RCM Preparatory A & B: Piano Technique

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In the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM), there are levels I affectionately refer to as musical kindergarten. They’re the levels RCM Preparatory A and B.

If you’re a child learning piano for the first time, RCM Preparatory A would be your first year of lessons, and Prep B would be your second. Finally, by your third year of piano, when you’re about 8 years old, it’s time for Grade 1.

(Remember that this is a generalization – not everyone is going to follow the same age template).

If you’re an adult learning piano for the first time, Prep A & B can be conquered in a year.

Play-through: All RCM Preparatory technique

In this video, I’m going to play through all of the technique requirements for these levels. The metronome will be clicking away in the background to keep everything steady, and it’ll be set to the exam suggestion tempos.

Even if you’re not planning on doing any exams, it’s good to know the scales and finger patterns required for these levels. Oftentimes we bypass technique in favor of learning pieces, but scales and chord patterns are the building blocks of those pieces, and are super useful to know.

RCM Preparatory A

Scene 04 keys Legato pentascales (5-finger scales)

C, D and G major, hands separate, tonic to dominant, ascending and descending, ending with a blocked triad, with a quarter-note beat of 100

A minor, hands separate, tonic to dominant, ascending and descending, ending with a blocked triad, with a quarter-note beat of 100

Staccato pentascales (5 finger scales)

(same as above, only played detached instead of smooth)

Chords: Solid and broken triads

C major broken triad, hands separate, 1 octave ascending, 60 BPM in triplet 8th notes

C major solid triad, hands separate, 1 octave ascending, 60 BPM in quarter note/rest pattern

RCM Preparatory B

Legato pentascales (5-finger scales)

D, A and F major, hands separate, tonic to dominant, ascending and descending, ending with a blocked triad, with a BPM of 60 (played in 8th notes)

E and D minor, hands separate, tonic to dominant, ascending and descending, ending with a blocked triad, with a BPM of 60 (played in 8th notes)

Staccato pentascales

(same as above, only played detached instead of smooth)

Contrary motion scale

C major, hands together, one octave, with a BPM of 60 (played in 8th notes)

Chords: Broken tonic triads

C and G major, hands separate, 1 octave, 50 BPM played in 8th note triplets

A minor, hands separate, 1 octave, 50 BPM played in 8th note triplets

Conclusion

If you’d like to flip through the RCM syllabus, just follow the link. It’s got all the information we talked about in today’s video, and much, much more.

xo,
Allysia

RCM Preparatory books

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Celebration Series: Preparatory A Piano Repertoire
2015 Edition. Composed by The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. This edition: 2015 edition. Celebration Series. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century and 21st century. Method book & online audio. 24 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.C5R0A).
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Celebration Series: Preparatory B Piano Repertoire
2015 Edition. Composed by The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. This edition: 2015 edition. Celebration Series. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century and 21st century. Method book & online audio. 32 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.C5R0B).
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Technical Requirements for Piano Preparatory Level
2015 Edition. Composed by The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. This edition: 2015 edition. Technique. Technical Requirements for Piano. Book. 16 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.TRP00).
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Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests Preparatory A
Composed by Boris Berlin and Andrew Markow. Edited by Laura Beauchamp-Williamson. This edition: 2015 edition. Ear Training. Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests. Book. 48 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.4S0A).
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Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests Preparatory B
Composed by Boris Berlin and Andrew Markow. Edited by Laura Beauchamp-Williamson. This edition: 2015 edition. Ear Training. Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests. Book. 48 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.4S0B).