PATHWAYS FOR PLAYING • by ANDREW EALES
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Taking grade exams on the piano has for many been a rite of passage, and many teachers and parents convey an expectation that they are an important landmark in any pianist’s journey. Whatever one’s view of this, it is no surprise that so many of the questions, comments and requests made on internet forums concern the different exam boards available.
Five equally accredited boards operate internationally from a UK base, giving rise to endless comparisons and discussions, often generating more heat than light. This article is a sincere attempt to offer the latter, providing a level playing field for each of the five boards to present themselves in their own words, outline what they offer and their recent developments.
The following pages, one for each board, will supplement this information with links to Pianodao’s independent syllabus reviews, and a representative sampling of the customer feedback users of each board have generously provided in response to the recent Pianodao reader survey.
Continue reading Which Piano Exam Board 2021/3?
Sheet Music Review
London College of Music Exams may be less well known to readers than the ABRSM and Trinity College London boards which I have written about previously, but that may be about to change
Certainly LCM offer a very wide range of different assessments for piano players. According to pedagogue David Barton:
“I estimate that LCM offer nearly 20 different options for pianists at 15 different levels, right from the earliest stages of learning, through to the Fellowship of the London College of Music (FLCM). The range of options now available is fantastic; I feel enormously lucky to be teaching at a time when the needs of a diverse range of learners of all ages is finally being met by examination boards, led, in my view, by LCM. We live in exciting times, and it will be interesting to see what options continue to develop in the future.”
And it isn’t just in the area of examinations that LCM are looking to innovate and lead the way, but also in the area of publications…
When new Publications Officer David Duncan told me that he hopes to significantly shake up their publications, I quietly thought to myself ”thank goodness”, as their previous efforts haven’t been particularly user friendly, well edited, or attractively presented.
That said, nothing prepared me for the extent and speed with which LCM Publications would reinvent itself: their new collection of selected works from their Piano Diploma syllabus has taken my breath away.
Put simply ’In Concert’ is an extraordinary achievement, and in a completely different league from LCM’s previous published efforts. And whether or not you are interested in LCM’s Diploma exam, this is a highly desirable new collection for players looking for interesting and diverse repertoire at this level.
Let’s take a closer look…
Continue reading LCM ‘In Concert’ anthology
Guest Author, The Reverend Professor June Boyce-Tillman writes about the effect that the lack of female composers in music syllabuses had on a young child’s aspirations…
Continue reading The Effects of the Gendered Musical Canon
Guest Post by David Duncan
Publications Officer, LCM Examinations
Should we care about the representation of women composers in graded music exams?
Continue reading Women composers and Graded Exams