This is the first in a multi-part series taking a look at the main exam boards around the world. Piano exams play a big role in piano teaching in many countries. Even if you’re in country where exams are less popular, there’s a lot to be learned by looking at the different exam boards and how they structure their assessments. This first episode looks at the ANZCA piano exams, with our guest, Tony Betros.
ANZCA piano exams take a unique, flexible and modern approach to formal assessments. As well as classical piano exams, they also offer a modern piano syllabus which includes improvisation and allows the use of backing tracks, and a performance only exam option. On top of that they also offer a duet syllabus, and a keyboard syllabus.
One of the fantastic elements of their exams is their option of one “free choice” piece. This allows the student and teacher together to choose any other piece that’s at an appropriate level for the grade, even if that’s one they’ve composed themselves!
Whether you use an exam system or not, I really think you’ll get a lot out of today’s podcast!
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- The focus of the ANZCA examinations
- How it differs from other exam systems
- The process of becoming an examiner
- What’s involved in the diploma level exams with ANZCA
- How ANZCA ensures the exam experience is a positive one for students
Items mentioned in this podcast:
- ANZCA syllabus
- ANZCA YouTube channel
- ANZCA Facebook page
- TTTV002 with Christopher Norton
- Is the iPad killing piano memorization
Special offers for today’s listeners:
Type ‘TT’ in the promo code box when ordering from the ANZCA website for 20% off your order. This offer is valid for 2 weeks only, so get it quick!
Australian and New Zealand teachers can also get a free teacher starter pack by emailing email@example.com.
Thank You for Tuning In!
There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine.
Being a full-time teacher myself, I know how busy teachers are and how much time, effort and passion we put into our students. Sometimes, the last thing we want to do in our time off is listen to more piano teaching stuff! So, well done for using this time for self-improvement.
Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run. Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons.
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Did the ANZCA’s modern approach to piano exams intrigue you?
Was there anything about their system that surprised you? Do you have questions for Tony that weren’t covered in the show? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks Tim and Tony – I loved this podcast. Loads of great information and many questions answered.
Cheers Jo – glad you found it helpful 🙂
Wow Tim, another great podcast. Took my 9km to get through it today 😉
I have used the AMEB for the last 30 years – (shhhh, don’t tell anyone, I couldn’t possibly be THAT old surely???). I’ve looked at ANZCA a number of times, however after another frustrating year with the AMEB, I am really looking at my options.
I was interested to hear Tony speak about the the assessment process of ANZCA being criteria based rather than subjective. Numeric scores will assist a teacher and/or parent in regards to a student’s performance in each area of the examination. The overall letter grading of the AMEB provides little feedback in overall result. If you’re lucky you might even be able to read the report – one year I sent all the reports back and told them to have them rewritten as they were illegible!
My students’ experience of the AMEB, having had many of my students (I teach 120 a week) participate in exams, was hearing students coming back to class saying he or she was really old and crotchety, didn’t smile and didn’t even say hello to me. That, along with a perceived gender bias by some examiners and the complete lack of interest in providing assistance by the NSW AMEB and its management leaves me really looking at changing systems.
When do you think these exam systems will embrace the new world and offer purchasable downloads of their music. No one wants to purchase a book anymore that one will be lucky to use just 10-20%. Exam bodies are more likely to make a lot more money out of digital downloads than print. I’ve had books published by Warner Bros, Alfred Publishing as well as all the Forte School of Music books, it is so much more efficient and economical to provide digital downloads.
Also great to hear that there is a grievance process and a very structured process to become an examiner.
What is everyone else’s experience of exams? Has Tony given you a reason to look at change?
Thanks Paul – great to read your thoughts. I’m really keen to hear what others think too. I think the digital downloads thing is a long way off for most exam boards (although, I agree, there is likely to be money to be made), although there does seem to be movement in the right direction finally from some big publishers.
It will be great to read what others think!