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#1964615 - 09/26/12 05:39 AM Writing an exam policy - suggestions please
Theme&Variations Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/10
Posts: 135
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I'm currently trying to come up with an exam policy/guidelines (i.e. the things I expect a student to be able to do, which books they need, etc before I will consider entering them for an exam).

A lot of parents seem to expect that students will do "an exam per year" although this is almost never realistic considering the amount of practice my students (don't) do. It is an ongoing process of educating the students and their parents about what is actually entailed in preparing for an exam.

We used to have a general policy at school but the head of our program would often be very flexible and let students enter for exams who probably weren't really ready. Also, she can no longer find the file!

Next year I will be completely in charge of entering my own students, so I thought it was time to update the exam policy!

This is for students doing their first or second exam (Preliminary or Grade 1 in the AMEB or ANZCA system, would be roughly equivalent to ABRSM Grade 1 or 2).

So far I have the following sections:

Students should have completed:
[Method Book, to give an idea of the standard required; I used to push students onto exam level material much earlier but I'm slowly gravitating towards the other end of the spectrum.

Basically, i want them to have learnt a whole bunch of pieces at this level, not just a handful. Usually this is covered by Elissa Milne's wonderful "Getting to..." series books.]

[Haven't had this requirement before but it seems senisble, especially given the General Knowledge requirements of the practical exam. I think it will also help reveal which students really want to do the exam and which just think they 'should'.]

Students must own:
(I have to put this in otherwise people think they can borrow or even photocopy! :o)
*General Knowledge book [I haven't had this requirement before but it would be nice not to have to write everything out by hand over and over]

*Sight-reading book [I haven't had this as a requirement before either, but I really like the idea of having regular sight reading being a mandatory part of the lesson, not just something we do sometimes' this is to help me squeeze it into the lessons as well.]

[at least two books from which exam pieces are drawn]

Students must be able to
play the following fluently and with correct fingering:
[list of technical work]
Private piano teacher since 2003
ASME (Australian Society for Music Education),
ANZCA (Australian and New Zealand Cultural Arts),
KMEIA (Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia).

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#1964620 - 09/26/12 05:52 AM Re: Writing an exam policy - suggestions please [Re: Theme&Variations]
michelleyh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 58
Loc: Malaysia
I have my own policy too. But my policy is different.

1) Student must own a decent / playable piano
2) Student can play scales and arpeggios fluently
3) Finish the method book
4) Be able to sight read rather well ( i will use a grade lower to test their sight reading)
5) Learned 3 Barouque, 3 Classical, 3 Romantic and 3 Modern pieces of their level

I know this is harsh. But if they cannot fulfill what I want, they cannot take the exam. Over here, teacher are in charge of the student's exam.

Some private teacher's I know personally, they can let the kids play 3 songs for the whole year just to score a distinction in the ABRSM exam.. what is the point huh?
Michelle YH Toe, LLCM
Piano Technician, CSPT
Piano Teacher

#1964623 - 09/26/12 06:16 AM Re: Writing an exam policy - suggestions please [Re: michelleyh]
Theme&Variations Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/10
Posts: 135
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks! I really need to put in a reminder about needing a good quality digital or acoustic piano. Previously the head teacher had the policy that they don't need one until Grade 2 but I would prefer to make it a requement for Grade 1 (or hey, exam at all!)... We explain to all the parents before their child starts that they won't be able to use a keyboard for long, but a lot of them try to drag it out for as long as possible. (Money is generally not an issue for these families; priorities are - several of the families who "can't afford" to spend $3000 on a decent digital piano still take interstate or overseas trips several times a year.) Usually the kids end up quitting in frustration after a few years. frown

Edited by Theme&Variations (09/26/12 06:20 AM)
Private piano teacher since 2003
ASME (Australian Society for Music Education),
ANZCA (Australian and New Zealand Cultural Arts),
KMEIA (Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia).

#1964704 - 09/26/12 11:18 AM Re: Writing an exam policy - suggestions please [Re: Theme&Variations]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
I would add some sort of statement saying that the teacher has final say on whether a student is ready for an exam.

#1968095 - 10/03/12 03:20 AM Re: Writing an exam policy - suggestions please [Re: Theme&Variations]
sightreading.au Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
The General Knowledge books by Ross Hamilton are awesome for AMEB pieces and more. Parents can buy them and receive them as pdf, for individual pieces or for an AMEB series book. Hardcopy books available too.

Theory Fundamentals Prep and Blitz for Beginners are great for pre-Grade One AMEB theory. Method books have theory books available too.

Sight Reading Secrets has a book for each AMEB piano grade - $25 per book and free postage.

My students and parents know they need the things mentioned already AS WELL AS being able to perform all pieces and scales for their grade from memory at tempo before I will put in the enrolment form - no cramming!
Prepare your students for sight reading success in AMEB piano exams! www.sightreading.com.au


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