Meri’s Musical Musings

More benefits of music exams

Posted on: July 24, 2012

Okay, I may be biased in the fact that most of my students prepare for music exams. The way I see it, NOT preparing them for at least an exam or two puts them at a disadvantage, especially if they are considering music as a career, which often want to see evidence of study with quality teachers. And some teachers may be passing on their own fears of exams to their students, plus can easily leave out a lot of different types of music knowledge if  teachers are not careful.

But even if students are not necessarily career oriented (and I had one student which I had no idea ended up finishing a jazz performance program on a different instrument than I taught him until a couple years ago when I noticed his Craigslist ad looking for a guitar teacher for someone looking for one, I remember him really struggling in the first year of lessons, even though he did a couple of exams with me, a theory exam, and two or three exams on the instrument he majored on), they’ll benefit in other ways.

Students are going to be exposed to other instruments played really well, they’ll learn the importance of various musical skills (especially correct timing for non-piano students), reinforce the things the teacher has been talking about coming from someone else, learn how to prepare for a long-term goal, and learn how to manage their time.

I am careful that the exam material does not consume the whole focus (though with students who do minimal, none, or incorrect practicing, it can consume a lot of time), but then many of the skills they learn have other contexts, such as being required to know scales and name intervals for SCHOOL music tests and exams. For young students having their exam at the main location for the first time, I mention how they get to go into a building that is one of the oldest in Canada, and here they give most of the students a sticker to put on their instrument case or wherever they want to show off that they did an exam.

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  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
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