Register and Claim Your Spot for RCM Classes

Register Your Child in Theory and History Courses with Jennifer West of Kitsilano Piano Studio

Each course contains 28 classes to prepare for the Royal Conservatory of Music Exams, and can be taken online or in person. For piano lessons, inquire at (604) 803-9181

Level 5 Group Theory Lessons

Course with 28 group classes of 75-minutes for RCM Theory 5

This course has 28 classes and will prepare your child for the RCM exam which covers:

Required Keys: major and minor keys up to four sharps or flats

Pitch and Notation: notes up to and including four ledger lines above and below the treble staff and bass staff • enharmonic equivalents • transposition of short melodies up or down one octave, including change of clef • rewriting melodies at the same pitch in the alternate clef (from treble to bass or bass to treble)

Rhythm and Meter: note and rest values: breve, whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes and rests; dotted whole, half, quarter, eighth notes and rests; triplets (quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes) • strong, weak, and medium beats • upbeat (anacrusis) • time signatures: • new time signatures: • application of time signatures, bar lines, notes, and rests

Intervals: chromatic and diatonic half steps • whole steps • melodic and harmonic intervals (major, minor, and perfect) within an octave, above the tonic of required major keys only (using key signatures or accidentals)

Scales: major and minor scales (natural, harmonic, and melodic forms) up to four sharps or flats (using key signatures and/or accidentals) • relative major and minor keys • parallel major and minor keys (up to four sharps or flats) • scale degree names: tonic, subdominant, dominant, leading tone, and subtonic

Chords and Harmony: tonic, subdominant, and dominant triads of required keys in root position and inversions (solid/blocked or broken form) • dominant 7th chords in root position • functional chord symbols (I, i, IV, iv, V, V7 ) in root position only • root/quality chord symbols (for example, C, Am, G7)

Melody and Composition: composition of a four-measure answer (consequent) phrase to a given question (antecedent) phrase in a major key, creating a parallel period • stable and unstable scale degrees

Form and Analysis: identification of concepts from this and previous levels within short music examples • identification of the key (major or minor) of a given passage with a key signature • identification of question–answer phrase pairs (parallel period) • melodic phrases: same, similar, or different (a, a1 , or b)

Level 6 Group Theory Lessons

Course with 28 group classes of 75-minutes for RCM Theory 6

This course has 28 classes and will prepare your child for the RCM exam which covers:

Required Keys
all major and minor keys

Pitch and Notation
• accidentals: double sharp and double flat
• transposition of melodies in major keys up by any
interval within an octave

Rhythm and Meter
• thirty-second notes and rests
• dotted sixteenth notes and rests
• compound meters
• application of time signatures, bar lines, notes, and rests

Intervals
• all intervals (major, minor, perfect, augmented,
diminished) within an octave above a given note
including enharmonic equivalents (using key signatures
or accidentals)

Scales
• all major and minor scales (natural, harmonic and
melodic forms), using key signatures and/or accidentals
• relative major and minor keys (including enharmonic
equivalents)
• parallel major and minor keys (including enharmonic
equivalents)
• scale degree names: tonic, supertonic, mediant,
subdominant, dominant, submediant, leading tone, and
subtonic

Chords and Harmony
• solid/blocked or broken triads of major and minor
quality, root position and inversions, in major and
harmonic minor scales, close or open position
• dominant 7th chords, root position, in close or open
position
• identification of authentic (V–I or V–i) and half cadences
(I–V; IV–V or i–V; iv–V) on a grand staff, using root
position triads in major and minor keys, in keyboard
style
• application of functional or root/quality chord symbols
for the implied harmonies of a melody, using rootposition I, IV or i, iv, and V chords

Melody and Composition
• composition of a question–answer phrase pair
(antecedent–consequent) in a major key, given the first
two measures to create a parallel period

Form and Analysis
• identification of concepts from this and previous levels
within short music examples
• identification of the key (major or minor) of a given
passage with or without a key signature

Level 7 Group Theory Lessons

Course with 28 group classes of 75-minutes for RCM Theory 7

This course has 28 classes and will prepare your child for the RCM exam which covers:

Required Keys
all major and minor keys

Pitch and Notation
• transposition of melodies up or down by any interval or
to any key

Rhythm and Meter
• double dotted notes and rests
• irregular groupings (duplets, triplets, quadruplets,
quintuplets, sextuplets, and septuplets)
• application of time signatures, bar lines, notes, and rests

Intervals
• all intervals (and their inversions) above or below a given
note within an octave, including enharmonic equivalents
(using key signatures or accidentals)

Scales
• chromatic, whole-tone, and octatonic scales, starting on
any pitch (using key signatures and/or accidentals)
• major and minor pentatonic scales, starting on any pitch
(using key signatures and/or accidentals)
• blues scales, starting on any pitch (using key signatures
and/or accidentals)

Chords and Harmony
• diminished and augmented triads, in root position and
inversions
• triads built on any degree of a major or minor (harmonic)
scale, using functional chord symbols and root/quality
chord symbols
• leading-tone diminished 7th chords in minor keys, root
position only, using functional chord symbols (viiº7
) and
root/quality chord symbols (for example,Bº7)
• dominant 7th chords and their inversions, using
functional chord symbols and root/quality chord symbols
• identification and writing of authentic and half cadences
on a grand staff, using root-position chords in major and
minor keys, in keyboard style

Melody and Composition
• melodic passing and neighbor tones (unaccented only),
within a harmonic context of I, IV, and V (major keys) or
i, iv, and V (minor keys)
• composition of a contrasting period in a major key, given
the antecedent phrase

Form and Analysis
• identification of concepts from this and previous levels
within short music examples
• application of functional or root/quality chord symbols to
a melody, using root-position I, IV, and V chords (major
keys) or i, iv, and V chords (minor keys), maintaining a
harmonic rhythm of one chord per measure

Level 8 Group Theory Lessons

Course with 28 group classes of 75-minutes for RCM Theory 8

This course has 28 classes and will prepare your child for the RCM exam which covers:

Required Keys
all major and minor keys

Pitch and Notation
• alto and tenor clefs (notes and key signatures)
• score types: string quartet and modern vocal in short and
open score
• transcription of a melody to any other clef at the same
pitch (including alto and tenor clefs)
• transposition of a melody to concert pitch for orchestral
instruments:
– in B flat (trumpet, clarinet)
– in F (French horn, English horn)

Rhythm and Meter
• hybrid meters
• application of time signatures, bar lines, notes, and rests

Intervals
• all simple and compound intervals (and their inversions)
up to a fifteenth above or below a given note (using key
signatures or accidentals)

Scales
• all major and minor (natural, harmonic, and melodic)
scales in treble, bass, alto, or tenor clefs, starting on any
scale degree (using key signatures and/or accidentals)
• diatonic modes: Ionian (major), Dorian, Phrygian,
Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian (natural minor), and
Locrian, starting on any pitch (using key signatures and/
or accidentals)

Chords and Harmony
• triads built on any degree of a major or minor (natural
or harmonic) scale in root position and inversions using
functional chord symbols and root/quality chord symbols
• dominant 7th chords and their inversions using
functional chord symbols and root/quality chord symbols
• leading-tone diminished 7th chords in minor keys using
functional chord symbols and root/quality chord symbols
• identification and writing of authentic, half, and plagal
(IV–I or iv–i) cadences on a grand staff, employing root
position triads in major and minor keys, in keyboard
style and chorale style
• identification of cluster chords, quartal chords, and
polychords

Melody and Composition
• melodic passing tones (unaccented) and neighbor tones
(unaccented), within a harmonic context of I, IV, and V
chords (major keys) or i, iv, and V chords (minor keys)
• composition of a contrasting period in a major or minor
key, given the first two measures

Form and Analysis
• identification of any concept from this level and previous
levels within a short music example
• application of functional or root/quality chord symbols to
a melody, using root-position I, IV, and V chords (major
keys) or i, iv, and V chords (minor keys), maintaining a
clearly defined harmonic rhythm
• identification of types of motion: parallel, similar,
contrary, oblique, and static

History 9 Group Lessons

Course with 28 group classes of 75-minutes for RCM History 9

This course has 28 classes and will prepare your child for the RCM exam which covers:

General Terms
Baroque
basso continuo
figured bass
the “Affections” (Affects)
ornamentation
harpsichord
Classicism
Viennese School
absolute music
sonata cycle
sonata form
exposition
development
recapitulation
coda
Romanticism
exoticism in music
nationalism in music
program music
chromatic harmony
expanded tonality
modal scales
whole-tone scale
pentatonic scales
polytonality
atonality
changing meter
polyrhythm

Baroque Composers:
Antonio Vivaldi The Four Seasons, op. 8
• “Spring” (no. 1) (complete)

Associated terms: concerto
ritornello form
ripieno
ostinato
pedal point
idiomatic writing
programmatic writing


Johann Sebastian Bach The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1
• Prelude and Fugue in B flat Major, BWV 866

Associated terms:
prelude
fugue
equal temperament
clavier
subject
answer: real, tonal
countersubject
episode
counterpoint


George Frideric Handel Messiah, HWV 56
Part 1:
• Overture
• “There were shepherds”
• “Glory to God”
• “Rejoice Greatly”
Part 2:
• “Hallelujah!”

Associated terms:
oratorio
French overture
libretto
recitative
recitativo secco
recitativo accompagnato
aria
da capo aria
word painting
melisma

Classical Composers:
Franz Joseph Haydn String Quartet, op. 76, no. 3 (“Emperor”)
• second movement

Associated terms:
string quartet
chamber music
theme and variations


Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart
Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K 525
• complete
serenade

Associated terms:
rocket theme
menuet and trio
ternary form
rounded binary form
rondo form
sonata–rondo form

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, op. 67
• complete

Associated terms:
symphony
cyclical structure
motive
scherzo and trio

Romantic Composers
Franz Schubert Erlkönig, op. 1, D 328

Associated terms:
art song
Lied
through-composed (durchkomponiert)

Frederic Chopin Polonaise in A flat Major, op. 53

Associated terms:
polonaise
rubato

Hector Berlioz Symphonie fantastique
• fifth movement: “Songe d’une nuit du sabbat”

Associated terms:
program symphony
idée fixe
Dies irae
col legno


Georges Bizet Carmen
act 1:
• “Quand je vous amerai?”
• “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle”
act 2:
• “Votre toast, je peux vous le render”

Associated terms:
opera
aria
recitative
ostinato
habanera

Modern Era
Claude Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune

Associated terms:
symphonic poem
Impressionism in music
Symbolism

Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
Selections from Part 1: Adoration of the Earth
• Introduction
• Dance of the Youths and Maidens
• Game of Abduction
ballet

Associated terms:
choreography
primitivism

Leonard Bernstein West Side Story
act 1:
• “Maria”
• “America”

Associated terms:
musical
jazz
hemiola
verse–chorus structure

Alexina Louie Music for Piano
• Changes

Associated term:
minimalism

John Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Associated term:
fanfare

History 10 Group Lessons

Course with 28 group classes of 75-minutes for RCM History 10

This course has 28 classes. Level 10 History is based on four historical style periods—the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical eras—
with emphasis on the development of musical genres and forms. Detailed accounts of the lives of representative composers are
not required. 

General Terms
monophonic texture
polyphonic texture
modes
neumes
a cappella
Renaissance imitative counterpoint Franco-Flemish School
Baroque
basso continuo
figured bass
the “Affections” (Affects)
binary form
rounded binary form
ternary form
Classicism
Viennese School
Sturm und Drang
sonata cycle

The Middle Ages:
Gregorian chant
plainchant
Mass
Mass Proper: Gradual
responsorial singing
text setting: melismatic, neumatic, syllabic
organum
cantus firmus
tenor
organal style
discant style
rhythmic modes
motet
polytextuality
chanson
trouvère
strophic form
dance music
estampie
heterophony
bas: dulcimer, psaltery, vielle, lute
haut: shawm, sackbut
mass
Mass Ordinary: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei
ars nova style
isorhythm
musica ficta
hocket

The Renaissance Era:
motet
points of imitation
homorhythmic texture
mass
madrigal
word painting
chromaticism
ballett
nonsense syllables
keyboard music
variations
idiomatic writing
harpsichord
virginal

Baroque Era:
opera
libretto
monody
stile rappresentativo
castrato
recitativo secco
aria
ground bass
opera seria
da capo aria
cantata
chorale
canon
ritornello
fugue
concerto grosso
concertino
ripieno
ritornello form
suite
ordre
clavecin
notes inégales
agréments
hornpipe

Classical Era
symphony
sonata form
monothematic exposition
oratorio
recitativo accompagnato
concerto
double exposition
cadenza
opera
opera buffa
terzetto
trouser role
modified strophic form
sonata
rondo form
chamber music
string quartet

ARCT History Group Lessons

Course with 28 group classes of 75-minutes for RCM ARCT History 

This course has 28 classes. ARCT History involves detailed study of the music of the Romantic and Modern eras, with an opportunity for students to select
an additional topic for independent study

The Romantic Era
Franz Schubert Piano Quintet in A Major, D 667 (“Trout”)
• fourth movement

Associated terms:
chamber music
theme and variations


Felix Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor, op. 64
• first movement

Associated terms:
concerto
cadenza
sonata form

Robert Schumann Carnaval, op. 9
• “Eusebius”
• “Florestan”

Associated terms:
piano cycle
character piece

Clara Schumann “Liebst du um Schönheit,” op. 12, no. 4 Lied

Associated term:
modified strophic form

Johannes Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem
• fourth movement: “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen”

Associated terms:
sacred choral music
rondo form

Franz Liszt “La Campanella” from Grandes études de Paganini

Associated term:
étude


Giuseppe Verdi La traviata
act 2, scene 2:
• “Invitato…” to end of act

Associated term:
opera
aria
bel canto
recitative
libretto

Richard Wagner Die Walküre
act 3, scene 3:
• “Der Augen leuchtendes Paar” to end of act

Associated terms:
music drama
Leitmotif
Gesamtkunstwerk

Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet

Associated terms:
Overture concert overture
program music

Modern Era 
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 4 in G Major
• fourth movement

Associated terms:
symphony
cyclical structure

Maurice Ravel Jeux d’eau

Associated terms:
piano music
Impressionism in music
pentatonic scale
whole-tone scale

Arnold Schoenberg Pierrot lunaire, op. 21
• “Der Mondfleck”
• “O alter Duft aus Märchenzeit”

Associated terms:
song cycle
Expressionism in music
atonality
Sprechstimme
Klangfarbenmelodie
rondeau
canon
Second Viennese School

Alban Berg Wozzeck
act 3, scene 4:
• “Das Messer?”
• Orchestral Interlude
act 3, scene 5:
• “Ringel, Ringel Rosenkranz”

Associated terms:
opera
cluster chord

Anton Webern Symphony, op. 21
• second movement

Associated terms:
chamber symphony
serialism
twelve-tone music
tone row
inversion
retrograde

Béla Bartók Concerto for Orchestra
• fourth movement

Associated terms:
orchestral music
neo-Classicism
ostinato
polytonality

Sergei Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 2, op. 64c
• “The Montagues and Capulets”

Associated terms:
orchestral suite
ballet
choreography

Olivier Messiaen Quatuor pour la fin du temps
• second movement: “Vocalise, pour l’Ange qui
annonce la fin du temps”

Associated terms:
chamber music
mode of limited transposition

György Ligeti Atmosphères

Associated terms:
orchestral music
micropolyphony
harmonics

Aaron Copland Fanfare for the Common Man

Associated terms:
orchestral music
fanfare

Jean Coulthard Canada Mosaic
• “The Contented House”

Associated term:
orchestral music

John Cage Sonatas and Interludes
• Sonata V

Associated term:
solo piano work
prepared piano

Steve Reich Electric Counterpoint

Associated term:
minimalism in music

R. Murray Schafer Snowforms

Associated terms:
choral music
graphic notation
indeterminacy

Independent Study Essay

In the exam, students are required to choose a topic and prepare an essay based on the guidelines provided by RCM. The essay
should be approximately 900–1,000 words in length. 

Harmony 9 Group Lessons

Course with 28 group classes of 75-minutes for RCM Harmony 9

This course has 28 classes and will prepare your child for the RCM exam which covers:

Required Keys
all major and minor keys

Harmonic Vocabulary
• major, minor, diminished, and augmented triads (root
position and first inversion)
• 6/4 position chords, including passing, neighbor (pedal),
cadential (appoggiatura), and arpeggio
• dominant 7th and supertonic 7th chords (root position
and inversions)
• viio6 of V in major keys; viio6 of III and of v in minor keys
• applied/secondary V(7
) of V in major keys; V(7
) of III and
of v in minor keys (root position and inversions)
• the I chord in minor keys (tierce de Picardie)
• pedal points on the tonic and dominant scale degrees
• functional chord symbols and root/quality chord symbols
• tonal hierarchy of a phrase using T (tonic), PD (predominant), and D (dominant)

Harmonic Procedures
• melodic figuration (non-chord tones): passing, neighbor,
appoggiatura, suspension, échappée, and anticipation
• cadences: perfect authentic, imperfect authentic, half,
deceptive, and plagal
• diatonic descending fifths sequence using root-position
and/or first-inversion triads
• modulations to the dominant key (V) in major keys and
to the relative major (III) and minor dominant key (v) in
minor keys
• modulation to closely related keys (with a change of no
more than one sharp or flat in the key signature) for analysis only

Genres, Formal Structure, and Compositional Techniques
• dance types: sarabande, gigue, menuet, bourrée, and
gavotte
• phrase structure: a, a1
, b, antecedent, consequent, phrase,
period (parallel, contrasting)
• forms: binary (AB; simple, rounded, balanced), ternary
form (ABA)
• contrapuntal and motivic techniques: subject,
countersubject, imitation, repetition, variation,
transposition, inversion, variation

Melodic Improvisation
Improvise a four-measure consequent (answer) to each of two
four-measure antecedent (question) phrases, one in a major
key and one in a minor key. One parallel and one contrasting
period should be demonstrated. Each pair of phrases should
create a unified melody that might serve as the A section of
a sectional binary form. Add bass notes only at the cadences.

Melodic Ornamentation
Add non-chord tones to a given excerpt consisting of a simple
melody with bass line.

Counterpoint
Complete an upper or lower part of a short two-part contrapuntal composition using half and quarter notes on
the grand staff. The given part will have similar note values.
The improvised part will use a variety of contrapuntal
motion, and may include passing tones, neighbor tones, and
suspensions.

Sequences
Play a diatonic descending fifths sequence in a major or
minor key; the examiner will select the key at the time of the
examination. Use any arrangement that demonstrates good
voice leading.

Chord Progressions
Play chord progressions in keyboard style. Complete functional chord symbols will be provided. A soprano line will be provided.

Chorale Harmonization
Harmonize a given soprano and bass in keyboard style. Some
functional chord symbols or figures will be provided.

Melodic Harmonization and Accompaniment
Create an accompaniment in an appropriate style for a given
melody. Chord symbols may or may not be provided.

Harmonic Analysis
Analyze the harmony of a short passage, indicating the
functional chord symbol for each chord after playing it.
Identify the circled non-chord tones. Students may be asked
to indicate tonal hierarchy.

Structural Analysis
Analyze the structural elements of a simple dance in 18th century style and identify the form as binary, rounded binary, or ternary, and name the cadences and their keys.

Harmony 10 Group Lessons

Course with 28 group classes of 75-minutes for RCM Harmony 10

This course has 28 classes and will prepare your child for the RCM exam which covers:

Required Keys
all major and minor keys

Harmonic Vocabulary
• all triads and diatonic 7th chords (root position and all inversions)
• leading-tone diminished 7th chord: vii°7 (root position and inversions)
• dominant 9th and 13th chords (root position only)
• chords derived from the melodic minor scale: ii #5, IV#, #viø7
• applied/secondary V(7), vii°6, viiø7, and vii°7 of all diatonic
major and minor chords (root position and inversions)
• functional chord symbols, root/quality symbols, and figured bass notation
• tonal hierarchy of a phrase or period using T (tonic), PD
(pre-dominant), and D (dominant)

Harmonic Procedures
• descending fifths sequence (diatonic) using seventh chords
• ascending 5–6 sequence (diatonic)
• modulation to closely related keys (with a change of no more than one sharp or flat in the key signature)

Genres, Formal Structure, and Compositional Techniques
• sonata form: exposition, theme group(s), bridge/transition, codetta/close, development, dominant preparation, recapitulation, coda
• compound ternary form: transition, dominant preparation,
coda
• five-part rondo form
• fugal exposition: subject, tonal/real answer, countersubject, link/codetta, redundant entry, stretto, invertible counterpoint

Melodic Improvisation
Improvise a four-measure consequent to each of two four measure antecedent phrases, one in a major key and one in a minor key. One parallel and one contrasting period should be demonstrated. The given antecedent will not modulate. Both consequents should modulate to an appropriate goal key. Add a bass line for the given phrase and bass notes at the cadences.

Sequences
Play one of the required sequences (student’s choice) in a
major or minor key (examiner’s choice). Use any arrangement
that demonstrates good voice leading.

Chord Progressions
Play chord progressions in keyboard style. Complete
functional chord symbols will be provided. A soprano line
will be provided.

Chorale Harmonization
Harmonize a given soprano and bass in keyboard style.
Figured bass symbols will be provided.

Melodic Harmonization and Accompaniment
Create an accompaniment in an appropriate style for a given
melody. Chord symbols may or may not be provided.

Harmonic Analysis
Analyze the harmony of a short passage, indicating the
functional chord symbol for each chord after playing it.
Identify the circled non-chord tones. Students may be asked
to indicate tonal hierarchy.

Structural Analysis
Analyze the main structural elements and compositional
features of a given movement in compound ternary form,
rondo form, sonata form, or of a fugal exposition for solo
piano. Students will not be required to perform the movement
in the examination.

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