

In at least one piano exam room this spring there will be a candidate who, in her fifties and after a hiatus of 30 years, is taking a piano exam for the first time. She has overcome cultural, linguistic, and … Continue reading

Posted in Examinations, Inspirational, Studio News | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Good Intermediate Teaching

This article by Kevin Coan appeared in the Files group of the Yahoo Teachers Group. It’s a very good, comprehensive list of objectives in teaching intermediate students – the weak link in piano teaching, as he says.  Here it is … Continue reading

Posted in Examinations, Piano pedagogy, Technic | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments