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#961372 - 09/20/04 01:45 PM thoughts on taking exams....
hilaryemma Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Colorado
Hello from sunny Colorado....

What do you all think about taking exams? As I was growing up learning the piano (and flute) I took exams what seemed like all the time.

Personally, I think exams are great because they give you something to work towards and a sense of achievement when you're done. Plus, then you have a 'label' of what kind of standard you are at. Not to mention the discipline that exams invoke since you have to practice so hard.

Don't get me wrong, I know that exams aren't for everyone, but one thing I have found since I moved here to the US from England is that there doesn't seem to be any obvious national school of music that monitors progress like the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in the UK. Is there any kind of equivalent, or do you not do exams as much as we do? I know that the ABRSM does do exams here, but my nearest center is California, which seems a bit far.

Also, I would like to take a teaching certification, and I don't know where I would go about doing that.

Any ideas, anyone?


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#961373 - 09/21/04 12:19 AM Re: thoughts on taking exams....
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 862
An interesting question. I'm in Canada, and my impression is that the States does not have its own examining board. Perhaps there's an opportunity to start one. If I'm wrong, somebody please tell me before I drive across the States in a convertible with my scrupulous ears and adjudication forms.

#961374 - 09/23/04 09:23 AM Re: thoughts on taking exams....
hilaryemma Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Colorado
Hi Candyman,

If only we could start one. Any takers??


#961375 - 09/30/04 08:11 AM Re: thoughts on taking exams....
newpianoplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/01
Posts: 362
Th US recently started a version of the RCM program.

Please excuse me. I have to go practice

#961376 - 10/12/04 10:43 AM Re: thoughts on taking exams....
margrave of brandenburg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 12
Loc: Hong Kong
hi hilaryemma,
I'm not in Colorado. But i think if you went under the ABRSM site you could find your local ABRSM representative/ctr that conducts ABRSM tests. I'm not sure if Colorado has one...but I know CA does.
So you may continue with DipABRSM or the higher teacher's dip if you found your local rep where you are living.
Try to search around music schools and music centres. The US does recognize ABRSM, since is int'l, but i understand, it is a bit hard to find places...thus it seems ABRSM is unpopular in the States. But for CA example, i jsut recently found a non profit music ctr that enters students for both ABRSM exams and the Certificate of Merit exams.
I think the greatest difference is though ( i may be wrong), most piano students in the States (at least those i know) are more into just taking piano lessons, learning how to play vs. learning how to play well and taking exams all the time.

Hope this helps somewhat
margrave of brandenburg

#961377 - 10/12/04 11:05 AM Re: thoughts on taking exams....
margrave of brandenburg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 12
Loc: Hong Kong
wow thanks for this awesome link! i didn't even know US has a national exam board. it doesnt' say on their site, but would you happen to know when was this system established in the US? you said recent, do you know how recent?
their structure is very simliar to ABRSM structure, but with more levels like how ABRSM used to have. I love their Theory part, is very thorough and even incorporates history which is awesome.
Anyway, it seems like the way they run it I would guess the exam board has beena round for a lot longer already.
margrave of brandenburg

#961378 - 10/12/04 11:27 PM Re: thoughts on taking exams....
newpianoplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/01
Posts: 362
I heard about the program starting up in Sept 03. They have had 2 exam sessions. Preliminary a & b grades have been added before grade 1
Please excuse me. I have to go practice

#961379 - 11/11/04 08:29 PM Re: thoughts on taking exams....
Quidam Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 866
Loc: USA
I live in the States and I have just now heard about the new exam system. I don't think anyone really does it though.... at least no one I know. There are a lot of other competitions and festivals students do though. I used to do the juniour festivals every year and from the sounds of it they worked a LOT like the examinations. The difference is that you don't get certifications of any kind, you get ribbons and trophies. It was pretty cool actually. And I think you're also right that most kids in the states are more into just taking lessons.
Raspberry liqueur, apparently. :p

#961380 - 11/12/04 08:02 AM Re: thoughts on taking exams....
ArtsOhio Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 5
I think RAC is the RCM, just "Americanized". The MTNA (mtna.org -- Music Teachers National Association) recently endorsed it as their official examining body. The Ohio branch of the MTNA is doing a lot to publicize the RAC and try to get members to accept and use it.

I like the idea of exams, but I was shocked at the cost! It seems quite expensive to me. Also, the RAC/RCM does not put their syllabi on their website. You have to buy it. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find it anywhere and the link on the site doesn't work.


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