Congratulations! Your teacher has recommended that your child take a Royal Conservatory of Music exam. But is your family up for it? Here are a few thoughts before taking on this commitment.
1. RCM exams are a family affair. You are responsible for making sure that your child practices and prepares adequately for lessons, gets to lessons, and for registration and communication with the RCM office.
2. RCM exams cost money. Not only for registration, which is non-refundable, but also for books, accompanist's fees, and extra lessons before the exam.
3. RCM exam preparation is probably the biggest commitment your child has made thus far in life. This is no joke! RCM exams require a student to prepare and refine at least 20 minutes of difficult repertoire, much of it heard in concert halls played by professionals. The exams also require technically expert scales as well as ear-training, sight-reading, and memory work. Passing an exam takes time management skills that few children have developed. They rely on their family to teach them this on a day-to-day basis.
Are the exams worth it? Absolutely! Your child will develop perseverance, self-discipline, and a deep belief in their own ability to accomplish great things! As a family you will develop group time-management skills, discipline, and commitment to a common goal. This is empowering!
So take your time before committing to exams. Look at your family's schedule. Look at your own schedule. Check your finances, your own commitment to the process. Are you ready?
If you are, then take that step and watch you, your child, and your family grow in unexpected and exciting ways!