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Music Without Boundaries: Introducing Remote Exams

Music Without Boundaries: Introducing Remote Exams

Published on June 3, 2020

The RCM to virtually assess 20,000+ students in June alone

Music study remains important for all the reasons it was before COVID-19 and social isolation — boosting cognitive skills, building social bonds, and providing a sense of achievement. That’s why starting this month, for the first time in the 134-year history of The Royal Conservatory of Music, over 20,000 students across Canada and the United States will begin conducting their Practical Music Exam online.

As Dr. Peter Simon, President & CEO of The Royal Conservatory of Music explained to CTV's Your Morning, "We believe it is really essential for music study and music making to continue, we want the children that are at home to have avenues for self-expression and to have some fun!" 

Dr. Janet Lopinski, Senior Director of Academic Programs, spoke to CBC Music about how successful remote exams have been so far describing that "students are more relaxed and comfortable, playing on their own pianos, in the comfort of their homes." Dr. Simon reiterated this sentiment to CBC Radio Montreal’s Let’s Go with this piece of advice for students "Have a lot of fun. Be very relaxed. You’re in the comfort of your own home. You know the instrument. The examiners are very, very nice and very encouraging. So, don’t be nervous. Just play your heart out and it’s going to be just fine." 

Over the last month, students who were originally scheduled to take an in-person exam this Spring had the opportunity to take a remote examination. Ten-year-old Ethan Liu of Ontario took his Level 5 Piano exam online, which he passed with flying colours, and seven-year-old Willow McBride of Utah is thrilled after completing Prep A Piano examination online! 

Both students may be part of the next generation of students who will only ever experience an RCM Certificate Program exam virtually as online exams are a new permanent offering. In fact, both Willow and Ethan have only ever taken one exam each, which was through the Remote Exams initiative.