Tag Archives: Piano exams

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

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

30 seconds of terror

Time to Sight-Read on the exam. And get an easy 10 marks. Or not. You get about 30 seconds to look over the piece before starting. And once you start, you Just Don’t Stop. Forget about showing the examiner (or … Continue reading

Posted in Piano pedagogy, Sight Reading, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

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

Posted in Examinations, General, Piano pedagogy, Practice Tips | 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

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

Posted in Examinations, Performance, Piano pedagogy | 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

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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

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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

Fall Organization and Goals

As I attempt to get fully organized for the start of the new teaching year, I’m spending way too much time on the computer, reading other blogs, chat groups, surfing, and generally practicing avoidance of what I should be doing. … Continue reading

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

Keyboard Skills: Improvise, Harmonize, Compose, Transpose

Dr. Martha Baker-Jordan in Practical Piano Pedagogy calls this the “Black Hole” of piano teaching. These are functional keyboard skills that ideally every student should learn, but that many teachers either don’t know how to teach, or choose not to … Continue reading

Posted in Examinations, General, Studio News, Theory | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments