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Traditional Music Graded Exams

Accordion, Fiddle and Scottish Harp

Introduction

Traditional Music Graded Exams are designed for current music teachers or talented musicians that wish to gain an award in Scottish music; specifically fiddle, Scottish harp and accordion.

Our programme promotes traditional Scottish performance skills and the best of traditional and contemporary repertoire.

The programme provides:

  • an escalator for aspiring traditional musicians who wish to widen their scope of opportunities
  • a basis for professional development among traditional Scottish music educators and non-specialist teachers looking to gain further experience of traditional Scottish music
  • a firmer establishment of traditional music tuition in Scotland’s educational curriculum
  • parity of esteem with the classical idiom.

The exams and assessments can also be fun:

“There was a really relaxed atmosphere in the waiting room while the accordion exams were taking place. Everyone, both candidates and parents, were very supportive of each other, applauding once candidates had finished practising. A few of the candidates even had a wee jamming session between practising! … It was an enjoyable day for all involved.” Steward, Aberdeen Centre

 

NEW FIDDLE, HARP AND ACCORDION SYLLABUSES OUT NOW!

Working together with publisher Taigh na Teud and a range of Scotland’s foremost traditional musicians and tutors, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is pleased to announce our new, updated syllabuses for fiddle, harp and accordions are now available direct from www.scotlandsmusic.com.

These include new selections of tunes in addition to timeless favorites, a wider range of practice specimens for Quick Studies and PAM tests. All new downloadable bundles comprising all you need to get started with your pupil or teacher.

The best way to stay in touch with us is via our mailing list: please sign up today!



Contact us:

By email: tmge@rcs.ac.uk

By telephone: 0141 270 8184

Introduction

Traditional Music Graded Exams are designed for current music teachers or talented musicians that wish to gain an award in Scottish music; specifically fiddle, Scottish harp and accordion.

Our programme promotes traditional Scottish performance skills and the best of traditional and contemporary repertoire.

The programme provides:

  • an escalator for aspiring traditional musicians who wish to widen their scope of opportunities
  • a basis for professional development among traditional Scottish music educators and non-specialist teachers looking to gain further experience of traditional Scottish music
  • a firmer establishment of traditional music tuition in Scotland’s educational curriculum
  • parity of esteem with the classical idiom.

The exams and assessments can also be fun:

“There was a really relaxed atmosphere in the waiting room while the accordion exams were taking place. Everyone, both candidates and parents, were very supportive of each other, applauding once candidates had finished practising. A few of the candidates even had a wee jamming session between practising! … It was an enjoyable day for all involved.” Steward, Aberdeen Centre

 

NEW FIDDLE, HARP AND ACCORDION SYLLABUSES OUT NOW!

Working together with publisher Taigh na Teud and a range of Scotland’s foremost traditional musicians and tutors, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is pleased to announce our new, updated syllabuses for fiddle, harp and accordions are now available direct from www.scotlandsmusic.com.

These include new selections of tunes in addition to timeless favorites, a wider range of practice specimens for Quick Studies and PAM tests. All new downloadable bundles comprising all you need to get started with your pupil or teacher.

The best way to stay in touch with us is via our mailing list: please sign up today!



Contact us:

By email: tmge@rcs.ac.uk

By telephone: 0141 270 8184

Course outline

Like exams delivered by the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music, the Conservatoire’s Scottish Traditional Music Graded Exams are divided into four sections and last 15-20 minutes depending on the grade.

Total possible marks in each Scottish Traditional Music Graded Exam are; 100 marks are required to reach a Pass; 120 marks to pass with Merit; and 130 marks to pass with Distinction. The four sections of the exam are:

  • PERFORMANCE – 90 marks
  • TECHNICAL WORK – 18 marks
  • QUICK STUDY – 21 marks
  • PRACTICAL AND AURAL MUSICIANSHIP – 21 marks

Performance (90 marks)

The performance part of the exam has 3 pieces: 1) Airs, 2) Dance Tunes and 3) Recently-composed Tunes. Each piece is marked out of 30. Please see performance guidelines for more details.

Technical Work (18 marks)

Technical work for Scottish Traditional Music Graded Exams will include a limited number of scales, arpeggios and technical exercises, depending on the syllabus.

Quick Study (21 marks)

This section, in which you are to play back a short piece of music, can be done by ear or by sight – the choice is yours. See Quick Study general guidelines for further details.

Practical and Aural Musicianship (21 marks)

Practical and Aural Musicianship (PAM) comprises a short series of tests designed to encourage your understanding of traditional rhythms and tune idioms, and challenge your ability to echo and improvise responses to musical prompts. Please see PAM guidelines for more details.

More on how it works click here

Fiddle exam at Grades 1 – 5

The link above provides guidance on the performance section of the fiddle exam at Grades 1-5. For a full and downloadable PDF file of the fiddle syllabus in its entirety, click here .

Accordion exam at Grades 1 – 5

The link above provides guidance on the performance section of the accordion exam at Grades 1-5. For a full and downloadable PDF file of the accordion syllabus in its entirety, click here .

Scottish Harp exam at Grades 1 – 5

The link above provides guidance on the performance section of the Scottish harp exam at Grades 1-5. For a full and downloadable PDF file of the Scottish harp syllabus in its entirety, click here.

All guidelines should be read in conjunction with guidance on Quick Study and PAM tests.

Financial support

Unfortunately the Short Courses department cannot offer bursary or scholarship support for examinations.

Entry requirements

You do not have to be able to read music to take the exams: our syllabuses offer the choice between reading music for assessment or playing back by ear.

Assessment Criteria

The information within the link above indicates the basis of assessment for the Scottish Traditional Music Graded Exams. These are minimalist criteria statements, giving clear guidance on what the examiner is looking for in the various sections. The examiner is aware that every performance is unique, however, and results are arrived at by balancing the various qualities in the playing.

Benefits of the programme

The programme acknowledges the value of Scotland’s traditional music to its contemporary culture and identity, and seeks to further strengthen traditional music ties to education and lifelong learning.

Unlike other music exam programmes, the Scottish Traditional Music Graded Exams are specialist-based – meaning a fiddle candidate is assessed by a fiddle examiner, an accordion candidate by an accordion examiner, and so on.

Music teachers can book a specialist visit for their students throughout the year. These can take place at RCS, or elsewhere in the country- we can arrange an examiner to come and visit a school for example. Normally we require at least 12 candidates for a specialist visit, to make it worthwhile. Visits have taken place throughout Scotland, including Shetland, Orkney, the Isle of Lewis, Aberdeenshire, across the mainland Highlands and the Scottish Borders.

At a glance...

Traditional Music Graded Exams 34 - £46 Application Deadline: 20171001

Book your place

Twice-annual exam sessions

Two exam sessions take place annually on Royal Conservatoire premises: a Spring session and an Autumn/Winter session. The Spring session usually takes place around the start of April; the session in Autumn/Winter usually around November. Once the deadline for entries to a session has passed, our TMGE Administrator collates the entries and notifies each applicant of their candidates’ appointment with the examiner for the upcoming session.

Winter Session 2017

We are happy to advise you that we will be running a round of exams in Winter 2017. These exams will take place on set dates likely to be end of November / early December 2017. Please sign up to our mailing list for further updates. Any candidate wishing to be considered for this diet should register by 1 October 2017.



Exam Fees

Grade 1 – £34.00
Grade 2 – £37.00
Grade 3 – £40.00
Grade 4 – £43.00
Grade 5 – £46.00

 

 

Term dates and tuition fees

Spring Session 2017

We are happy to advise you that we will be running a round of exams in Spring 2017. The deadline for applications for this diet of exams is 1 March 2017. All applicants must register prior to this deadline by clicking here.

 

Exam Fees

Grade 1 – £34.00
Grade 2 – £37.00
Grade 3 – £40.00
Grade 4 – £43.00
Grade 5 – £46.00

Offers

Promotional Offers

We offer a selection of promotional offers from 25% off the overall tuition cost for current undergraduate/postgraduate students and staff, to 10% off when two summer schools are booked at the same time.

View a full list of promotional offers here. Contact lifelong@rcs.ac.uk to request your code prior to booking a course.