Have you heard? The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) has recently released the newly revised 2022 Piano Syllabus for their practical examinations. They are also releasing new editions of the wonderful Celebration Series piano literature collection (available soon). What exciting news for piano teachers!
Not familiar with RCM? Each year, I tend to enter a handful of piano students to take exam assessments through RCM, an excellent program originating in Canada and gradually becoming more popular in the United States. There are exam centers located in many major cities, as well as an option for an online exams via Zoom. I appreciate the thoroughness of the assessments, which require students to demonstrate musicianship skills (sight-reading, ear training, rhythm exercises, etc.) and perform a set of pieces ranging in musical styles. The levels outlined in the syllabus (a great teaching resource for any teacher — find the free PDF here) are soundly structured and have been refined over time by dedicated pedagogues in our field. RCM is also known for the quality and consistency of adjudication scoring. RCM is not a competition; it is a standard that allows students and parents to better understand and track progress during music study.
Every seven years, RCM revises the piano syllabus to incorporate new repertoire, eliminate repertoire that is no longer readily available, and refine the aural and musicianship requirements. When it’s a revision year, RCM teachers are always seeking to learn about the updates and changes compared to the previous syllabus.
RCM practical exams include technical requirements for each level consisting of certain scales, arpeggios, and chords that must be performed for the adjudicator. These technical requirements are described in the syllabus and are also notated out in the available RCM technique books. I tend NOT to purchase the technique books, because I find that students learn better than when the technical exercises been learned by rote and memorized from day 1. But it can be cumbersome to describe the RCM technical requirements on students’ assignment sheets each week — especially if you expect students to review all previous material.
Enter my technique charts. I’ve been making these since the 2008 RCM syllabus, and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from other piano teachers who have found them helpful over the years!
I find these charts help ensure that my students are learning and reviewing their exercises from week to week. Even if you have no intention of sending students to RCM assessments, you might find these charts useful.
From the 2008 to 2015 syllabi, I recall many technical requirement changes made. However, in comparing 2015 to 2022, I found that there were not many changes made at all. Nevertheless, I wanted to revise my charts to perfectly match the new 2022 syllabus. I’m pleased to announce the new charts for the 2022 RCM Piano Syllabus are finished and available below.
I keep the PDF of these technique charts on my computer desktop and also uploaded to my iPad (I use an app called GoodNotes, but any similar app of your choice will work). This makes it easy to print out charts for students. I like to tape each student’s chart inside the front cover of one of their books. I assign items from the chart each week by outlining certain boxes in pencil or marker. At the next lesson, students demonstrate whether they’ve mastered each skill. Mastered items on the chart get a checkmark or a sticker. These charts makes it easy to track progress!
Special thanks goes to fellow piano teacher Amy Hall for helping to proofread the charts against the 2022 syllabus.
Download below, or visit the Printables > Other Resources page and scroll down to “2022 RCM Technical Requirements Charts for Piano”.
2022 RCM Technical Requirements Charts for Piano (1.2 MiB, 375 hits)
Hope you enjoy!