Preparatory School of Music
Our preparatory program for children and adults currently includes piano, voice and strings. Each student receives one private lesson per week for voice/instrument, with four performance classes included in each 18-week session. Tuition includes weekly classes in theory and Sight-singing/Ear-training.
Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)
The ABRSM program is a standardized program of study and exams based in London, England. This organization adjudicates all instruments, including voice.
Theory Exams: There are nine levels of theory instruction and evaluation from preparatory through Level 8. Each level builds on the previous level and Ms. Ko teaches the theory classes held on Thursdays. The theory exam is taken in March. London sets the date and time for the exams, which are given internationally at that time. Exams are sent to the parent organization for grading with the results returns to us in approximately four weeks. We have students who have successfully completed Level 5 which gives them a foundation for their musician ship. We have chosen this year to provide for those seniors and young adults a College Bound Theory which will be an overview continuing their preparation for collegiate programs.
There are four levels of evaluation : Fails, Pass, Pass with Honors, and Pass with Distinction. The majority of our students score in the top two categories.
Practical Exams: Practical exams are given in the same nine categories and involve the preparation of several pieces from the ABRSM list: sight singing, aural testing involving intervals, model and chords, as well as some listening skills in defining changes in melody line and differences in the detail of music they hear. This is the area that is the most difficult for our students and I have been told by adjudicators that international students likewise have difficulty. It seems our cultures tend to speak and not listen, or at least not discriminately. We have several teachers providing the different levels of this broad spectrum called aural training. Our practical exams usually occur in late April or early May. The adjudicator comes from the U.K. and brings a broad and impressive level of knowledge to our students. Scoring falls in the same categories as theory, but we also receive extensive and helpful comments in great detail.
The music is prepared with their private instructor during lesson time and aural training as well as trial testing is provided during the weekly classes.
Cost: Because we believe this training is necessary and beneficial to every student, our Thursday classes are offered at no additional cost the parents/students. The registration for exams is done through our school administrator with the cost paid by the students. Cost varies according to the level but runs approximately from $35-120 for upper levels. Students receive certification from London which may be included on resumes and college applications.
Attendance is taken during class, and we honor students with high attendance with prizes and recognition.