New Requirements for RCM Piano Examinations

exam newThe Royal Conservatory of Music has released a new 2015 syllabus for piano examinations.  Although changes to the exam requirements differ by level, a few of the important highlights are listed below:

Repertoire and Etudes (Studies)

  • Many new repertoire, especially those from the modern period, are added to reflect the influence from jazz and popular styles, and to capture student interest

Technical requirements:

  • Streamlined requirements that focus on quality over quantity
  • Addition of chord progressions that encourages application of theoretical knowledge and develops harmonic awareness, which forms the basis of creative activities such as improvisation

Ear training:

  • Clapback exercises are now given within a musical context and incorporated into playback exercises
  • Harmonic and melodic intervals are both included to build understanding of the characteristic sounds of the intervals
  • Identification of chord progressions is added to build harmonic knowledge

Sight reading:

  • Rhythm exercises are now incorporated into sight reading exercises to better prepare students to play the pieces
  • Rhythm exercises now require the students to tap along, to develop a strong rhythmic sense

While some of the changes are effective from September 2015, a crossover period of up to one year is allowed for certain portions of the examination.  For details, please talk to your piano teacher or refer to the RCM website: Piano Syllabus 2015 cross-over plan.