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#1333826 - 12/25/09 11:01 PM ANZCA Syllabus!
russmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Malaysia
Hi! Merry Xmas! I'm new to this forum - have been lurking the last few weeks for info - and its great!

I have a little query about the ANZCA exam and syllabus (Australia & New Zealand Cultural Arts) - I've found very little discussion about it here except for some excerpts being posted from their website.

I know many of you may not be familiar with it since its mainly available in Aust/NZ and some east Asia countries - but I hope to get some pros and cons on it, and the comparison of its graded exam vs ABRSM which is widely taken here in Malaysia.

FYI, I have just put my 7+ year old son for private lessons with a teacher that uses the ANZCA syllabus. My son has done 3.5 years of the Yamaha JuniorMusicCourse and the subsequent followup JuniorExtensionCourse - great exposure to overall music appreciation and aural training, but not enough empahasis on sight reading, theory and piano technique - which I feel he shld be exposed more to as he advances. The group course is also fixed at 6 months per book and it moves a little too slowly for him, thus my decision to supplement and eventually move him into private lessons.

I was partiularly interested in the ANZCA syllabus as the repertoire seems more fun and interesting, and the teacher follows the EncoreOnKeys method books which is quite similar to Yamaha in the sensse that it places some focus on musicianship eg improvisation etc. She also meshes his solfege knowledge with the common CDE so he gets to transition gradually.

Anyone here familiar with ANZCA graded exams, EncoreOnKeys or Yamaha JMC to give me some pros and cons?
_________________________
homemaker with kids learning piano, and also dabbles a little !

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#1333913 - 12/26/09 02:21 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: russmom]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Merry Christmas to you and your son.

We have several regular teachers who post here who might be able to help, as their studios are in Australia. However, you might keep in mind that usually it's the teacher, not the method, which is most important in guiding any student along the path of musicianship.

A good teacher will discover your son's strengths and weaknesses, capitalize on the former, while strengthening the latter. A method serves merely as a springboard for the teacher.

You should, of course, make your concerns known to the teacher, but then, they will need time to work with your son. In your shoes, I'd be concerned about what I could do to support my son's practice and progress from the parent's end. The home environment, the home instrument, helping him understand how to practice, interpreting the teacher's remarks, etc.

I have a fairly detailed practice plan which goes home with students each week. What I most appreciate, and what is most helpful for the students, is if mom and dad insure the plan is followed (more or less).

Hope this helps a bit.

John
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1333939 - 12/26/09 04:06 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: John v.d.Brook]
russmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Malaysia
Thanks John!

Totally agree on the teacher being an important aspect. I have a younger kid doing Yamaha's JMC under a different teacher - and I can see the difference.

Also, I had my son trial another teacher before the current one, and he told her indignantly that he didn't want to read in CDE although I know he could do it albeit slowly lol.

The current teacher is a very experienced and well-known one in my area, and I can see my son being really keen and motivated in the 4 lessons he has had to date. Most importantly, he's actually willing to sight play on the spot, instead of relying on hearing/memory. He is also practicing the simple C major, F major, D major scales she has taught him - he usually don't like to practise scales lol (scales/arpeggios are taught in a scattered manner in Yamaha JXC with not much emphasis).

M just hoping to get some more feedback on ANZCA other than what the teacher is telling me - and am especially curious since its hard to find any discussion on it whatsoever on the piano forums that I googled!

As for practice, my son is a quick learner especially with the Yamaha solfege singing/memorization method. Quick meaning it takes him approx 4-5 tries to master a song and that he is usually 3-4 weeks ahead of his group class peers in learning to play his repertoires. With the Yamaha methods, he can afford to only practise twice a week (around 20-30mins) - sometimes more if he likes the piece - and he is still pretty much ahead of the class. I think he has good musicality and memory lol, plus hand coordination (eg he plays legato on one hand, and staccato on another at the same time with ease). He can also put in the cadences/chords to a simple melody easily - this I must say thanks to the Yamaha method.

Generally he loves his lessons although of course he has his fair share of distractions such as TV, computer games etc. With the private lessons, he seems to be practising more on his own will - almost daily. For a very active kid - to me its great already lol!
_________________________
homemaker with kids learning piano, and also dabbles a little !

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#1333940 - 12/26/09 04:12 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: russmom]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
I'm one of the Australian teachers here, but I'm sorry - I can't really help you with specifics of ANZCA. I haven't looked into it as I've been happy with AMEB. I've only come across the singing exams as an accompanist, and here my impression is that the standard is somewhat lower than AMEB, but, as John points out, it's the teacher who is more significant than the exam system used.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1333941 - 12/26/09 04:15 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: currawong]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
I suppose you've looked at the ANZCA website.
[edit]Whoops! On rereading your post I see you have smile


Edited by currawong (12/26/09 04:16 AM)
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1334477 - 12/27/09 01:39 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: currawong]
russmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Malaysia
Thanks Currawong! Yes, I've scoured the ANZCA website lol. Would you know of any Australian piano forums that may have discussions on the various Australian exams board?
_________________________
homemaker with kids learning piano, and also dabbles a little !

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#1334479 - 12/27/09 01:42 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: russmom]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
I don't know of any Australian piano forums at all. (I guess that's why I'm here!) There's supposed to be a message board on the Music Teachers Directory site (the one run by Warrick Dobbie) but no-one ever posts on it. Let me know if you find any smile
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1348361 - 01/13/10 06:27 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: currawong]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Hi Russmom, what exactly are you wanting to know about the ANZCA syllabus? One thing to be aware of is that there are two main piano streams, one being Classical Piano and one being Modern Piano. The Classical Piano syllabus is very similar to the Australian Music Examination Board syllabus with just a few small alterations (effectively) but the Modern Piano syllabus is entirely different. The Modern Piano program quite systematically encourages the student to master a range of contemporary and popular styles, so students need to choose their pieces from stylistic categories (which you can see when you go to the syllabus).

The main thing to know is which of these two streams your son's piano teacher intends for your son to be assessed in. If you and your son are very keen on the traditional repertoire then Modern Piano would be a disaster. But if your son can't stand playing sonatinas by anyone then the Modern Piano program might be a wonderful, structured system of assessing his ongoing progress.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1349847 - 01/14/10 09:19 PM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: russmom]
RonO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 115
Loc: New Zealand
I have no hesitation recommending ANZCA. Their classical syllabus is good and their modern stream is excellent because it offers options not available elsewhere as far as I know. I have a student who has obtained her diploma in the modern stream last year. Important components in the modern stream are arranging and improvising. Also required at the diploma level is an honours pass in ANZCA grade 5 theory or ABRSM grade 7. So there is a strong classical element included. A sound working knowledge of 4 part harmony is required for example.

I teach both classical and modern streams although there is no difference for beginners. After about 2 years, usually, I introduce some modern aspects and have the student do both streams side by side. When, or if, the student decides they want to concentrate on one style or the other that is usually what we do. Although I do both I am stronger in the modern stream.

The student mentioned above is going to work towards the Licentiate Teacher qualification this year. That is in the classical stream.

I hope russmom the above gives you something of a feel for ANZCA as I see it. Reading between the lines in your posts I think your child is leaning toward the modern stream although at 7 it is probably best to keep your options open for a while yet.
_________________________
Now I Love Music Practice

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#1350193 - 01/15/10 04:45 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: RonO]
russmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Malaysia
Thank you so much RonO and Elissa for shedding some light on ANZCA apart from what my son's music teacher has told me! She just decided to sign my son up for Grade 1 Modern and Classical exams this year - just to let him have a feel of both. He has started playing the songs fm the Modern piano Grade 1 book and they are really fun and groovy!

As for the technical work part - luckily he has more or less covered them in his Yamaha MusicExtensionCourse - so its a breeze for him! He is really enjoying his lessons with this new teacher - and in a short 1 month, has improved tremendously on sightreading. He is willing to sight play new repertoire without waiting to be guided, and learning proper techniques such as curving fingers!

M so glad I found the ANZCA syllabus! I think its a good fit for kids who may otherwise reject learning the piano if they aren't huge fans of classical music lol!

Thanks!!
_________________________
homemaker with kids learning piano, and also dabbles a little !

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#1350195 - 01/15/10 04:50 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: russmom]
russmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Malaysia
BTW, RonO and Elissa - would appreciate if you can also enlighten me on the grading of ANZCA vs ABRSM. I've been told ANZCA Grade 1 is almost Grade 2 level of ABRSM?
_________________________
homemaker with kids learning piano, and also dabbles a little !

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#1350733 - 01/15/10 07:32 PM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: russmom]
RonO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 115
Loc: New Zealand
Russmom, here is a quick summary of what you have told us.

Your son’s new teacher is a very experienced.
Since starting with her your son is really keen and motivated.
He is practicing scales
He loves his lessons.
He is practising more on his own.
The songs he is learning are really fun and groovy
He is going to do both Modern and Classical exams.
He is really enjoying his lessons.
In 1 month, has improved tremendously with sightreading.

Wow! You are very fortunate. You should be counting your blessings. All music teachers would like all their students to be perfect students but of course not all are. Students like your son who are self motivated and practice because they want to and who enjoy practicing are a pleasure to teach and a source of satisfaction and joy for their parents. In some homes practicing becomes an issue and can lead to a lot of unhappiness.

You and his teacher need to nurture this positive attitude and be prepared to support him when his enthusiasm is tested as will inevitably occur sometimes.
Your last question does seem so unimportant, when you look at the bigger picture. I am not actually sure of the answer but, who cares?

I have a question for you. Several times you have finished a sentence with lol and I have noticed others doing that also. What does it mean? I used to think it meant ‘lots of love’ but that doesn’t seem right in the context. I asked a student who said it means ‘laugh out loud’ but that doesn’t seem right either. I asked my wife and she said it means ‘little old lady’ which can’t be right either. What does it mean?
_________________________
Now I Love Music Practice

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#1350740 - 01/15/10 07:42 PM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: RonO]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: RonO
I used to think it meant ‘lots of love’ but that doesn’t seem right in the context. I asked a student who said it means ‘laugh out loud’ but that doesn’t seem right either. I asked my wife and she said it means ‘little old lady’ which can’t be right either. What does it mean?
I used to think it meant "lots of love" too! Glad I'm not the only one. It's "laughing out loud" but in my opinion it's vastly overused. Or there are a lot of people who are easily amused! (not that I have anything against laughter) lol smile
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1350934 - 01/16/10 06:38 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: currawong]
russmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Malaysia
RonO - lol means 'laugh out loud' - basically more of an expression of 'laughing' - I agree with Currawong its somewhat overused - especially in texting, twitter etc!

YES - am really fortunate to find a really good and experienced teacher! And by chance I may add - just one of the few contacts I found via google while looking for a 'jazz piano' teacher whose willing to take on my kid. She's perfect as she balances her teaching - giving emphasis on ear training as well as sightreading, and also teaches my son 'musicianship' basics such as improvisation, chords harmony, solfege singing (stuff I am pretty familiar with from the Yamaha syllabus). Most of all, she doesn't disregard 'classical' training - and exposes it to her students as well. She's really driven and passionate with the kids, and it rubs off on them! My son now goes for a 1-1 class with her, and a separate group 'musicianship' class with her as well. Many hours and $$ but most importantly, I think we are on the right track to bringing out the best of his potential.

I guess you are right about ANZCA vs ABRSM - it shld be a non-issue. ABRSM is widely recognized here in Malaysia. The teacher recommends her students to do ANZCA all the way but they take the necessary Grade 5 ABRSM theory and Grade 8 ABRSM practical exams when the time comes. I am pretty happy with that arrangement!
_________________________
homemaker with kids learning piano, and also dabbles a little !

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#1350947 - 01/16/10 07:32 AM Re: ANZCA Syllabus! [Re: russmom]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
It's really hard to compare ABRSM with the ANZCA Modern Piano stream because in so many ways you are not comparing like with like. The ANZCA exam encourages students to improvise through their performances, for instance!! Meantime, the ABRSM theory exams are very good, although I've been really, really impressed with the new Trinity Guildhall theory exams - the workbooks are fantastic, and the concepts are introduced at a lovely pace, very easy for kids to manage Grade 1 theory while they are working on Grade 1 practical. But that's possibly a discussion for a different thread.....!
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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