I am inspired to write this blog entry after reading Valerie Kampmeier’s great post “Music Exams – What do you think?”
I have always believed in the benefits of assessment opportunities for students. They can be called exams, tests, auditions, festivals, or other names, but basically involve students playing for a judge or examiner and receiving feedback on their performance. In my previous blog article Benefits of Music Auditions I listed the many benefits for both students and teachers. I am further inspired and feel the need to write more on this subject, after reading the comments on Joy Morin’s Q&A Forum about standardized music testing on her wonderful blog Color in My Piano; it seems many teachers are reluctant to participate in testing programs.
I feel strongly that we as music teachers need to understand the differences and requirements of various exam/testing systems, before deciding in general that testing is not “healthy” for our students. While it is true that some systems have strict syllabus requirements, there are many programs available in the US that are quite flexible. I would like to give my personal opinion about the different music audition/festival/exam systems I am aware of. [···]