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Certrco


contrabordun
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The RCO have revised the CertRCO with the aim of making it more relevant to its target audience. The pieces are the same and the aural test/written papers more or less so, but the keyboard tests have changed from

 

2 part transposition + 3 part manuals score reading + [harmonise OR improvise OR figured bass] + sightreading

 

to

 

[2 part transposition OR figured bass] + hymn playing + sightreading

 

the hymn playing is the examiners' choice from 10 set hymns in NEH, candidates play a playover, the first, a middle and the last verse and an improvised* 15/30 second continuation.

 

Syllabus is here

http://www.rco.org.uk/pdfs/ExamRegulations08-09.pdf#page=8

Notes are here

http://www.rco.org.uk/pdfs/RCONewsAutumn2007.pdf

 

We had an...ahem...rather forthright thread running about the RCO towards the end of last year (in the course of which I had a bit of a rant about the old Cert syllabus) so I think I should say in fairness that this one looks far more worthwhile - and more generally, perhaps this is a positive sign that the College is listening to what its customers are saying and is prepared to accommodate them?

 

Wondered what y'all thought, either those of us at kindergarten level who might sit it or those who teach and might have views about whether they would be more, or less, likely to encourage pupils to sit it?

 

*given that the 10 set hymns are known in advance, I guess one would at the very least have prepared a few ideas for each one.

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Yes, I would say it is a move in the right direction - though why figured bass is regarded as a more relevant skill than harmonisation beats me. I would have thought the amateur organist more likely to have to hamonise someting than to read a figured bass and judging from a lot of the last verse harmonies one hears it is a skill that is, shall we say, under-developed.

 

I would be prepared to consider recommending someone to enter for it. I would not recommend it to someone with a clear potential to fly through ARCO comfortably, but I do know someone who failed ARCO (and who I think has now given up on it) who might well have passed the Cert.

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