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RCM Theory Class

The RCM theory class is based solely on the Royal Conservatory theory syllabus, specifically the Preliminary Rudiments.

Students receive individual attention in preparation to be in the position to take the Royal Conservatory theory exam at the end of the year. Class time includes written exercises, some group work and, eventually, practice exams. Homework is usually assigned each week. Please note: The student does not have to take the RCM exam, but basic theory knowledge is essential for all budding musicians. There are specific RCM theory co requisites for the RCM practical exams. RCM Theory and History (all levels) are also taught privately by some of our teachers. Group lessons are also be available for most levels depending on interest. The group lessons are small in size to make sure each child gets the required attention.

What is RCM theory and why should we take it are two questions that are often asked. First, RCM theory is the theoretical component of the RCM exams. It is a written exam, separate from the practical, played exam. Theory is the study of the `grammer` of music.  As you move up in the RCM grades the theory component starts to include History and Harmony as well. Starting at Gr 5 or so, the RCM has a theory co-requisit involved in the grade. Although you will receive your mark and examiners comments, you do not receive the certificate unless the theory component is completed. Generally, it is better to stay ahead in the theory so you are not playing a game of `catch up`! You can also do the theory exams without doing the playing, practical exams.

Why taking theory is so important, is that it helps the student understand more about the music they are playing, and gives them a better understanding of music in general. They can start to see scale passages, key changes and other elements in their music and it will help them learn their music with a keener sense of what is going on in the music.

The names of the different levels has recently been changed, here is a list of the new names of the levels and the grade they are a co-requisite for:

Former name New name Grade co-requisite
Preliminary Rudiments Basic Rudiments Gr. 5
Grade 1 Rudiments Intermediate Rudiments Gr. 6
Grade 2 Rudiments Advanced Rudiments Gr. 7  (and above)
Grade 3 Harmony Basic Harmony Gr.9 (and above)
Grade 3 History History 1: An overview
Grade 4 Harmony Intermediate Harmony Gr 10 (and above)
Grade 4 History History 2 : Middle Ages to Classical

* ARCT needs all of the above stating at the Advanced Rudiments and includes Advanced Harmony, History 3, Counterpoint and Analysis.

The OSA offers the Basic rudiments on Saturdays at QEPCCC, which can be taken in conjunction with Violin Group classes or on it's own. This class follows the RCM curriculum and the children are given a mock exam at the end. If they want to write the actual RCM exam the teacher would have to be notified and there may be a need for some extra lessons outside the group lesson to prepare properly.

In addition these Group theory classes are available at the instructor's studio:

  • RCM Intermediate rudiments – Monday at  5:00  pm or TBA depending on numbers
  • RCM Basic history – Thursday at 8:00 pm

Please contact Michelle Coon regarding these classes, if there is enough interest other classes might be offered as well, please inquire if you are looking for another level of theory/history/harmony.

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