Examination deadlines are usually at the end of October for the winter session and the beginning of March for the spring session. The Almonte Center is open for exams only in June, for the spring session, but is also open in the winter session, just for theory examinations.
Cynthia has reproduced a very helpful document which explains very clearly to the student about the examiners expectations for students for each grading level. These standards for assessment have been drawn from the comments of many examiners at the Royal Conservatory of Music. This Consensus should provide an awareness of the examiners' expectations in piano examinations.
- James Lawless (Chief Examiner)
Concensus of Examiners' Proposed Guidelines for Assessment of Pieces on Piano Exams:
Fail (below 60%)
Pass (60 - 69%)
Honours (70 - 79%)
First Class Honours (80 - 89%)
First Class Honours with Distinction (90 - 100%)
FAIL: tempo inconsistent, rhythm distorted, inaccurate notes, technical limitations, little dynamic contrast, lacking in continuity.
PASS: fairly consistent tempo, rhythm accurate, notes fairly accurate, some technical facility
basic dynamic contrast, general continuity.
HONOURS: tempo consistent, rhythm accurate, notes accurate, technical control, clearly marked dynamic contrast, some definition in articulation e.g. legato, staccato, a sense of phrasing and line,
good tone quality, some idea of style.
FIRST CLASS HONOURS: Tempo: appropriate for the piece, well-maintained, rhythm: accuracy, vitality and flexibility, notation: accurate, technically fluent, dynamics: wide range and subtlety
phrasing: good flexibility, direction and shaping, articulation: convincing e.g. Bach, tone: good depth and balance, touch: secure and varied, style: good concept of style fluency of performance.
FIRST CLASS HONOURS WITH DISTINCTION: An exceptional performance, virtually impossible to criticize, artistry and flair, interpretive insight and a talent for communicating this to the listener.
Consensus of Examiners' Proposed Guidelines for Assessment of Technical Requirements
FAIL: Very slow tempo, inadequate knowledge of keys, inaccurate notes, uneven touch, poor tone quality, inconsistent fingering, lack of rhythmic flow.
PASS: Slow, steady tempo, basic knowledge of keys, accurate notes, evenness in touch, satisfactory tone quality, an understanding of fingering, rhythmic security.
HONOURS: Fluent tempo, good knowledge of keys, accurate notes, even, articulate touch, good tone quality, appropriate fingering, good rhythmic definition and flow.
FIRST CLASS HONOURS: Required tempo or better, knowledge of keys, accurate notes, controlled, precise and articulate, excellent tone quality, secure fingering, vitality and flexibility in rhythmic flow.