To date, there has never been a music certification and achievement program for young musicians to follow in the United States that has gained traction on a national level compared to the RCM in Canada, the ABRSM in Great Britain, and the AMEB in Australia.
That is about to change.
With the CHRC Achievement Program, the already-established RCM Examinations system and the vast catalog of books from Frederick Harris Music will be able to reach a much greater number of teachers, both independent and institutional. At the same time, Carnegie Hall will have a golden opportunity to expand its business model far beyond the concert business and give them a major foothold in the US music education market.
Stay tuned for more details as more information becomes available. You can also check out my Twitter stream for more live information. In the meantime, below are highlights from both the American and Canadian press releases which just went public this afternoon.
The Carnegie Hall press release:
CARNEGIE HALL AND THE ROYAL CONSERVATORYPARTNER TO LAUNCHTHE CARNEGIE HALL ROYAL CONSERVATORY ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM
New Nationally Recognized Program Designed To EncourageMusical Excellence Across The United States
(March 25, 2010; NEW YORK, NY and Toronto, ON, Canada)—Carnegie Hall and The Royal Conservatory today jointly announced that they have partnered to create the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program (The Achievement Program), a national system of music study and assessment for students and teachers.
The Achievement Program will create a nationally recognized standard of musical achievement for people of all ages independently studying music in the United States, offering a sequential course of study from beginner through advanced levels. Modeled on the internationally renowned program and examination system developed by The Royal Conservatory in Canada, The Achievement Program will motivate music students, both children and adults, to strive for excellence through participation
in individual student assessments with professional adjudicators, enabling them to celebrate their accomplishments and track their progress. For younger students, The Program will assist parents who seek a better understanding of their children’s level of performance and musical growth. It will also support and empower independent music teachers by providing both opportunities for high-quality professional development and innovative curricular resources.
“The launch of The Achievement Program marks an extraordinary milestone for The Royal Conservatory and for music education in the United States,” said Dr. Peter Simon, President and CEO of The Royal Conservatory. “Our belief in the transformative power and benefits of the arts through greater participation in music study led us to a partnership with the leading icon of excellence in musical performance—Carnegie Hall.”
“Since Carnegie Hall opened in 1891, it has been the aspirational destination for musicians worldwide, a place that has inspired generations of musicians to fulfill their talent,” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “Especially through the education and community programs of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, we continue to embrace this tradition, encouraging people from all walks of life to engage with great music. With these values in mind, it is a great pleasure to take this next important step in music education with such a great partner—The Royal Conservatory of Music with its own wonderful 125-year commitment to music education—to launch this important initiative designed to support students and teachers nationwide and meaningfully encourage their musical development and spirit of discovery.”
The Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program was created in response to feedback from parents and teachers throughout the United States who said they would welcome a top-quality, nationally recognized program enabling them to measure students’ progress and musical achievement. The Achievement Program is based on the highly successful Royal Conservatory Examinations program, established by The Royal Conservatory in 1886, through which more than 100,000 students (children and adults) are currently assessed annually in communities throughout Canada.
In the United States, The Achievement Program provides comprehensive materials and tools for music educators including sequential program guides, repertoire lists, and online educational resources. Official program syllabi are available for a variety of instruments including keyboard, strings, woodwinds, brass, and voice. The official syllabi outline The Achievement Program’s requirements for each instrument for beginner through advanced levels, including an extensive list of repertoire appropriate for each level of musical development, and a comprehensive bibliography. In addition to its focus on performance, The Program also encompasses sequential learning in the areas of technique, musicianship, music theory, music history, and pedagogy.
Central to the approach of The Achievement Program are periodic assessments for students: one-on-one adjudicator-to-student performance evaluations that also function as valuable teaching / learning opportunities. Students and their teachers work together to choose and prepare a selection of repertoire to perform for the adjudicator and review technical and musicianship requirements appropriate to the student’s level. In each practical assessment, a certified professional adjudicator evaluates a student’s performance of repertoire, studies (études), and musical proficiency skills. Following the assessment, students later receive a detailed written evaluation with suggestions for continued growth and development as well as information about their current level of achievement. Assessments are also offered in the academic subjects of music theory and music history. Once all of the components of a particular assessment level are successfully completed, students are awarded certificates. One of the most important aspects of The Achievement Program is how it encourages students to work from level to level. This sequential course of study is meant to provide a clear, consistent, and meaningful path to recognize achievement and reward excellence across the US, and raise awareness of the value of studying music at the national level.
Teachers and students can participate in The Achievement Program anywhere in the United States. The Program will hold assessments several times a year with upcoming dates and registration information listed on its web site. Students of all ages can currently take assessments in 90 US locations, with the number of locations expected to grow as The Program develops.
For registration information, including details of fees, materials, and locations, please visit
The Royal Conservatory's press release:
THE ROYAL CONSERVATORY ANNOUNCESPARTNERSHIP WITH CARNEGIE HALL
The Royal Conservatory and Carnegie Hall have partnered to launch the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program (The Achievement Program), a national system of music study and assessment for students and teachers across the United States.
“The launch of The Achievement Program marks an extraordinary milestone for The Royal Conservatory and for music education in the United States,” says Dr. Peter Simon, President and CEO of The Royal Conservatory. “Our belief in the transformative power and benefits of the arts, through greater participation in music study, led us to a partnership with the leading icon of excellence in musical performance — Carnegie Hall.”
“Carnegie Hall is proud to align itself with The Royal Conservatory's 125-year legacy of excellence in music education,” says Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “By establishing a commonly understood set of standards for people studying music across the United States, this national program will create engaging new ways for students — both children and adults — to measure their progress, motivating them to work toward greater musical accomplishments. The Achievement Program will also assist parents who seek a better understanding of their children’s level of performance and musical growth, while supporting teachers through opportunities for high-quality professional development and curricular resources.”
The Achievement Program is based on the internationally renowned curriculum and examination system developed by The Royal Conservatory, which provides a recognized standard of musical success through an effectively sequenced course of study from beginner to advanced levels. Over 100,000 students participate in Royal Conservatory examinations annually in communities across Canada.
The Achievement Program includes elements that have made The Royal Conservatory examination system the most respected in the world, including:
- Practical examinations evaluating a student’s proficiency in music
- Theory and history examinations, which play an essential role in developing musicianship and music literacy
- One-on-one sessions with a professional examiner ensuring consistent assessment standards
- Syllabi, repertoire books, and other educational materials and resources
The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world. Providing the definitive standard in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performance, and teacher education, the programs of The Royal Conservatory have had a substantial impact upon the lives of millions of
people globally. The Royal Conservatory has helped to train a number of great artists including Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, David Foster, Sarah McLachlan, Angela Hewitt, and Diana Krall. Motivated by its powerful mission to develop human potential through music and the arts, The Royal Conservatory has emerged over the last two decades as a leader in the development of arts-based programs that address a wide range of social issues. For more information, please visit www.rcmusic.ca.
Founded in 1891, New York City’s Carnegie Hall presents exceptional performances by the world’s finest artists on its three stages — the renowned Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, the intimate Weill Recital Hall, and the innovative Zankel Hall — ranging from orchestral concerts, chamber music, and solo recitals to jazz, world, and popular music. Extensive music education and community programs developed by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute play a central role in Carnegie Hall’s commitment to making great music accessible to as many people as possible. WMI’s programs annually serve over 170,000 children, students, teachers, parents, young music professionals, and adults in the New York City metropolitan area, across the country, and around the globe, with more than an additional 100,000 people taking advantage of WMI’s online music education resources. For more information on Carnegie Hall or other Weill Music Institute national/international music programs, please visit carnegiehall.org.