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Frequently Asked Questions - Piano Teacher Courses

Frequently Asked Questions - Piano Teacher Courses
  • Curriculum

    Do these courses replace in-person lessons with a pedagogy teacher?
    Our Piano Teacher Courses are suitable for self-study AND they complement private lessons with pedagogy teachers.


    What does each course contain?
    Deep insight into physical approaches, musicianship, repertoire, and artistry for three levels of students: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced. You'll learn from videos that feature a variety of leading pedagogues and articles by subject matter experts, and demonstrate an understanding of key concepts through weekly assignments and participation in a discussion forum with professional colleagues. For a detailed description of each course, please visit rcmusic.com/PianoTeacherCourses.


    How much time do I need to commit each week?
    The amount of time you spend depends in part on your experience as a teacher, your comfort with online learning, and the number of hours you choose to invest in completing coursework. Participants have shared with us that they spend, on average, four or more hours each week.


    Do you offer teacher specialist courses for other instruments or theory?
    At this time we only offer Piano Teacher Courses. As our Digital Learning programming develops we may add more options. If you'd like to send us your thoughts in this regard, please email [email protected]

  • Enrollment

    If I enroll today, can I start my course tomorrow?

    One valuable aspect of our online courses is weekly participation in a discussion forum where you can learn from your professional colleagues and share your knowledge. To facilitate effective discussions, we've organized our courses into cohorts and offer a choice of session start dates throughout the year. For a list of course dates, visit rcmusic.com/PianoTeacherCourses.

    What does the enrollment process involve?

    The course enrollment process has four steps, all online:

    1. You create your teacher account or login to your existing account.
    2. We check your teacher record for pre-requisites and the system offers the highest level course for which you are eligible.
    3. You acknowledge the terms and conditions, pick a session start date, and enroll in the course by paying the tuition fee.
    4. We send you a receipt
    5. Approximately one week before each course begins we email course access instructions.

    Are there pre-requisites?

    In order to ensure that you are ready for the material in each course and that the discussion forum is meaningful for you and your colleagues, we have established pre-requisites. They are:

    Elementary 16 years of age
    Intermediate 16 years of age, plus one of:
    • Completion of the Teaching Elementary Piano Course and a mark of 60+
    • RCM Certified Teacher with Elementary Piano Specialist designation
    • Elementary Piano Pedagogy Certificate
    • Elementary Pedagogy Written Exam, mark of 60+
    Advanced 18 years of age, plus one of:
    • Completion of the Teaching Intermediate Piano Course and a mark of 60+
    • RCM Certified Teacher with Intermediate Piano Specialist designation
    • Intermediate Piano Pedagogy Certificate
    • Intermediate Pedagogy Written Exam, mark of 60+

    What are the required resources?

    Elementary: RCM Celebration Series®, 2015 Edition: Preparatory A-Level 4 repertoire and Levels 1-4 etudes
    Intermediate: RCM Celebration Series®, 2015 Edition: Levels 5&-8 repertoire and Levels 5-8 etudes
    Advanced: RCM Celebration Series®, 2015 Edition: Levels 9-10 repertoire and Levels 9-10 etudes

  • Cancellation/Withdrawal

    Are courses ever cancelled? What happens then?

    We need to meet minimum enrollment numbers in order to run a course. If we cancel a course due to lack of enrollment, we'll offer you the opportunity to transfer into a future course session within the current academic year or a full refund of your tuition fee. Your choice.

    What happens if I have to withdraw?

    We understand that life happens! Every situation is different, so we work with you to find the best solution. Depending on when withdrawal is initiated, a partial refund may be given. For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.

  • Course Experience

    How are the 10 weeks structured?

    You have access to all modules of the course from Day 1, through 7 days after your final grade is posted online in your Teacher Account. By midnight Pacific every Tuesday, you're asked to read a few articles, watch some 3-4 minute videos, submit an assignment, write an original post in the discussion forum, and reply to forum posts from 3 other teachers. Feedback on your assignments and marks for the discussion forum and assignments are generally posted no later than 7 days following the deadline. A summative portfolio is comprised of all the assignments you've submitted and is due in week 10.

    Do I have to be online at a certain time?

    We don't have any time-specific commitments in our courses. You're free to do the work at a time and place that's convenient for you. However, the deadline for each week's work - assignments and discussion forum posts - is midnight Pacific every Tuesday.

    How much time do I need to commit each week?

    The amount of time you spend depends in part on your experience as a teacher, your comfort with online learning, and the number of hours you choose to invest in completing coursework. Participants have shared with us that they spend, on average, four or more hours each week.

    Can I split up the online course by doing one or more modules in one session and finishing the rest in a later one?

    You must complete all 10 weeks with your classmates because it would be disruptive for the other teachers in your cohort if you leave or join mid-way through. If you need to withdraw, we work with you to determine the best solution. Depending on when the withdrawal is initiated, a partial refund may be issued. For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.

    How am I assessed?

    Our professional facilitators are master piano teachers, and they work hard to ensure you have a meaningful learning experience. Beginning on Day 1, you can view the marking rubrics for every assignment and for discussion forum posts. Each week your facilitator provides personal feedback on your assignment and assigns two grades: one for your assignment and one for discussion forum participation. Your summative portfolio, submitted in week 10, includes every assignment and is marked for completeness.

  • Beyond the Course

    Once I finish a course, what's next?

    Provided you meet pre-requisites for the next course, you're welcome to enroll. If you've already submitted two piano practical exam candidates at the required levels and have achieved the RCM Level or equivalent that corresponds with that designation, you'll immediately become an RCM Certified Teacher and receive two years of no-cost access to our complete inventory of professional development programming, resources, and benefits. Renewal requirements apply at the end of the two-year period. If you're still working on submitting exam candidates, you'll benefit from six months of complimentary access to select RCM teaching materials and professional development programming. You have two years following completion of a course to submit the required two piano practical exam candidates to become an RCM Certified Teacher.

    Can I become an RCM Certified Teacher by taking a course?

    Yes! Become an RCM Certified Teacher by successfully completing any course, submitting two successful piano exam candidates at the required levels within two years of course completion, and demonstrating achievement of the RCM Level or equivalent that corresponds with that designation. If you've already met the exam submission and RCM Level requirements, you'll be certified the day that your final course grade is posted.

    Do I need to wait to become an RCM Certified Teacher to take the next course?

    As long as you meet the pre-requisites for the next course, you're welcome to enroll.

  • Courses & ARCT Diploma Program

    How do the courses work with the ARCT in Piano Pedagogy diploma program?

    Teachers may choose to complete the Piano Teacher Course as an alternative to the pedagogy written exam. A mark of 70 or higher must be achieved in the online course in order to receive this exemption. Teachers who hold an Advanced Specialist - Piano designation, may receive an ARCT in Piano Pedagogy following successful completion of:

    1. Advanced Piano Pedagogy Practical exam
    2. Advanced Pedagogy - Viva Voce exam
    3. ARCT History
    4. ARCT Harmony & Counterpoint
    5. ARCT Analysis

    Are you eliminating the ARCT in Piano Pedagogy diploma program?

    We have no plans to eliminate the ARCT in Piano Pedagogy diploma program.

  • Required Course Materials

    The course materials required for each Online Piano Course can be purchased from the RCM Online Bookstore.

    Teaching Elementary Piano: RCM Celebration Series®, 2015 Edition Preparatory A-Level 4 repertoire and Levels 1-4 etudes

    Teaching Intermediate Piano: RCM Celebration Series®, 2015 Edition: Levels 5-8 repertoire and Levels 5-8 etudes

    Teaching Advanced Piano: RCM Celebration Series®, 2015 Edition: Levels 9-10 repertoire and Levels 9-10 etudes