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Royal Conservatory Piano Exams?

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Is it worthwhile for the kids to take these exams??

I've already signed DS10 up for his grade 1 exam and we will go ahead but I've heard that they aren't really necessary and are a waste of $$$.


Anyone here have any thoughts they would like to share??


I have never heard of a reason to take them. At least not at the grade 1 level.

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Necessary? No. Important, yes.

I think they are important just like any other exam. Focussing just a little more, managing the stress beforehand, receiving constructive criticism and praise, an official certificate, not to mention feeling proud of work well done. I think of it as a right of passage before entering the next grade. We usually test in June with the end of the school year.

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I personally didn't start testing until Grade 8 RC.


I agree with the pp that the exams aren't really *necessary*, but they can be beneficial, especially for some students. They give you a very specific goal to work toward. They ensure you practice your songs to the highest levels, focusing on both technique and musicality. They offer you feedback--praise and criticism--from an impartial judge who will give you nothing but the honest truth. They offer you a score, which helps you to know where you stand and can help you focus your practice on your weaker areas. They ensure you're learning the appropriate scales, chords, arpeggios, and so on for each grade level, and that you know them up to speed. They check your ear training and sight reading.


All in all, if you have the desire and the money, I think it's a great opportunity for a student who is motivated by such things, and/or for a parent who really would like to know where the student stands.

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I think if nothing else, it helps a kid to know that they have achieved "x" in whatever skill they're working on. I don't set great store by exams, but I can tell you that it helped my self-confidence as a kid to take them and know that I had something special to me.


Our equivalent in the UK is the ABRSM exams and it's recommended that you keep your highest grade on your CV (Resumé), so I think it does count for something.

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I questioned them too but my daughter has now done her grade two practical for violin and the written basic rudiments exam and I see a lot of value. She 's learned to study and perform under stress. There's also good criticism that comes with the exams.


Not essential but definitely worth the time and money for us.

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