What's New > Q&A on the Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program

Q&A on the Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program

posted on 2:44 PM, July 29, 2019
Dr. Victoria Holland, Lead Editor and Compiler of the RCM 2019 Voice Series, reviews some of the commonly asked questions from teachers when learning about the new curriculum.
Victoria Holland (right) outlined the 2019 RCM Voice Series at the NATS Summer Workshop

The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Certificate Program was the sponsor of the NATS 2019 Summer Workshop, held in June at St. Olaf College. To outline its new 2019 Voice Series, the Royal Conservatory of Music offered a featured presentation during the workshop. NATS met with NATS member Dr. Victoria Holland, Lead Editor and Compiler of the RCM 2019 Voice Series, to review some of the commonly asked questions from teachers when learning about the new curriculum.

What is the RCM Certificate Program?

The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Certificate Program is a comprehensive system of music study and assessment for Elementary through to Advanced levels.

What is the RCM?

The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world, providing the definitive standard of excellence in curriculum design, assessment, performance training, teacher certification and arts-based social programs. The physical building is located in the heart of Toronto and houses the academic and publishing offices for the Certificate Program, as well as world-class training programs such as the Glenn Gould School and the Taylor Academy for Young Artists, and the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning.

How does the Certificate Program fit into this world-class organization?

RCM’s mission – to develop human potential – is based on the conviction that the arts are humanity's greatest means to achieve personal growth and social cohesion. With a focus on nurturing creativity and developing self-confidence, our program allows students to work at their own pace. There is no barrier to entry, encouraging all to engage in music-making and to explore their love of music. RCM’s Certificate Program celebrates the success of all students.

What is the Voice Series, 2019 Edition and Syllabus?

This 5th edition of the published books and the 2019 Voice Syllabus serve as the official voice materials for the Certificate Program. The voice program is a part of the larger curriculum that includes 20+ syllabi: instruments, voice, speech arts and drama, theory, and history.

DSCN0365y4x6.jpgWhat’s new in the 2019 Voice Series?

The 2019 Voice Series celebrates the North American song tradition while maintaining its support of the Western European song and operatic tradition taught in colleges and universities. New RCM-exclusive arrangements, more living North American composers, more women composers, more popular and musical theater selections, and exciting storytelling opportunities for people with varied backgrounds and experiences make this the definitive North American resource for teaching and studying singing.

What’s new in the 2019 Voice Syllabus?

The 2019 Voice Syllabus builds on the strong foundation of the 2012 edition and includes 2500+ repertoire selections, improved progression of technical tests and musicianship skills, and better alignment of vocal skills development with the other RCM syllabi. Certified Teachers receive access to webinars and materials detailing specific updates.

Can I access the Voice Syllabus online and in print?

All RCM syllabi are available online and can be printed or downloaded. Print copies are available through the RCM bookstore. Enter “syllabi” in the search area.

Is there a difference between the United States and Canadian program?

The RCM Certificate Program is the same in the United States and in Canada.

Where are exams held?

Exams are held at 200+ RCM Centers throughout North America and in select cities around the world. Some theory and history exams are now completed online and marked by members of the College of Examiners.

What are individual, 3rd-party assessments?

Individual student examinations, delivered by one of our 300+ accredited examiners, enable students to track their progress and celebrate their accomplishments. An accredited examiner from the RCM's College of Examiners provides objective feedback and comments which can be valuable in developing the student’s skills. The comprehensive marking system is based out of 100. The classification of overall marks is detailed in the syllabus.

Why should a student take an exam?

Preparing for exams helps your students to set goals and round out their musical knowledge. Exam candidates are eligible to win Gold Medal awards from The Royal Conservatory. Many high schools recognize RCM Certificate Program examinations for credit toward graduation. Students who participate in RCM examinations tend to become more dedicated to their instrument and practice more often.

How is the program comprehensive?

Practical Certification (voice exam only) is offered for Preparatory and Levels 1-10. Technical tests and aural skills are built into the practical voice exam. Comprehensive certification with co-requisites is offered for Levels 5-10. The Diploma Certificate caps off the program. This guide shows the progression.

DSCN0394y4x6.jpgHow do I get started?

Create a free online account by visiting the RCM in the US webpage. Teachers, parents, and students over age 18 can create their own accounts. Teachers and students can access exam results; online resources, such as the accompaniment tracks for the repertoire books (free with purchase of book); and RCM Ear Training ($4.99/month — cancel or reinstate at any time).

What is RCM Teacher Certification?

As an RCM Certified Teacher, you receive exclusive online access to valuable professional development resources that will help you build and strengthen your teaching practice: RCM Online Ear Training, discounts on RCM bookstore materials, one annual complimentary Elementary-level exam, exclusive webinars, and so much more. You join a private online community of like-minded peers with whom you can share your teaching challenges and celebrate your successes.

Do I have to be a Certified Teacher in order for my students to participate in exams?

No, you and your student just need to sign up for free online accounts, register for the exam, and pay the exam fee. Exams are held at US centers in late November-early December, in May, and at some centers in August. Registration occurs approximately two months in advance.

Where can I go to get my questions answered?

The Voice Syllabus details exam requirements and policies. It’s quick and easy to query the online version, or you can use the table of contents in the print version. All other questions can be directed to Candidate Services via the Contact Us link on the website; questions will be directed to the appropriate department.