E18: Rockschool New Classical Piano Syllabus 2021- Review

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Rockschool has recently released an exciting new set of classical piano grades! Listen to this review to find out their strengths and weaknesses, including my strong misgivings.


Show Notes

  • Identity crisis [2:50]
  • No mention of balanced programme [5:50]
  • Difficult to assess across different styles with no requirement for balanced programme [6:40]
  • Excellent representation of women and BIPOC [9:46]
  • Lack of consistency across grades in terms of styles & difficulty levels [12:30]
  • Comparison with ABRSM and Trinity [14:50]
  • Issue of lack of flexibility when assessing dynamics, tempos & articulations [16:35]
  • Good typesetting- but not always great editing, and glaring mistakes [19:40]
  • Simplified arrangements- controversial, uncredited, and not labelled as simplified [21:45]
  • Individual grades: Grade 8 [27:30]
  • Debut grade [29:45]
  • Grade 1 [32:15]
  • Grade 5 [34:40]
  • Grade 7 [37:55]
  • Grade 6 [38:45]
  • Grade 4 [40:45]
  • Grade 3 [41:15]
  • Grade 2 [42:40]
  • Comparison of cost of books between Rockschool and Trinity [44:40]
  • Exam options- grades and performance certificates [47:20]
  • Concerns about Rockschool Centres for classical piano exams (in the UK) [48:20]
  • About free choice options [52:40]

Notes:

Check out the following review of the Rockschool Rock/Pop syllabus for more information relevant to the classical syllabus which couldn’t fit in this review: https://heartofthepiano.com/e19-rockschool-rock-pop-piano-syllabus-review/

The intro/outro music is my jazz arrangement of the Rachmaninov Adagio from Symphony #2, you can watch the whole thing here if you like: https://youtu.be/hMqREAngb4s

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