Review: "RCM Classical Guitar - Syllabus (2018 Edition)"

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Elliott's Print Music Reviews – Episode 12

The Royal Conservatory of Music Syllabus for Classical Guitar (2018 Edition) provides students everything they need to prepare for the RCM exam. It outlines the classical guitar curriculum for Preparatory through Associate Diploma levels. Includes extensive listings of repertoire as well as musicianship and technical requirements for each level of study. It features pieces compiled from more than 500 years worth of guitar and other plucked-string music, and each progressive Repertoire and Etudes book explores a wide range of historical periods and styles.

What Elliott has to say About the Book

Video Transcript

Hi everyone. In today's video, I'd like to discuss one of the most important types of books that we carry here in the Print Music department: the syllabus for the Royal Conservatory of Music. The RCM is one of, if not the leading body of musical education in Canada, and its various syllabi serve as important sources of information for its many teachers and students alike.

If you've never navigated through one of these books, you can consider it just being comprised of three main sections. The first part includes a brief overview and introduction to the Conservatory itself as well as information about each of the components that one has to prepare for their exam. This includes repertoire, technique, and musicianship.

The second part of the book includes precise requirements for each of the grades from preparatory to associate level. Included in this part is a full breakdown of how marks are distributed, a complete list of all the pieces that students can select from for the exam, and precise instructions about how the technique and musicianship components of the exam are administered.

The third and final part of the book includes precise instructions about what to do on the day of the exam itself, information about how to interpret the mark that one has received, a complete list of all the publishers referenced in the series, and a helpful appendix of exercises pertaining to the technique and musicianship components.

Although in recent years, the RCM has made their various syllabi available for viewing and download off of the internet, I still believe that a physical copy is an invaluable resource to add to one's own musical library. Physical copies allow you to access the information in a much faster and easier way than scrolling up and down a screen.You can quickly scan the table of contents, flip to a specific page, and move back and forth between different sections of the book. If you're a student, this is particularly helpful if you wish to familiarize yourself with composers and pieces that you might not yet know about. It also allows you to scan ahead in the book to future grades to see where your learning is going. The printed page also gives the opportunity to make your own notes, which is a helpful strategy if you wish to track your own progress in a particular category. Finally, hard copies give you the chance to carry the information with you wherever you like and in this way you can work closely with your teacher to carefully plan your own growth and development.

Musical success is often a reflection of how much preparation we put in and the RCM syllabus is here for exactly that reason. Thanks for watching. I'll see you in the next video.

Thanks for watching. If you’re interested in learning more about this book, please click on the link in this video, or come see our store in Richmond Hill.

Elliott's Print Music Reviews

Most of you know Cosmo Music as your one-stop shop for virtually any music instrument you want to play. What you may not know is that we also have an incredible selection of print music titles available in our store and online, as well. And when we say “incredible”, we mean tens of thousands of titles. If you’re looking for print music for something specific, we likely have it in stock, or can easily get our hands on it for you.

For those of you that have frequented our Print Music Department in the past, you’ll likely recognize Elliott. In this series, he’ll talk about some popular and not-so-popular titles that we’ve got available to you.

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