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RCM(Canada) text book (Read 7706 times)

Offline heroine

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RCM(Canada) text book
« on: August 05, 2015, 06:27:09 PM »
Hi everyone,Im new here and I need your help

Im actually from Hong Kong(ABRSM) ,have been a piano teacher there over 14 yrs and I recently moved to Canada(RCM)

I have no clue about the RCM system here,went to their website,saying u need to take certain theory exams and harmony exams and history to get the cert

my questions are:
I dunno which book i can use here as text book,let say level 7,I seriously dunno what grade its equivalent to ABRSM,especially in the high levels,I dunno what book to use,can anyone share a textbook list for the RCM?since when I was teaching under ABRSM I always use one technic/etudes (like czerny),and 2 other books in difference period(e.g.baroque+classical)I seriously have no clue what to teach to match the needs of RCM syllabus

for the theory studies,i have been searching a very long time online,didn't find anything,I know there are 3 levels for the theory,so what book i need to use for the theory?

also I wanna know which books to use for harmony and history,I mean textbook not the past papers

Thanks in advance and have a great day!

Offline superman1980

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 07:25:40 PM »
Hi heroine,
The RCM system is somewhat similar to the ABRSM system in HK. However, the RCM system has a music theory corequisite that the student must pass in order to receive his/her certificate or diploma. For example, in order to get the Grade 8 Piano Certification, one must pass the Grade 8 Piano Exam and the Advanced Rudiments Exam. Same goes for let's say, Grade 10, where the student has to pass Grade 10 Piano, History 2, and Harmony 2. In ARCT (performance diploma), the student must pass ARCT Piano, History 3, and any two of Counterpoint, Analysis, and Harmony 3. The "pass" mark for all grades up to Grade 10 is 60 marks. However, for Grade 10, one must get at least 75 (I think) in order to be able to take the ARCT. And the pass for ARCT is 70 marks (I think). There are also Honours (70-80 marks), First Class Honours (80-90 marks), and First Class Honours with Distinctions (90-100 marks) given if you pass a certain mark on your theory or practical exams.
Another difference between ABRSM and RCM is that AB is divided into eight grades and three diploma levels (I think). On the other hand, RCM has ten levels, one diploma level, and a licentiate. Having said that, that means that the levels between these two systems do not directly correspond. ABRSM Grade 8 would equal to RCM Grade 10.

Now as for your questions:
1) RCM prints its own books. I think the current series is Celebration Series Perspectives (Not sure), but I do know that they just released a new syllabus along with new books for Grades Preparatory to Grade 10. For ARCT, RCM does not have a specific textbook, but rather a syllabus. If you google for the Syllabus, you should be able to find it easily (I'll try to link one in another post). The books that RCM publishes are separated into Etudes/Studies and Repertoire. Technical Stuff (eg. scales, arpeggios) are in the syllabus and you can easily get another book for ear tests.

If you don't mind me asking, which city do you live in?

2) As mentioned before, all repertoire is in the syllabus so if you want to see if a piece qualifies for a certain grade and whether or not it can be played for a certain exam, just consult the syllabus.

3) For theory, music stores sell books that teach all the different subjects. What many teachers do is they follow the book which usually covers all aspects mentioned in the syllabus.
For theory, here are all the subjects/levels and in brackets are the piano grade they correspond to.
Basic Rudiments (Grade 5), Intermediate Rudiments (Grade 6), Advanced Rudiments (Grade 7/8 )
History 1 (Grade 9), 2 (Grade 10), 3 (ARCT)
Harmony 1 (Grade 9), 2 (Grade 10), 3 (ARCT)
Analysis (ARCT)
Counterpoint (ARCT)

4) Many teachers use a combination of past papers and store bought textbooks to teach. I've had a teacher before who only taught using past papers!

Hope this helps and feel free to ask if you have any more questions or need clarification!
Pathetique - Beethoven
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Liszt
Toccata - Bowen
Warrior/Memories in an Ancient Garden - Louie

Offline superman1980

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 07:30:53 PM »
As promised here are the links to syllabus, etc.

RCM Piano Syllabus 2015 - https://examinations.rcmusic.ca/sites/default/files/files/RCM-Piano-Syllabus-2015.pdf

RCM Theory Syllabus 2009 (this is the latest one) - https://examinations.rcmusic.ca/sites/default/files/files/S30_TheorySyllabus_2013%20online_SECURED.pdf

Theory Prerequisites and Corequisites (basically what you need in order to get a certificate for a certain level) - https://examinations.rcmusic.ca/publications/piano-syllabus-2015-edition-prerequisites-and-corequisites

The Popular Selection List 2015 (this list is an addendum to the syllabus and features pieces of "pop, folk" music that students can play for their exam) - https://examinations.rcmusic.ca/sites/default/files/files/RCM-Piano-Popular-Selections-2015.pdf

This webpage is in regards to the cross over between the two Syllabi (2008/2015) since there is a grace period where students may play pieces from the 2008 Syllabus in a 2015 Exam Period - https://examinations.rcmusic.ca/publications/piano-syllabus-2015-edition-cross-over
Pathetique - Beethoven
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Liszt
Toccata - Bowen
Warrior/Memories in an Ancient Garden - Louie

Offline heroine

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 08:22:29 PM »
thanks superman1980!
Im currently in calgary.well,i checked the links too before.As ABRSM has no specific textbooks too but from our experience we know what we need to teach to "match" the exam requirement,i meant,let say the student is in grade 2-3 in abrsm,i recommend him to play beyer than czerny op599 for his technic build up so he would be more confident for the sight reading exams and more easily to start the exam pieces

I heard some teachers here just follow the syllabus list to teach which i dun really agree with that,its like they can only play some certain of pieces(i think) since i have some experiences back to hong kong i had some students whose transferred to me and they only know how to play the exam pieces(3 songs for each grade) and thats it,i meant,its really bad since he's lack of knowledge as he was in grade 3 he only knows how to play the grade 3 pieces,failed in sight reading and stuffs..

seriously i have looked into the syllabus,yes u r right,the celebration series is what the are using here,one thing i observed,they are trying to put a lot of north american composers pieces into it,what i am thinking is,should they play more bach inventions to build up the technic and also some more mozart sonata,dussek and claimant sonatina for grade 4-8(rcm)?

and i saw bach prelude and fugue in D in the grade 10 list,well what i m wondering is the marking scheme too,like I played this piece back to my gd.8 abrsm and my atcl,of course the atcl required more than the grade 8,thats why I'm asking,as a teacher,what would u suggest to teach your students in grade 1-10?or just follow the syllabus list thats it?

and what kinda theory books,harmony,theory books u would recommend as text book?

Thanks again

Offline superman1980

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #4 on: August 06, 2015, 02:20:45 AM »
Hi heroine,
No problem!
Your recommendations to students can still happen because many of the pieces are similar or the same between ABRSM and RCM, albeit being in different grade levels. An abundance of pieces can be played at exams as designated by the syllabus.

Unfortunately, all teachers do have to teach according to the syllabus if they want their students to participate in RCM exams. Although it is true that students only play certain pieces, there are many available pieces; as many as over 200 per grade. That far more than enough for any student! If you are teaching students primarily for completing exams, it is true that they may only learn the exam pieces/a certain number of pieces per grade. However, the whole RCM system is very well rounded, training students in a variety of different repertoire, from Baroque to Modern, since to complete an exam, students must play a piece from every musical period. For example, in Grade 3, they may have to play one etude, one Baroque, one Classical, and one Modern. In higher grades (eg. Grade 10), students will have to play two etudes, one Baroque, one Classical, one Romantic, one Post-Romantic/Impressionistic, and one 21st Century piece. In addition, for all grades, students must prepare a specific set of techincal tests (scales/chords/arpeggios) and complete ear tests and sight reading. Having said that, in order to pass, the students must be sufficient in all these aspects of music, not to mention theory exams for later grades.

I believe that North American composers and Bach are placed in different categories in the syllabus. Most NA composers are in the 21st Century category while Bach is Baroque. That means that even if a student chooses to play a North American piece, it does not mean that they will not be able to play a Bach invention in their exam. The pieces that the teacher and student chooses for the exam should of course reflect the student's strengths and weaknesses. I feel that the reasoning behind the addition of many North American composers is to demonstrate their presence in music since their vast contributions are also very important.

The marking scheme should be clearly detailed in the back of the syllabus with the mark allocations of each piece and sight reading, etc. Typically examiners will mark on a variety of parts of a student's performance (also detailed in the syllabus), such as dynamics, tempo, style, phrasing, etc. In terms of repertoire recommendations, I believe that each student is different since their pieces should reflect their own style and weaknesses so that they can improve through RCM exams. However, all students must follow the syllabus and play pieces mentioned in the syllabus.

From your post, I feel that you think the list of pieces in the syllabus are rather constricting for students, but I assure you that the choices detailed in the syllabus are more than enough for you to choose from and more than enough for your student to succeed both in exams and as a musician.

For harmony, you can use the books published by Frederick Harris Music Company, written by Sarnecki or Vanderdool (these are two separate books both published by FHMC). For history, you can use FHMC's books written by Lopinsky/Ringhofer/Zarins. You can also find a similar book by FHMC on rudiments. All the above mentioned books have one book per level so there would be 3 harmony books and 3 history books. You can always buy these books both online and at a local music store (maybe Long and McQuade).

Hope this helps.
Pathetique - Beethoven
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Liszt
Toccata - Bowen
Warrior/Memories in an Ancient Garden - Louie

Offline heroine

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #5 on: August 06, 2015, 09:21:42 PM »
Thanks superman 1980
your comment is very helpful!

well,I'm quite disappointed that they dun have much mozart works in the syllabus,I noticed there are a big difference btw ABRSM cos if u really look at the ABRSM syllabus they always consist masterpieces by famous composers rather than the RCM ones,to be honest,some of the composers on the RCM syllabus list I have never heard about.

So u dun suggest not using text book and just go with the pieces in the RCM syllabus yea?and yes I agree the RCM system is more well rounded but if u really think about it,I'd rather teach more Prelude and fugue and toccata to build up the basic skills for the finger and fingering which really helps a lot but not one like one or 2 pieces

Yesterday I had a first lesson which my student ,he transferred to me since this month,he's playing 4 RCM level 6 books,scale books,etude,ear training and celebration,he's aiming to level 8 maybe a yr later and so I started teaching bach 2 part invention no.1 and found he knows nothing about Bach at all,just heard about his name thats it,he never play a bach piece which is sad(at least a minuet in G?)And for the scale book,he dun understand what is a triad,what is a dominant 7 etc which he just played by memory and keep making mistakes..Its really thought for both of us too which I seriously wanna help him to achieve  something since he's willing to learn,he's willing to practice himself without parents asking..well I really appreciate that too,I'd rather have students like him instead of very talented and smart ones,practice and passion is the most important thing..for me..they are

actually i got a "elementary rudiments" book by barbara ,the one with dark purple cover with bing rings..does it consist 3 levels of music theory?if so,how do i know what part i have to teach id my student is going to lvl 1 theory?

thanks again superman1980

Offline keypeg

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 01:09:37 AM »
actually i got a "elementary rudiments" book by barbara ,the one with dark purple cover with bing rings..does it consist 3 levels of music theory?if so,how do i know what part i have to teach id my student is going to lvl 1 theory?
I did the exams and later taught from the book.  each level builds on the previous one, so you should start with the first level.  When I was studying it, the levels were preliminary (P), grade 1 (1) and grade 2 (2).  The chapters were divided into topics such as Intervals, Scales, Chords etc., and each chapter's subtopics then had P, 1, or 2 along the margin.  You'll also see a P1 or 12 which indicates a kind of overlap.  A fast student might do the P1 material when he's doing Preliminary, while a slow one shouldn't go there yet.  So do only the P level things first.  Then second time round do the 1 level things that build on them.  I tend to think that the P is the most important level since it's the backbone of everything.

It is possible for a teacher to "go through" the RCM material rather superficially - in that case what the student doesn't know and can't do would like more with the teacher or how well the student worked, than the program itself.  It's a good framework, but then what does a given teacher do with such a framework?

Offline superman1980

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #7 on: August 07, 2015, 04:21:07 AM »
Hello again heroine,

I do understand your concern about a lack of Mozart pieces in the syllabus, but I feel like the number of Mozart pieces does increase in the higher grades probably because many of the pieces he composed were more difficult. If you feel that a certain piece should be played for an exam, I think RCM does do repertoire substitutions and there have been new rules instituted for that just this year along with the new syllabus. Maybe consult the website or email RCM about that. Also, do not be concerned with the fact that there are not very many composers who you know about in the syllabus since the syllabus has been carefully looked at by many examiners and artists to ensure that all the pieces are significant and good. I'm pretty sure that there are quite a few masterpieces in the RCM syllabus, maybe it's just that you haven't found them yet...

I feel that in the lower grades, it might be better to just use the pieces published in the RCM books; it's less of a hassle and cost problem. However, in the higher grade (eg. Grade 9+), you can use pieces both in the syllabus and the published books since there is a greater amount of choices for repertoire. In the syllabus, there is may not be as many Prelude and Fugues to choose from the as I have said before, there are more choices in the higher grades. Also, although inventions and prelude and fugues are important to a student's success both musically and technically, I feel that they should not dominate all of a student's repertoire.

Congrats on your first student in Canada! Just a quick question: is your student planning to do both the Grade 6 and 7 exam to get to Grade 8 or will he be jumping grades? I ask that because if he want to complete both the Grade 6 and 7 exam, this will be quite difficult both in terms of learning music for the student and logistically since RCM exams take place once every few months. I believe that your student's lack of knowledge of Bach and chords/dominant 7th is quite concerning but ultimately this was not because of RCM exams but rather the style of teaching and choice of repertoire of his previous teacher. Any student who passes RCM's exams will have sure played Bach before and know what scales and chords are (it is also worth noting that in Grades 9 and 10, a student must have played at least one Bach prelude and fugue).

I am not quite sure about the Elementary Rudiments book that you bought since I have not used it before, however, I would imagine that that whole book would be for the Basic Rudiments exam... Perhaps keypeg's comment was a bit more helpful in that regards.

--superman1980
Pathetique - Beethoven
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Liszt
Toccata - Bowen
Warrior/Memories in an Ancient Garden - Louie

Offline heroine

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 06:29:43 AM »
thanks Keypeg and superman1980
yeah I am still figuring out the books since i already got the syllabus and quite a few rudiment and harmony books,I'm sorry to say it but again,ABRSM states more clear what they need for the exam,on both scale book,syllabus book and exam pieces book,for the RCM one,I spent lotsa time on it and still trying to figure out,i feel its like "chop into pieces" that i can't really find what material i can use on the theory syllabus(they only state out the past paper and a link to Harris which I browsed their website there's nothing)thats why I asked here and hope somebody can help

well,my student never take exams..that is frustrating ,and now he's going to take grade 8 and his mom wants him to complete grade 10 before he's done high school(it will be his first yr in this sept) so I bargained and saying he needs to take grade 8 first(she wanted him to take grade 10 right away)and he's playing grade 6 RCM scales,etude,celebration and ear training,i start teaching bach invention and i have to see the next week if he can do it well..etc and make some decisions

Offline keypeg

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #9 on: August 07, 2015, 07:17:08 PM »
I am not quite sure about the Elementary Rudiments book that you bought since I have not used it before, however, I would imagine that that whole book would be for the Basic Rudiments exam... Perhaps keypeg's comment was a bit more helpful in that regards.
There are in fact three exams, so each level, as I described it, goes with one exam.

At the first level (P) you learn the basic nature of each thing: intervals, chords etc.  Intervals are the majors, minors, and perfects; chords are introduced as Dominant, Subdominant, Dominant - identify them - in root position.  Scales: major and three types of minors, in keys up to 5 sharps or flats.  Time: simple time.  This gives you the basic concepts.  I prefer to not just work with pencil and paper, but to actually tap out time, listen to intervals at the piano, find these concepts in the music you are doing.  It also makes sense to have these solid and not rush them.  I don't like what sometimes happens, where there is a quick teaching because an exam is coming up.

The second level (1) then expands on this.  Your intervals get inversions: if CE = M3, then EC = m6.  Chords: major, minor, inversions.  Cadences are introduce: I-V, V-I, IV-I.  Scales: 6-8 sharps and flats.  Scales: chromatic, whole tone, octatonic ("diminished") blues, pentatonic.  Time: Compound time.  Transposing up/down an octave, with change of key or clef.  You're using treble, bass, alto and tenor clefs.  I would want the first level solid before going on to this.

The third level (2).  The above scales in tenor and alto clefs.  Modes written two ways.  Chords: you're doing things with them like finding all key signatures that have chord X.  Sevenths (esp. dom7), cluster chords, polychords and using letter names (C7 etc.) are introduced briefly in my book.  Time: compound (7/8, 5/8 etc.)  Transposing & melody writing are expanded, and in 4 clefs.  Transposing instruments.  Types of scores: piano, organ, orchestral, condensed, old and modern vocal, string quartet - transposing from one into the other.

All three levels are contained in one book which gives the advantage of an overview and some overlap.   However, there are three separate exams for the three levels.

Offline superman1980

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #10 on: August 08, 2015, 07:01:39 PM »
well,my student never take exams..that is frustrating ,and now he's going to take grade 8 and his mom wants him to complete grade 10 before he's done high school(it will be his first yr in this sept) so I bargained and saying he needs to take grade 8 first(she wanted him to take grade 10 right away)and he's playing grade 6 RCM scales,etude,celebration and ear training,i start teaching bach invention and i have to see the next week if he can do it well..etc and make some decisions

Five years is more than enough for two years so don't worry as long as he works hard. You are right, it is always a good idea to take an exam before he does the Grade 10 exam. I would advise to maybe go over at least a few Grade 7 and 9 pieces even though he is not doing the exam. That way he would have enough preparation before doing the Grade 8 and 10 exams. Make sure he is familiar with all the technical material and ear tests too before he does the exam.

For rudiments and harmony, I would recommend using the books I mentioned a few posts ago. For history it should be pretty much the same. Just double check the books to make sure everything in the syllabus is taught.

I know how you feel when you say that the piano exams feel chopped apart, but I feel that RCM is just doing that for the sake of clarity. The exam is separated into three parts: the Technical part which is techniques (scales/arpeggios/chords, etc) and studies/etudes (1-2 depending on grade), then there is the Repertoire part which can range between 3-5 pieces depending on grade, and then the Ear Tests/Sight Reading.

Best, superman1980
Pathetique - Beethoven
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Liszt
Toccata - Bowen
Warrior/Memories in an Ancient Garden - Louie

Offline heroine

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 07:38:45 PM »
thanks keypad and superman1980!

yes i found there are some levels definitions in the rudiment books.

btw,superman1980,what do u mean by 5 years is more than enough for 2 years?

Offline superman1980

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #12 on: August 12, 2015, 09:36:32 PM »
*Five years is more than enough for two grades
Sorry.
Pathetique - Beethoven
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Liszt
Toccata - Bowen
Warrior/Memories in an Ancient Garden - Louie

Offline danielpatterson

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Re: RCM(Canada) text book
«Reply #13 on: August 13, 2015, 12:19:15 PM »
Hi everyone,Im new here and I need your help

Im actually from Hong Kong(ABRSM) ,have been a piano teacher there over 14 yrs and I recently moved to Canada(RCM)

I have no clue about the RCM system here,went to their website,saying u need to take certain theory exams and harmony exams and history to get the cert

my questions are:
I dunno which book i can use here as text book,let say level 7,I seriously dunno what grade its equivalent to ABRSM,especially in the high levels,I dunno what book to use,can anyone share a textbook list for the RCM?since when I was teaching under ABRSM I always use one technic/etudes (like czerny),and 2 other books in difference period(e.g.baroque+classical)I seriously have no clue what to teach to match the needs of RCM syllabus

Thanks in advance and have a great day!

Heroine, I'm an RCM Center representative in the United States. If you haven't already, you should do the following:

1. Go to musicdevelopment.org and register as a teacher (under the "Teacher" tab in the menu)

It's free and that will allow you to instantly be able to

2. Call their RCM teacher support hotline and ask as many questions as you like. I once spent 45 minutes interrogating their teacher support person about the program when I first became familiar with it.

Long story short, I fell in love with the program and was inspired to found an RCM assessment center in my state!

Hope that helps