Tuesday, 11 December 2018
4 Ways to Understand Music Examinations
It is one of those question which has multiple right answers and one of those where it is important to understand what it is clearly, before you delve into it. Grades would give you a parameter to judge your knowledge abilities, however, it doesn’t tell you a lot about one’s musicianship. By musicianship, we mean one’s ability to perform and create one’s own identity in music. Music, in the end should be played from heart, which gives you joy and your emotions spoken by your abilities in your instrument.
So, Why does so many Music School encourage Music Examinations? What can a student take away from it? In this blog post, we aim to give you insight about how music examinations work and help you take an informed decision about whether it is right for you.
1. Examination Evaluation Criteria
Most of the Music Exam boards such as Rockschool, Trinity, ABRSM, etc. organize grade exams from basic levels till the higher grade that is the 8th Grade. The evaluation criteria depends on the content that a student needs to learn at a particular level. The difficulty level in the techniques and other factors related to their instrument increases as the grade ascends. The main purpose of these exams is to give a sense of achievement to the students as they complete their particular level in their respective instrument. It is almost like a final report card of your performance in that level. They evaluate you in various sectors like your theory knowledge, general musicianship knowledge, application of techniques etc. So these examination can help you evaluate your progress in the instrument.
2. Reasons of Taking the Exam
These examinations can be taken by anyone, ranging from school students to young adults to the old. So, each age group might have different reasons to be taking the exam. For instance, in most young children learning the guitar, it is a way of evaluating their progress and earn the sense of achievement as they go through various levels of difficulty. Young adults might be looking to be enhancing their techniques, listening skills and musicianship under a structured curriculum or maybe appearing for grades to make their CV look better. But in the end of it all, it gives you that motivation you need to keep learning and the confidence of executing the knowledge you have gathered through various grades. All these different curriculum are created by a team of qualified professionals, so you really will learn and advance your skill and knowledge.
3. UCAS Points
All the major Music exams are internationally recognized and schools like Rockschool offers UCAS points as you pass their higher grades. These points can be accumulated and be used to meet the requirements for getting admitted in undergraduate degree programmes at UK universities and colleges. Every eligible university has a certain requirement of UCAS points and if you have plans to join one of them, doing examinations and accumulating those points along with your skills can be a factor as you pursue admissions in higher education universities abroad.
4. Learning to perform vs Learning Music for exams
Now lets answer this beast. Which one is better? Well, even if there are benefits to taking an exam, there are various ways of succeeding in those exams without trying your hardest and that can be one downfall to your learning. Even though we come across theories and techniques along the way, we never understand how to use them in real situations or other than the examination songs. Whereas, when you are learning to perform, all those dynamics become an important part of your learning and you utilize them more efficiently. In the end, it comes to the point where you have to learn with consciousness and a plan, playing the instrument should become a passionate hobby. Learning and applying them go hand in hand, otherwise there is no use learning theory and techniques if you can’t utilize them in real live performances.
So, in conclusion, it all depends on how you approach music learning. Music Examination can help you get better and really good if you consciously practice the techniques and learn them to utilize it in your playing and in the end of it all, you have an evaluation which gives you the picture of your progress that can be a huge motivating factor in your learning curve.
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