Which music examinations board do you use?

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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Which music examinations board have you mainly used/been using?

Poll ended at 12 Oct 2008, 17:32

Trinity Guildhall
2
29%
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
4
57%
Rockschool
0
No votes
London College of Music Examinations
1
14%
 
Total votes: 7

markymark
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Which music examinations board do you use?

Post by markymark » 11 Oct 2008, 17:32

As we have such a diversity of experience within the teachers and students who post here, I thought that it might be interesting to see which examinations boards are being used by teachers or students alike on this forum.

Although this is only a survey and not a vote for what people would subjectively view as being 'the best board', feel free to mention in a separate posting, the strengths or weaknesses of the board you have experienced, either as a pupil or teacher.
Last edited by markymark on 17 Dec 2008, 01:21, edited 1 time in total.

Descombes
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Post by Descombes » 11 Oct 2008, 23:25

I have not conducted a close comparison between the two, but I can offer some random thoughts and impressions. (I took AB exams as a child and I have always used their exams for my pupils. On the other hand I studied at Trinity and took their diplomas, so I have no axe to grind!)

1 AB have an established reputation, which is unrivalled in this country and abroad. Their standards are absolute and are universally recognised. They have made huge advances in user-friendliness and approachability in recent years.

2 Trinity/Guildhall offer a slightly different emphasis, with comparable standards, but perhaps there is still a feeling in some quarters that it is an easier option. (Unjust, I admit.) Since there is no Theory qualification for the higher grades, there is a tendency for those who find Theory difficult to move to T/G after Grade 5. This, sadly, perpetuates the "easier option" impression.

3 T/G has a more adventurous approach to set pieces. AB has attempted to get up to date with the 2009 syllabus, with some surprising choices of repertoire. It seems regrettable that this has included the introduction of arrangements of orchestral pieces, especially in the lower grades. There is plenty of genuine piano music of a similar technical standard!

4 There does appear to be more consistency in the marking of AB exams. Perhaps this is due to their policy of moderating the marks before releasing the results. T/G give the results on the day of the exam. However, having known people who have applied to be examiners for both boards, the AB does seem to be far more stringent in its selection process!

So, no overall conclusions, I am afraid. But I stick with AB!

markymark
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Post by markymark » 12 Oct 2008, 14:19

I was at a teachers' conference for Trinity Guildhall at the weekend.

They have the same basic qualifications as ABRSM, but they do have theory examinations going from initial right up to Grade 8 and then beyond that through Associate, Licentiate and Fellowship level. I know that their new books for Grade 6-8 theory haven't been released yet but they are due out anytime soon. Apparently, theory examinations throughout the world seem to cut off at around Grade 5 level, irrespective of the board name and that is why Gd1-5 got pushed out first.

I was impressed by their new marks scheme. For each of the pieces, they use three core areas for assessment, with a set amount of marks being allocated to each of the three competences. I'd need to go over notes to check the wording but their mark scheme is very comprehensive and fair as opposed to the old regime where a performance fell into one of six potential, though generic bandings and an appropriate mark selected.

Samick
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Post by Samick » 13 Oct 2008, 10:38

I have been using the London College of Music Exams for my pre-grade 1 pupils. I find the preparatory, Step 1 and Step 2 exams excellent, and have had some good results from them. ABRSM only seem to do the pre-prep exam before Grade 1, and it only provides a report which children seem to find disappointing, whereas LCM provide a report and certificate with pass, merit and distinction marking. The Step 2 exam is also excellent for adults. There is a huge gap between pre-prep and Grade 1 ABRSM, but these exams seem to bridge that gap more gradually.

However, I do tend to use ABRSM after that, although I think the LCM Leisure Play exams are brilliant for those pupils (especially adults) who would like their playing to be accessed and have a standard to aim for, but don't feel confident enough to deal with sightreading and aural.

markymark
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Post by markymark » 13 Oct 2008, 22:31

I haven't used LCM examination board but I was impressed by the sheer variety of instruments they support right up to diploma level. Probably the largest selection of instruments/voice I've ever seen!

crescendo
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Re: Which music examinations board do you use?

Post by crescendo » 12 Mar 2009, 14:29

I have used all of these boards for various students and would agree with what has been said above. My experience of Rockschool exams so far has been that they have been well organised and the central staff are helpful. Venues have been varied - once we were in a music shop - fab for all the waiting students - we went round playing guitars and drums etc. The debut (pre-grade 1) exam is useful for students who want to play popular style music - they play pieces only for this level, but as with LCM, there is a proper marks and comments sheet. My only gripe is that the repertoire choices for each grade are rather limited (only 6 pieces).

ilovemypiano
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Re: Which music examinations board do you use?

Post by ilovemypiano » 26 Mar 2009, 15:44

Am going through the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) in Dublin, Ireland.
Anybody else?
i really, really love my piano - a Yamaha U1.
Living in Ireland, learning since September 2008 and heading for G1. Goal is G8 and a Baby Grand, yeah!

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