As a parent, you want the best for your child's musical education. Two popular choices for piano programs are the Royal Conservatory of Music (aka "RCM") and Conservatory Canada. But which one is the best fit for your child's goals? Let's explore the unique approaches of both programs, to help you make an informed decision with your Calgary Piano Expressions teacher!
The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) is a well-known organization that has been offering music education in Canada for well over over a century now. It focuses on classical music and uses more traditional learning techniques, with a thorough curriculum utilizing grading, exams, and formal certificates. The RCM approach is a more structured approach and can be ideal for students who would benefit from the clear path it lays out.
Conservatory Canada is a national music education organization that offers a complete music curriculum for students of any and all ages. It is designed to be student-focused, emphasizing creative self-expression while still providing the foundation skills of music. With a focus on having fun while learning, Conservatory Canada is a fantastic choice for parents who want to provide their child with a well-rounded yet still enjoyable musical experience. It is also good for those less concerned about receiving any certificates and less interested in classical repertoire.
Both approaches have their strengths, but ultimately, the decision comes down to you and your child's individual needs, goals, and learning style.
At Calgary Piano Expressions, we can help your child achieve their musical goals with either approach, or by blending the best of both! With our emphasis on fun-first piano education in the comfort of your own home, our experienced teachers are passionate about helping students of all ages and abilities reach their musical potential. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can support your child's musical journey!
Do you find yourself practicing the same thing the same way over and over? Try VARYING your practice for a more engaging practice time! You will also see quicker results since your brain will be processing the information in multiple different ways and knitting them all together. Here are a few ideas of things to vary:
What's your favourite way to practice?
We hear the age-old adage, “Practice Makes Perfect.” However, a more encouraging message for the piano player in your life might be, “Practice Makes Progress.”
All too often we think of practice as needing to produce results on the spot. We play something incorrectly ten times, and then finally get it once. VICTORY! We then walk away from the piano to go do something else. This is disastrous! (I am exaggerating - but it’s not ideal). Each time the passage was played incorrectly, muscle memory and neural pathways got reinforced that might lead to a bad habit - a learned mistake in the piece. Ten incorrect plays versus one correct play barely allows the right pathway to form in the brain, let alone be reinforced and made easier. Instead, we need multiple correct repetitions of a passage to form good habits and make progress.
This basic neuroscience of learning and habits needs to be applied daily for effective piano practice! “Practice Makes Progress” could be taken to the next level: “Perfect Practice Makes Progress.” Thoughtful, slow, accurate practice quickly forms the foundation for enjoyable playing, and sets the stage for confident performances in the future. Next time you play something accurately, don’t get up. Repeat it correctly again and again.
Practice fast, learn slow. Practice slow, learn fast.