This is an age old question that almost every piano teacher has grappled with in their career. There are those who never consider testing their students and others who required testing.
~What is the purpose of testing?
~Testing should a benchmark for a student’s progress. It is generally done annually, but can also occur after a student has met the guidelines of the specific test.
~Why would a teacher avoid testing?
~Many teachers feel that testing is too much pressure for their students. They prefer to teach at their own pace and let the students guide their own progress.
~What are some of the different levels of testing?
~Testing can be as simple as a teacher reviewing material and the giving general feedback to rigorous requirements that require intense practicing and study.
~Do some countries test more than others?
~There are many countries that administer and encourage (or require) standardized testing. In the USA, we do not have a single test that the majority of teachers have their students enrolled in. Many of our teachers use the European (ABRSM) or Canadian (RCM) tests. There are also a few US based tests that are excellent, including the National Guild and PCS Piano Proficiency Examinations.
It is certainly a personal choice for a teacher to test or not to test, but I would like to encourage all piano teachers to consider testing. This gives the student and their parents a clear window into the progress being made.
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