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Royal Conservatory of Music

Royal Conservatory of Music logo

This is the curriculum for classical music and the organization that is the most widely recognized in North America. It begins with Preparatory A, followed by Preparatory B, then Levels 1 to 10, culminating in the final Associate of the Royal Conservatory (ARCT) Diploma. In order to complete an RCM grade in piano, students should be prepared for four components: Repertoire, Studies, Technique, and Ear Training. The full list of the requirements is listed in the RCM Piano Syllabus.

When I teach a student using this curriculum, I ensure that they have learned enough pieces to have a solid foundation to move on to the next level seamlessly. For most levels, students learn at least 14 pieces: 10 repertoire selections and 4 etudes. Students are also welcome to choose one ore more optional books to learn from in the genre of their choice. I have listed a few ideas in each level below of possible supplementary books, but there are many more possibilities than what I’ve listed so I’m definitely open to other options as well. Have a look below for level specific expectations.

RCM Repertoire selections

Choose 14 pieces

Optional Jazz, Blues, and/or Ragtime books:

Connections for Piano, Preparatory – Christopher Norton

ShowTime Piano Ragtime – Faber and Faber

ShowTime Piano Jazz & Blues – Faber and Faber

Optional Classical books

ShowTime Piano Classics – Faber and Faber

Optional Pop books

ShowTime Piano Hits – Faber and Faber

ShowTime Piano Disney – Faber and Faber

ShowTime Piano Popular – Faber and Faber

Optional Method book solos

Alfred’s Premier Piano Course: Performance 1

Optional Christmas books:

ShowTime Piano Christmas – Faber and Faber

RCM Repertoire selections

Choose 20 pieces

Optional Jazz, Rags, and Blues books

Connections for Piano, Preparatory – Christopher Norton

The Microjazz Collection, 1 – Christopher Norton

ChordTime Piano Ragtime – Faber and Faber

ChordTime Piano Jazz & Blues – Faber and Faber

Optional Classical books

ChordTime Piano Classics – Faber and Faber

Optional Method book solos

Alfred’s Premier Piano Course: Performance 2A

Hal Leonard Piano Solos 3

Succeeding at the Piano: Recital Book 2A

Succeeding at the Piano Recital Book 2B

Pop books

ChordTime Piano Hits – Faber and Faber

ChordTime Piano Disney – Faber and Faber

ChordTime Piano Popular – Faber and Faber

Optional Christmas books:

ChordTime Piano Christmas – Faber and Faber

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 5 peices

List B: Choose 8 pieces

List C: Choose 3 pieces

RCM Etudes selections

Choose 6 pieces

Optional Jazz, Rags and Blues books

Jazz, Rags & Blues Book 1 – Martha Mier

Connections 1 for Piano – Christopher Norton

Microjazz – Christopher Norton

Pianozazz – Christopher Norton

Jazz-a-Little Jazz-a-LOT – Catherine Rollin

Optional Classical books

At Sea – Teresa Richert

Copycat Copycat – Teresa Richert

Optional Pop and Rock books

Famous and Fun Pop Book 3 – Carol Matz

Famous and Fun Rock Book 3 – Carol Matz

American Popular Piano Book 2 – Christopher Norton

American Popular Piano Book 3 – Christopher Norton

Microrock – Christopher Norton

Contemporary Piano Repertoire Level 1 – Hal Leonard

FunTime Piano Hits – Faber and Faber

Optional Christmas books

FunTime Piano Christmas – Faber and Faber

Piano Adventures Christmas Level 3A – Faber and Faber

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 5 pieces

List B: Choose 8 pieces

List C: Choose 3 pieces

RCM Etudes selections

Choose 6

Optional Jazz, Rags and Blues books

Jazz, Rags & Blues Book 1 – Martha Mier

Connections 2 for Piano – Christopher Norton

Microjazz 2 – Christopher Norton

Pianozazz – Christopher Norton

Optional Classical books

At Sea – Teresa Richert

Copycat Copycat – Teresa Richert

Days of Summer – Teresa Richert

Optional Pop and Rock books

Famous and Fun Pop Book 4 – Carol Matz

Famous and Fun Rock Book 4 – Carol Matz

American Popular Piano Book 4 – Christopher Norton

Microballads – Christopher Norton

Microrock – Christopher Norton

Contemporary Piano Repertoire Level 2 – Hal Leonard

BigTime Piano Hits – Faber and Faber

Optional Christmas books

BigTime Piano Christmas – Faber and Faber

Piano Adventures Christmas Level 4 – Faber and Faber

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 3 pieces

List B: Choose 3 pieces

List C: Choose 4 pieces

RCM Etudes selections

Choose 4 pieces

Optional Jazz, Rags and Blues books

Jazz, Rags & Blues Book 2 – Martha Mier

Connections 3 for Piano – Christopher Norton

Microjazz 2 – Christopher Norton

Pianozazz – Christopher Norton

Optional Classical books

Days of Summer – Teresa Richert

Optional Pop and Rock books

Famous and Fun Pop Book 5 – Carol Matz

Famous and Fun Rock Book 5 – Carol Matz

American Popular Piano Book 5 – Christopher Norton

Microballads – Christopher Norton

Microrocck – Christopher Norton

Contemporary Piano Repertoire Level 3 – Hal Leonard

Alfred’s Top Hits Level 3

Optional Christmas books

Coming soon

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 3 pieces

List B: Choose 3 pieces

List C: Choose 4 pieces

RCM Etudes selections

Choose 4 pieces

Optional Jazz, Rags and Blues books

Jazz, Rags & Blues Book 2 – Martha Mier

Connections 4 for Piano – Christopher Norton

Pianozazz 4 – Christopher Norton

Optional Classical books

Petals for Piano – Teresa Richert

Optional Pop and Rock books

Famous and Fun Pop Book 5 – Carol Matz

Famous and Fun Rock Book 5 – Carol Matz

American Popular Piano Book 5 – Christopher Norton

Microballads – Christopher Norton

Microrocck – Christopher Norton

Optional Christmas books

Coming soon

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 3 pieces

List B: Choose 3 pieces

List C: Choose 4 pieces

RCM Etudes selections

Choose 4 pieces

Optional Jazz, Rags, and Blues books

Jazz, Rags & Blues Book 3 – Martha Mier

Connections 5 for Piano – Christopher Norton

Microballads – Christopher Norton

Microlatin – Christopher Norton

Optional Classical books

Romantic Impressions Book 1 – Martha Mier

Romantic Impressions Book 2 – Martha Mier

Romantic Impressions Book 3 – Martha Mier

Petals for Piano – Teresa Richert

Canine Inventions – Teresa Richert

The Nutcracker Suite – Alfreds (Product 16876)

Optional Pop and Rock books

American Popular Piano Repertoire 5 – Christopher Norton

American Popular Piano Repertoire 6 – Christopher Norton

American Popular Piano Repertoire 7 – Christopher Norton

Microrock – Christopher Norton

Alfred’s Top Hits Solo Book Level 5

Optional Christmas books

Coming soon

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 3 pieces

List B: Choose 3 pieces

List C: Choose 4 pieces

RCM Etudes selections

Choose 6 pieces

Optional Jazz, Rags, and Blues books

Jazz, Rags & Blues Book 3 – Martha Mier

Jazz, Rags & Blues Book 4 – Martha Mier

Jazz-a-little Jazz-a-LOT – Catherine Rollin

Optional Classical books

Romantic Impressions Book 3 – Martha Mier

Northern Menagerie – Teresa Richert

Petals for Piano – Teresa Richert

Optional Pop and Rock books

Elton John Intermediate Solos arr. Carol Klose – Sir Elton John

The Beatles 18 Favourites – Keveren

Connections 6 for Piano – Christopher Norton

American Popular Piano Repertoire 6 – Christopher Norton

American Popular Piano Repertoire 7 – Christopher Norton

American Popular Piano Repertoire 8 – Christopher Norton

Microballads – Christopher Norton

Microrock – Christopher Norton

Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Top Hits Level 6

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 3 pieces

List B: Choose 3 pieces

List C: Choose 4 pieces

RCM Etudes selections

Choose 4 pieces

Optional Jazz, Rags, and Blues books

Smooth Jazz, 13 Favorites – Philip Keverin

Jazz, Rags & Blues Book 4 – Martha Mier

Jazz, Rags & Blues Book 5 – Martha Mier

Jazz Preludes – Christopher Norton

Blues and Rag Piano – Hal Leonard

Optional Classical books

Romantic Impressions Book 4 – Martha Mier

Optional Pop and Rock books

Fifteen Cinema Classics – Philip Keveren

Connections 7 for Piano – Christopher Norton

American Popular Piano Repertoire 7 – Christopher Norton

American Popular Piano Repertoire 8 – Christopher Norton

Contemporary Movie & TV Hits – Hal Leonard

Movie Hits for Solo Piano – Alfred’s

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 3 pieces

List B: Choose 3 pieces

List C: Choose 3 pieces

List D: Choose 3 pieces

RCM Etudes selections

Choose 3 pieces

Optional Jazz, Rags, and Blues books

George Gershwin 14 Greatest Tunes – Hal Leonard

Twenty Ragtime Classics – Hal Leonard

Jazz, Rags & Blues Book 5 – Martha Mier

Jazz Preludes – Christopher Norton

Optional Classical books

Romantic Impressions Book 4 – Martha Mier

Seasons – Teresa Richert

Seascape – Teresa Richert

River Flows in you and Other Eloquent Solos for Piano – Hal Leonard

Optional Pop and Rock books

Connections 8 for Piano – Christopher Norton

American Popular Piano Repertoire 8 – Christopher Norton

Rock Preludes – Christopher Norton

Contemporary Movie & TV Hits – Hal Leonard

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 3 pieces

List B: Choose 3 pieces

List C: Choose 3 pieces

List D: Choose 3 pieces

RCM Etudes selections

Choose 3 or more pieces

Optional Jazz, Rags, and Blues books

Duke Ellington 17 Timeless Classics – Hal Leonard

Rediscovering Ellington – Alfred

Gershwin 14 Greatest Tunes – Hal Leonard

Twenty Ragtime Classics – Scott Joplin

Connections 9 for Piano – Christopher Norton

Optional Classical books

Seasons – Teresa Richert

Seascape – Teresa Richert

River Flows in You and Other Eloquent Solos for Piano – Hal Leonard

Optional Pop and Rock books

Rock Preludes – Christopher Norton

Popular Music Collection Volume 3 – Dan Coates/Alfred’s

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 3 pieces

List B: Choose 3 pieces

List C: Choose 3 pieces

List D: Choose 3 pieces

RCM Etudes selections

Choose 3 or more pieces

Optional Jazz, Rags, and Blues books

Note for Note 23 Classic Jazz Performances – Bill Evans

Gershwin at the Keyboard

Twenty Ragtime Classics – Lamb

Connections 10 for Piano – Christopher Norton

Oscar Peterson Piano Solos

Canadiana Suite – Oscar Peterson

Optional Pop books

Popular Music Collection Volume 3 – Dan Coates

RCM Repertoire selections

List A: Choose 3 pieces

List B: Choose 3 pieces

List C: Choose 3 pieces

List D: Choose 3 pieces

List E: Choose 3 pieces

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Recent student Achievements:

Level 1 Piano Exam: Achieved First Class Honours — Frederick (2024)

Prep A Piano Exam: Achieved First Class Honours with Distinction — Xiang (2023)

Level 8 Piano Exam: Achieved Honours — Juliette (2023)

Level 8 Piano Exam: Achieved First Class Honours — Yufeng (2023)

Level 6 Piano Exam: Achieved First Class Honours with Distinction — Yufeng (2022)

Level 3 Piano Exam: Achieved Honours — Nathaniel (2021)

Level 7 Piano Exam: Achieved Honours — Julia (2021)

Level 8 Piano Exam: Achieved Honours — Bob (2021)

Level 7 Piano Exam: Achieved First Class Honours — Bob (2021)

Level 3 Piano Exam: Achieved First Class Honours — Yufeng (2021)

Level 2 Piano Exam: Achieved First Class Honours — Nathaniel (2021)

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