LCM Exams - Forte magazine 2013



LCM Exams - Forte magazine 2013
London College of Music examinations are held at over 250 centres throughout the UK and overseas. A
broad range of subjects is offered in music and in drama and communication, catering for candidates of
all levels – from introductory examinations for beginners through graded exams to professional diplomas
in performing, teaching, composition and research.
London College of Music Examinations Newsletter
LCM Examinations
University of West London
St Mary’s Road
W5 5RF
Tel: 020 8231 2364
[email protected]
© 2013
Issue 2013.1
Key Information
Contacts at LCM Exams
John Howard
Director of Examinations
Philip Aldred
Chief Examiner in Music
Stephen Hazell
Chief Examiner in Drama & Communication
Janet Lill
Senior Examinations Officer
Andrew Hatt
Qualifications & Marketing Officer
Alexandra Marchant
Exams Information Officer
Jackie Honan
Finance Administrator
Jenny Thompson
Administrative Assistant
Peline Ong
Regional Representative, Asia Pacific and India
Calendar - 2013
4 January
Asia: Spring closing date
1 February
UK/Eire: Spring closing date
15 February
Music senior examiners' meeting (UWL, Ealing)
16 February
Examiners' seminar (UWL, Ealing)
16 March - 20 April
UK/Eire: Spring examination session
17 April (pm)
Theory examinations
22 April
Scotland/N Ireland/Eire: Summer closing date
1 May
England/Wales: Summer closing date
3 May
Asia: Summer closing date
25 May - 22 June
Scotland/N Ireland/Eire: Summer examination session
15 June (am)
Theory examinations
22 June - 27 July
England/Wales: Summer examination session
6 September
Asia: Winter closing date
8 September
RGT Guitar teachers' conference (UWL, Ealing)
1 October
UK/Eire: Winter closing date
12 October
Drama senior examiners' meeting (UWL, Ealing)
16 November - 21 December
UK/Eire: Winter examination session
23 November (am)
Theory examinations
London College of Music Examinations is an
international examining board offering
graded and diploma examinations in music
and in drama & communication.
LCM Exams caters for candidates of all levels:
from early years examinations, through graded
exams, to four levels of diplomas in
performance and teaching. Qualifications are
offered in an exceptionally wide range of
subjects. In Music, they encompass classical,
jazz, pop, rock and traditional music genres.
Subjects in Drama range from acting to verse
speaking and group performance, and in
Communication from public speaking to
ESOL. A comprehensive range of publications
is available, including, for Music, all-inclusive
graded handbooks for selected instruments.
Examinations are held across a large network
of local public centres, and also at many
schools and colleges.
LCM Examinations are unique in the graded
examinations sector in being awarded by a
university, while Ofqual accreditation assures
validity and a standard consistent with other
approved boards. Grades 6-8 qualifications
in accredited subjects attract UCAS points
towards university entrance.
LCM Examinations
University of West London
St Mary’s Road
London W5 5RF
tel: 020 8231 2364
email: [email protected]
Editor: Andrew Hatt
[email protected]
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the latest news.
Online Entry
In 2012 LCM Examinations commissioned a new information management system, and this
has been in development during the past 12 months. The system, ERIC, will perform all of the
examination management functions handled by our current database, GEMS, but will
additionally provide an online entry system for teachers and candidates, as well as offering
a range of tools to examiners, centre representatives and the office team to increase efficiency
and speed up current processes.
We are pleased to announce that ERIC is now available, for use from the Winter 2013
session onwards (Spring 2014 session for centres in Asia), and we hope that teachers and
candidates will take advantage of the various benefits it offers. These include:
• online entry and payment
• 5% discount on published exam fees
• no late fees for online entries (effectively extending the entry period by a week)
• automatic notification of exam dates, times and venues
• online access to exam details and other information
• faster notification of results
To use the system, all teachers will need to register at A unique teacher code
will be allocated (NB current teacher codes will not be carried forward to the new system),
and a password must be chosen. A range of user guides and video guides are available on the
ERIC page of the LCM Exams website.
ERIC will offer many benefits to everyone involved with LCM Exams, and moving operations
online will enable us to provide a faster and more efficient service to teachers and candidates.
We will continue to accept postal entries, but hope that as many teachers as possible will take
advantage of the new features offered by the online system.
This is a very
important time for
London College of
Music Examinations;
the main reason is
that, during the
Winter examination
session in the UK, our
new examinations
information system
(known lovingly as
ERIC, Examination Records Information Centre)
has gone live and active for the first time. This
new system will be of great benefit to us all,
adding considerable enhancement to our
capabilities, and, in the long run, making the work
of all of us easier; more importantly, it will
enhance the ability of individual candidates, their
parents, and their teachers, to interact with the
examination board and their local centre,
particularly via online entry for the examinations.
I would like to underline two points here: first,
this system is the result of considerable
investment by the University of West London in
LCME, by which the University is acknowledging
the value of the examination board, and
supporting the future potential of it; second, as
with all major IT developments, we will all
experience a period of adjustment, while we learn
to use a new system, and, inevitably, there will be
minor issues to be resolved about the way the
system works.
We are very conscious at LCME that our people
need good support, and all my colleagues in Ealing
are actively giving that support as I write; because
all our candidates, teachers and representatives
are vitally important to us, we will always do our
best to be available to you, to answer any
questions you will have and solve any problems
that exist.
Alexandra Marchant and John Howard pictured with representatives
at an ERIC training session in Kuala Lumpur
The principal contacts for queries relating to ERIC are:
Alexandra Marchant tel: 020 8231 2097 email: [email protected]
Peline Ong (Asia)
tel: 65 6622 5867
email: [email protected]
This edition of Forte is a rich one, with lots of
interesting material and in particular information
about new centres in many different places. I
hope that you will enjoy reading it, and would like
to give my best wishes to all of you, trusting that
you will work with us to make the remaining
months of 2013 very worthwhile.
John Howard
London College of Music Examinations
If you would prefer to continue to submit postal entry forms, please note that new versions
of the forms are now available from the LCM Exams office or via our website.
Syllabuses & Publications
Classical Singing
Please note that requirements for Recital
Grades for classical singing differ from those
for other subjects.
ONE song must be selected from the set list
for the equivalent grade; the remainder of the
programme is own choice. The own choice
songs may themselves be taken from the set
list for the grade, or from that of a higher (but
not lower) grade.
A ‘Performance
Award’ option has
been added to the
Ensemble syllabus,
enabling ensembles
to obtain an
assessment by DVD
submission rather
than attendance at
an exam venue.
Ensemble Syllabus
Ensemble Examinations
Ensemble Performance Awards
RGT Launches Performance Awards
for Bass Guitar
One popular innovation developed initially for the RGT/LCM’s rock guitar
exams was the option of taking a ‘Performance Award’. These new
qualifications, which are based entirely on the performance of pieces,
rapidly proved so popular that RGT expanded them to cover acoustic
and electric guitar, and now the range has been expanded again to
include bass guitar.
There are three types of Performance Awards: ‘live’ – where the
candidate performs the pieces live at an exam venue; ‘filmed’ – where the candidate submits a
DVD of themselves playing the pieces; ‘recorded’ – where the candidate sends in, or uploads, an
audio recording of themselves playing the pieces. The last two options are particularly helpful for
teachers who have students who find it hard to take time out to travel to an exam venue, or for
those who get overly nervous in an examroom situation, or for those in remote locations – as this
assessment method cuts out the need to travel. And for anyone on a tight budget, entry fees for
Performance Awards are lower than for the equivalent grade exam.
2010 - 2014
For bass guitar Preliminary Level to Level 5 Performance Awards, candidates perform two bass
patterns (from the appropriate level RGT Bass Patterns CD/booklet) and improvise a bassline over
one track from the appropriate level of the RGT book/CD series, Improvising Bass Guitar. For
Levels 6 to 8, improvising basslines over two tracks is required.
Ensemble examinations – both live and DVD
options – are open to all sizes of ensemble,
from 2 players upwards, comprising any
combination of instruments and/or voices.
Repertoire is free choice, and assessments are
offered at 6 levels:
Ensemble level
Equivalent standard
Grades 1-2
Grades 3-4
Grade 5
Grades 6-7
Grade 8
Performance Awards are accredited by LCM Exams and certificated by the University of West
London. Exam syllabus/information booklets for the new bass guitar Performance Awards, as well
as for the rock, acoustic and electric guitar Performance Awards, can be freely downloaded from
the RGT website
Tony Skinner, Director, Registry of Guitar Tutors
Drama & Communication Grades
The current syllabus is dated 2010-2013. It has proved very successful, and we do not expect to
make major changes for the 2014 version.
A new syllabus dated 2014-2017 will be produced this year. This note is to reassure all teachers
and candidates that they can continue to prepare for examinations using the current syllabus
without fear of suddenly being faced with new requirements or regulations. We expect that at
most there will be some clarifications of the wording here and there, and in any case it will be
understood that the 2010-2013 syllabus will be taken as valid until everyone has had time to
absorb any re-phrasing in the new syllabus.
Piano Grades
Piano Recordings
Recordings are now available of all graded piano
repertoire (studies and pieces), via our
downloads website,
[See page 8 for further details.]
The new piano handbooks seem to me to be proving popular – certainly the exams that I have
examined recently, from Pre-Preparatory to Grade 8, have shown a good response to the new
demands of each level.
Here are a few pointers that should help teachers and candidates gain those extra marks towards
a Distinction!
1. Dynamics are important to any piece of music, and are included from Pre-Preparatory level.
These should be observed as much as possible, even at this very early stage.
Clarinet & Saxophone
2. Articulation, phrasing and tempo are clearly detailed in all exercises and pieces, and here
also these should be an integral part of the performance.
We have recently introduced a Study option to
graded clarinet and classical saxophone exams,
as an alternative to scales and arpeggios. Please
see the revised repertoire lists for details.
3. Technical Work and Studies: these do have tempo indications, but never sacrifice accuracy
for speed.
Philip Aldred, Chief Examiner in Music
Syllabuses & Publications
Piano & Keyboard Handbooks
Popular Music Vocals
The following errors have been identified in the new piano and electronic keyboard handbooks.
These are listed on the Publications > Errata page on our website, where any further errors will be
The current syllabus has been extended until
the end of 2014; a new syllabus will be valid
from January 2015 onwards.
Piano Handbook 2013: Grade 3
Page 17, bar 23: the last note in the LH should be B flat (rather than G).
Please remember to give the examiner the
lyrics for all your songs.
Piano Handbook 2013: Grade 5
Page 23, bars 22-23: the As in the LH should be tied.
At Grades 6, 7 and 8, please also inform the
examiner from which song you will be singing
an unaccompanied verse and/or chorus.
Electronic Keyboard Handbook 2013: Grade 3
Page 24: the tempo marking for Uncle Peter's Trombone should read minim = 108 (rather than
crotchet = 108).
Electronic Keyboard Handbook 2013: Grade 8
Page 38, bar 3: the top note at the end of the bar should be A natural (rather than G).
Music Theatre
Additionally, the following errors have been identified and corrected in the syllabuses:
Please note that the 2013-2017 syllabus must
now be used for all exams.
Piano Repertoire List
Grade 7, List A. The Bach Prelude is from Book 1 of Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, rather than
Book 2.
Electronic Keyboard Syllabus
Grade 6, List B & C additional pieces: Waltz, Serenade for Strings is taken from Keyboard
Cocktails Classics rather than Keyboard Cocktails Waltzes.
Classical Guitar
The validity of the classical guitar
grades syllabus has been extended
until 2018. After consultation with
teachers, the feedback was
wholeheartedly that the existing syllabus
was working very well and the vast
majority of respondents wanted it to be
kept unchanged. Consequently, the existing grade handbooks produced by RGT will remain valid.
Newly reprinted handbooks show the ‘valid until date’ as ‘Winter 2018’ and any remaining stock
has been over-stickered with the new expiry date. Even if you have an existing handbook that
states ‘valid until Winter 2013’, you can safely assume that this will now remain valid until 2018.
Our thanks go to RGT for all their efforts in arranging for the re-licencing of all the music contained
in the ten syllabus handbooks. The only slight question mark that remains is over the Grade 8 piece
Cavatina: due to copyright clearance delays we are currently unable to confirm whether this piece
will appear in the reprinted handbook, but either way it will still remain (as a ‘free choice’ at least)
in the syllabus.
Piano Anthologies
We are pleased to announce that the first in our new series of piano
anthologies is now available. Piano Anthology: Grades 1 & 2 contains
thirty of the most popular pieces from LCM piano syllabus lists from
1988 to 2006. The range of styles broadly covers the late 18th century
to the present, including a number of familiar pieces alongside a selection
of pieces by distinguished former LCM teachers and students.
London College of Music Examinations
Pieces from this collection may be chosen as List B and C exam pieces;
please refer to the updated piano repertoire list for full details.
Compiled by William Alexander
LCM Publications
Higher grade anthologies are in preparation, and will be published soon.
The Grades 1 & 2 Anthology is priced £8.95.
Teachers and candidates are reminded that
written programmes are now a requirement
for ALL music theatre grade and diploma
levels. The minimum requirement is a list of
songs, the shows from which they are taken
(where appropriate), composers, lyricists and
dates. Refer to Section 2.5.4 of the syllabus.
Other changes are: the addition of a quick study
component at DipLCM, and the addition of a
pre-requisite at ALCM.
DipLCM Recital
A new DipLCM Recital option is now available,
and the current DipLCM has been re-labelled
‘DipLCM Standard’.
The requirements can be summarised as
DipLCM (Standard)
1. Performance (70%)
[programme of 15-20 minutes]
2. Viva Voce (15%)
3. Sight Reading (15%)
DipLCM (Recital)
1. Performance (80%)
[programme of 25-30 minutes, including
at least one work composed in or after
2. Sight Reading (20%)
Similar options are already available at ALCM
and LLCM levels; please refer to the syllabus
for full details.
Syllabuses & Publications
Diploma examinations
New Irish Traditional Music Syllabus
Senior Examiner Patrick Davey introduces the new Irish traditional music syllabus.
The current LCM Irish traditional music
examination syllabus was complied by Dr
Colette Moloney and was introduced in 1998.
The syllabus quickly became popular among
teachers and students of Irish traditional music,
because it offered a straightforward means of
assessment with a clear progression from
Preliminary (now Step) level through Grades 2,
4, 6 and 8, and on to diploma level. The format
of the grade examinations, with the
Performance, Repertoire and Supplementary
Test components, was easy to follow, and the
delivery of the examinations by recognised
exponents of Irish traditional music meant that
teachers and candidates could be certain of an
accurate and constructive assessment.
The popularity of LCM Irish traditional
examinations has increased significantly in
recent years, and the examinations are taken
at centres throughout Ireland and also at many
centres in England. However, apart from a few
minor adjustments, the syllabus itself has
remained largely unchanged since 1998, and
after being appointed as Senior Examiner for
LCM Irish traditional examinations in 2012, I
initiated a process of revision to the syllabus,
in consultation with Mr Philip Aldred, Chief
Examiner in Music with LCM and other senior
LCM staff. The revision is nearing completion,
and the new LCM Irish traditional music
syllabus will be introduced in 2014.
New grade examinations
The most significant feature of the new
syllabus is the introduction of the complete
range of grade examinations, i.e. Step then
Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
The Step examination remains unaltered, and
continues as an ideal introductory examination.
The progression between the current Grades
2, 4, 6 and 8 is eased with the introduction of
new Grades 1, 3, 5 and 7, and the transition
between adjacent grades will be smoother. The
familiar format of Performance, Repertoire and
Supplementary Test components is maintained
and the requirements of each component
increase progressively through the grades.
The table below summarises the Performance
and Repertoire requirements of each grade
examination in the new syllabus:
Four tunes
Three tunes
Three tunes
Three tunes
Five tunes
Three tunes
Five tunes
Three selections
Five tunes
Three selections
Three selections
Three selections
Four selections
Three selections
Five selections
Three selections
Five selections
Simple forms of ornamentation are required
for Grades 3 and 4, with a wider range of
ornamentation being required from Grade 5
onwards. Variation is required in the
Performance component of the new Grade 7
examination, and in both the Performance and
Repertoire components of the Grade 8
The Supplementary Tests for all examinations,
including diplomas, have been revised and
updated and the requirements increase
throughout the grades. For most grades, the
Supplementary Tests will involve a combination
of live performance by the examiner and the
use of musical extracts from a CD – this has
allowed the introduction of new tests including
the recognition of instruments in the lower
grades and critical listening of performances
at Grade 8.
Theory Exams
May I remind all candidates that mobile phones may NOT be switched on or be with you
during any theory exam. They are to be handed into the invigilator before the exam begins,
and may be collected as you leave the examination room.
Eating or drinking is not permitted in the examination room, unless there is a medical reason
for you to have sustenance with you (eg. a sugary drink or sweet if you are a diabetic).
The only things you need in the exam room are those that will enable you to write the exam
paper – pen, pencil, rubber, ruler, blotting paper, spare cartridges, pencil sharpener for example.
Philip Aldred, Chief Examiner in Music
The existing diplomas will remain largely
unaltered in the new syllabus, although the
Supplementary Tests have been revised and
updated. The requirement to have passed the
ALCM Paperwork in Irish traditional music
before taking an ALCM performance diploma
will be replaced by a requirement to have
passed a DipLCM performance diploma.
New bodhrán examinations
In response to numerous requests from
candidates and teachers in recent years, we
are delighted to be able to introduce new grade
examinations in bodhrán playing. These have
been developed in consultation with Mr Eamon
Murray, a recognised authority on bodhrán
playing and member of the innovative Irish
traditional group ‘Beoga’.
The new bodhrán examinations follow the
existing examination format with Performance,
Repertoire and Supplementary Test
components, but these will reflect the nature
of the bodhrán as a percussion instrument.
Initially the bodhrán examinations will be
offered for Grades 2, 4, 6 and 8 only and the
candidate will be required to accompany a live
performance by a melody instrument during
their examination – it will be the responsibility
of the candidate to arrange this.
A range of useful resources are being prepared
to support candidates and teachers as they
prepare for the new syllabus, and these will
include extensive sample tune lists, as well as
examples of listening tests and updated and
expanded general guidelines, specific to each
examination. These will be provided in the new
syllabus document and on the LCM Exams
The new syllabus will be published in 2014,
and the current Irish traditional syllabus will
remain in effect until the end of 2014.
Finally, I would like to thank the LCM
Examinations staff for their support and
assistance during the current revision of the
Irish traditional music examination syllabus and
also all the LCM Irish traditional examiners for
their great work in the delivery of the
examinations since the introduction of the
original syllabus in 1998. A special word of
thanks also to the many teachers and
candidates who continue to give LCM Irish
traditional examinations their support.
Syllabuses & Publications
New ESOL Examinations
by Stephen Hazell, Chief Examiner in Drama & Communication
Washing powders used to advertise themselves as ‘New! Improved!!’
This always struck me as a contradiction – there had to be an earlier new
product, shining bright in its own time, and now being improved on, even
shinier and brighter, but not altogether new.
ESOL Syllabus
• ESOL Early Learning (Individual)
• ESOL Early Learning (Group)
• ESOL Steps
• ESOL Grades 1-3
2012 - 2016
Our new ESOL exams do, it’s true, replace an earlier syllabus, but it
really isn’t a question of improvement, it’s a matter of doing something
entirely new, yielding an exciting and up-to-date contribution to the field
of language learning.
LCM’s ESOL examinations are:
ESOL Syllabus 2013-2016: the full set of
examinations is published in a single booklet.
To access it, go to:,
choose Subjects then ESOL.
1. Externally connected
• Benchmarked – they are developed
so as to correlate with the most
respected authority, CEFR (Common
European Framework of Reference for
• Correlated with UK national
language-learning standards at all
grade levels
• Devised to develop university-level
speaking, reading and listening
capacities at the higher grades
2. Internally distinctive
• An especially user-friendly approach
at Early Learning and Steps
• Our drama-related emphasis in the
syllabus structure leads to unique
value-added performance skills,
based in story-telling and a variety of
audience-aware presentations
• The student acquires the foundation
for life-long learning in language
acquisition, and in interpersonal
skills: how to hold, entertain, convince,
impress and lead in a variety of
These are natural ambitions for an examining
section that fully believes in the special rewards
of both Drama and Communication.
It can also be noted that research writings are
steadily approving the case for the power of
drama-linked activity in language learning.
Jazz Grades
English for Speakers of Other Languages
The contents are:
• Early Learning: Individual Stages and
Group Stages
• Steps 1-3
• Grades 1-8
Early Learning and Steps: a Guidebook is also
published online, with helpful notes for teachers
and candidates.
Grades 1-8: the Passages Guide for early
grades is already available online and the
complete set will be available shortly.
Look at the published syllabus for Steps and
Grades and you will see that each examination
component has three descriptions attached:
• Task: a clear instruction of the task to
be undertaken in the exam room
• Preparation: notes of guidance for
teacher and student on useful ways of
preparing for the exam
• Purpose: a statement of the main
intention of the examination, and
hence the main thing that examiners
will be looking for; this is thus a guide
to the main assessment criteria
We believe that this structure for the syllabuses
will be helpful to teachers and students. Please
think seriously about developing this work,
wherever you are located.
A number of updates have recently
been made to the jazz grades
syllabuses (applicable to jazz piano,
flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet
and trombone).
1. Studies
A new study option has been added
to the Technical Work, as an
alternative to scales and arpeggios.
The studies – newly composed by
LCM jazz syllabus compiler Stuart
Corbett (piano studies) and his son,
jazz trumpet player Bryan (wind
studies) – may alternatively be played
in List A of the Performance
component if they have not been
selected in Component 1.
They are available exclusively as
downloads in pdf format from, either by
individual grade or as a complete set
at a discounted price. A new set of
specimen jazz aural tests has also
been added to the website; see the
article on page 8 for full details.
2. Free Choice Memory Option
Graded jazz candidates may now opt
to perform ONE piece as a free choice,
to be performed from memory. This
option offers an opportunity to
develop skills important to the jazz
musician and to build up a bank of
memorised pieces. Pianists must play
unaccompanied; wind players may be
accompanied, or the piece may be
played solo.
Please refer to the latest editions of
the jazz piano, jazz woodwind and jazz
brass repertoire lists for details.
The most up-to-date versions of all
syllabuses and repertoire lists are
available on the ‘Subjects’ page of
our website
Syllabuses & Publications
Downloads Website:
We are pleased to announce a number of additions to our downloads website, This
began as a resource for theory papers and handbooks but has been expanded to cover various other
subjects, and there are plans for further additions.
Currently available on the website are:
 Theory past papers
 Specimen aural tests – NEW
Past papers for grades (2002 onwards) and
diplomas (2010 onwards), priced from just 57p
each, with discounts for multiple papers.
A set of examples of the new jazz aural tests,
plus a digital version of the standard specimen
aural tests book. Available either by individual
grade or as a complete set at a discounted
 Theory answers
Worked papers for selected sessions; each
download includes the original paper, a paper
with specimen answers and a mark scheme.
 Theory handbooks
Digital versions of the handbooks for Step and
Grades 1-8 – a vital resource for all students
preparing for theory exams.
 Piano recordings – NEW
Audio recordings of all of the studies and pieces
listed in the piano grades syllabus – priced from
just 65p each and with discounts for ‘handbook
collections’. Performed by syllabus compiler,
Peter Wild. A useful aid for exam preparation,
or as part of the process of selecting repertoire
for the next exam.
 Jazz studies – NEW
Studies for jazz piano, wind and brass; these
may now be performed as an alternative to
scales & arpeggios. Studies may be purchased
individually, or as a complete set at a discounted
The ordering process is straightforward and
quick, and the website uses the highly secure
SagePay for payments, which features top-level
encryption so that your card details are totally
Early Childhood Music Teaching Diplomas
I am very pleased to be able to announce a new set of music teaching diplomas, intended for those who teach music to pre-school children in
kindergartens and other places. These complement our Early Learning, Pre-Preparatory, and Step qualifications.
There are three levels of diploma, with the overall title of Early Childhood Music Teaching: DipLCM, ALCM, and LLCM. Written with considerable input
from Flora Lim, Director of Seimpi Academy of Music, Singapore, these diplomas have been successfully piloted for more than a year in Singapore and
Malaysia and will now become available everywhere.
The design of them is based closely on the existing teaching diplomas, with appropriate changes of detail. The main features of each level are as
• A 20-minute video of music teaching
featuring a group of children of pre-school
• A 20-minute video of music teaching (as
• An observation report based on three
early childhood music classes taught by
the candidate
• A 20-minute presentation, including a
5-minute performance of songs and other
music by the candidate, self-accompanied
on keyboard, piano or guitar
• A discussion with the examiner
Pre-requisite: Grade 5 theory of music from
LCME/UWL or the equivalent
• An essay of 2-3 thousand words on a set
• A 30-minute presentation, including an
8-minute performance of songs and other
music by the candidate, self-accompanied
on keyboard, piano or guitar
• A dissertation containing a case study,
analysis of three music extracts, and a
short essay on a set topic
• A 30 minute presentation focusing on the
case study
• A discussion with the examiner
• A discussion with the examiner
Pre-requisite: DipLCM (ECM)
Pre-requisite: ALCM (ECM)
For the DipLCM teaching videos, candidates should feature children they have known for at least three months; for the ALCM, children they have
taught for at least three months.
The full syllabus will be available on the LCME website (
John Howard
Director, London College of Music Examinations
Syllabuses & Publications
Supplementary Pieces for Electronic Keyboard Exams
by Janet Dowsett, Senior Examiner and syllabus compiler
We are delighted that the new electronic keyboard handbooks have been greeted with
such enthusiasm. I have had the pleasure examining some of the new syllabus grades
in the last exam session – it’s great to hear the new pieces played so well.
However, I do wonder if some teachers only
ever use the handbook for the exam material
and miss out on the wealth of supplementary
material which has been carefully selected
from general keyboard publications and which
can be used as List B and C pieces in the grade
and leisure play exams? You will not find
these listed in the handbooks of course, but in
the syllabus itself. They are there to give your
candidates a wide experience of lots of
different playing styles.
Several criteria have been applied to the choice
of supplementary pieces. Firstly, they have to
‘fit’ the grade criteria, to match the standard
of the pieces in the handbooks. So the keys
chosen, time signatures, chord ranges, note
value ranges and so on are all parallel to the
handbook for the grade. Then we consider a
variety of original pieces and well-known songs.
Using published books as supplementary
material gives us the opportunity of including
copyright songs in the grades. That is how we
can have a candidate playing a Robbie Williams
song at Grade 2, or a song from Les Misérables
at Grade 3.
As a teacher I love this aspect of the
supplementary material. Several of my
students own the books anyway and use them
as part of their lessons. They enjoy playing
songs they know, now and then, as well as the
ones they don’t know. It’s great when a student
has practised She’s The One already because
they like it and then you announce to them
that they can use this as one of their pieces in
their next exam. You’re a third of the way
there already! The Complete Keyboard Player
books are used by many teachers and often
provide interesting material, especially the
Anthology, Dinner Jazz and Jazz & Blues.
These, alongside the tuition books 1, 2, 3 and
4, are on the shelves of most of my students.
We are very aware of the cost of buying lots
of different music books in lessons. That is
why we try to get the best out of a book by
choosing as many pieces as possible from that
book as supplementary material, and by trying
to spread the book across more
than one grade where possible.
One book which fulfils these
criteria brilliantly is the brand new
Grade Fun written by Penny
Weedon. Penny is a contributor to
the current handbooks and has
written pieces for the grades over
a period of several years and for
the previous two syllabuses. Her
Grade Fun book includes the two
pieces for each grade which were
so popular in the previous
handbooks. So if you have fallen
in love with Rainbow or Canals Of
Amsterdam or Won’t Never Play
That Tune No More and wish your
candidates could still play them
in the new syllabus – just get a
copy of Grade Fun for your student
and that book will stand them in
good stead for all eight grades.
A selection of books featured in the supplementary lists
When choosing supplementary material we
try to appeal across the board to players who
like using chord symbols, but also to the
increasing amount of candidates who read bass
clef. Two main series have been selected with
the bass clef reader in mind – the ever popular
MicroJazz books and the lesser-known but
brilliantly written Presto! books. Both give
ample opportunities for candidates to exploit
their own style of playing in List B and C pieces.
Both are clearly written by musicians who
understand how to fuse ‘piano style’ with
modern keyboard techniques and facilities.
Finally, we consider appealing to different age
groups when selecting supplementary
material. Not everybody who takes a grade
exam is a youngster. That’s why we look to a
wide range of pieces which might suit different
ages and personalities. So at Grade 3 you
might like to choose Isn’t She Lovely? whilst
another candidate might prefer the Flower
Duet from Lakmé. This is taken from a book in
the Keyboard Cocktails series which we have
also used quite extensively.
It is important to remember that if
supplementary material is used, the candidate
must bring their book to the exam, and not
work from a copy. Make sure that the
keyboard’s facilities are exploited and
registration changes occur in the same way
as in the handbook pieces. The List A study
must be played from the handbook, but the
List B or C piece, or both, can come from the
supplementary material.
All information about the supplementary
material is clearly laid out on page 11 of the
syllabus, where details of publications and
publishers with telephone numbers and
website addresses are given, so you can find
out how to obtain the books.
Oh, and as a postscript – when the
supplementary material was chosen for this
syllabus, the publishers were contacted and it
was ascertained that they had enough copies
of the books in stock for the time being, with
no plans to put the books out of print. However,
you never know... – it keeps us on our toes!
2014 Examination Dates (UK & Ireland)
LCM Exams is exhibiting at the
following events during 2013:
Closing dates and exam dates will be as follows:
Closing date
Practical Exams
Theory Exams
1 February
22 March - 26 April
Wednesday 2 April
21 April
24 May - 21 June
(Scotland, N Ireland, Ireland)
Music Education Expo
20-21 March
Barbican Centre, London
Saturday 14 June
1 May
21 June - 26 July
1 October
15 November - 20 December
(England, Wales)
Society of Teachers of Speech
and Drama Conference
Saturday 29 November
21-24 August
Writtle College, Essex
2014 Closing Dates (Asia)
North West Music Mark
Closing dates for entry for all centres in Asia will be as follows:
2 September
3 January
25 April
29 August
Huyton, Merseyside
For further details about exams in Asia, please contact our regional representative:
Ms Peline Ong, Lui Events Pte Ltd, 57 Mohd Sultan Road, #03-05 Sultan-Link, The Tokyo Suite,
Singapore 238997
Tel: 65 6622 5868
Fax: 65 6622 5867
Email: [email protected]
LCM Piano Handbooks
London College of Music Examinations
The standard late entry period is one week following the closing date. A fee applies for postal
entries submitted during this period, but this fee is waived for online entries.
London College of Music Examinations
London College of Music Examinations
Late Entries
Compiled by Peter Wild
LCM Publications
Compiled by Peter Wild
Entries may also now be submitted until the day before the exam, subject to conditions. The fee
for entries made after the standard late entry period is double the normal fee. Such entries are
only accepted where timetabling is possible, and as such must be approved in advance by the LCM
Exams office.
Fee (postal entries)
Fee (online entries)
until closing date
standard fee
standard fee
with 5% discount
until one week after closing date
fee plus late fee
standard fee
with 5% discount
until the day before the exam
(subject to conditions)
double the standard fee
not available online
Special Consideration (absence through illness)
Teachers are reminded that we no longer require doctors’ notes to be submitted at the time of the
exam, and half-fee re-entry permits are no longer issued. Instead, teachers should submit the
doctor’s letter at the time of the re-entry, and pay half the current fee. The original attendance
notice (or details of the exam) should be attached. The doctor’s letter must make it clear that the
candidate was incapacitated on the day of the original exam appointment.
LCM Publications
Compiled by Peter Wild
LCM Publications
“Although these handbooks are
primarily intended for use by those
taking LCM exams, they can of course
act as handy repertoire books for
those who aren’t.”
“LCM differs itself from the other
boards by offering a greater variety
of exams at each level. LCM’s Recital
Grades and Leisure Play give the
candidate the option of doing away
with the viva voce, sight reading and/
or aural components of a standard
exam in favour of playing another one
or two pieces, while Performance
Awards are assessed via DVD
submission. The alternative types of
exams that they offer will be
attractive to some candidates.”
Pianist, August 2013 issue
Exam Tips
Drama & Communication: Notes for Teachers and Candidates
A while back, when Jocelyn Lord was Chief Examiner, she produced some excellent notes for an edition of Forte. They are just as relevant today.
some difficult decisions for the examiners. Time
limits can also cause problems. It is important
to make sure that pieces are suitably selected
so that the student is not speaking or acting a
piece which is beyond their understanding.
b) Learning the pieces
Jocelyn wrote:
We all enjoy success. No matter what our age
we like to think that we have a reasonable
chance to succeed in whatever we choose to
do. At LCM Examinations we have, for many
years, based our syllabuses and criteria on firm
foundations and standards which we hope will
result in success for the students who choose
to study for our exams. The Drama &
Communication syllabus is no exception. Our
examiners enjoy success too. In their role they
earnestly want the students they assess to be
successful. This brings fulfilment to their work,
and obvious pleasure to the students whose
hard work and skills are recognised and
appreciated by them. But at times we cannot
always manage to reach that extra (sometimes
very short) distance which would enable us to
grasp success. Sometimes it is very simple
things which snatch it from us – like being
nervous, a feeling that we didn’t do enough
preparation, or not believing in ourselves
These are factors which teachers, all too often,
recognise in their students. Questions such as
‘Why did I do so badly?’ and ‘Why weren’t
more marks given?’ are sometimes difficult to
answer, but answers could include some of the
Learning can sometimes be difficult – some
students learn more quickly than others. The
piece does not have to be too long: sometimes
a shorter piece learned well is much more
effective than a longer piece which is full of
hesitations. Once the words are really learned
and understood it is possible to relax and enjoy
the experience, making it a wonderful moment
for both the examiner and the candidate. One
of the greatest problems is being in too much
of a hurry. Think much more about pauses, and
how they can add mood and atmosphere to the
enjoyment of the work.
c) Context of the pieces
It is important to read and understand the books
and plays from which the pieces are taken.
When asked about the literature, candidates
will sometimes say, “I haven’t read it”. It is
understood that sometimes there is difficulty
locating copies, especially if the work is out of
print, but information is often available from
libraries or the internet. Examiners will always
take this into consideration if the student is
animated and is seen to have done their best
to research.
d) Presentation
The presentation of any piece is of great
importance. There needs to be an awareness
of the space which is available in a performance
area, and this space needs to be used to
advantage. Setting a scene needs to be
practised. Often students will perform very
close to the examiner’s table or place a chair
up to the table – this does not give room for
any variety of movement and can cause
embarrassment. Pieces need to have some kind
of introduction, and most definitely a title.
interesting. Students need to spend time
considering the words and phrases with a view
to making them dynamic and interesting to
the audience. The examiners are the audience
and need to feel that they are being ‘brought
in’ to the performance. Inaudibility is often a
reason for marks being lost. If the room is a
large one the student needs to respond with a
greater degree of projection, making sure that
the pace of the voice allows for clarity.
f) Sight reading
Sight reading requires lots of practice. Before
beginning to read the passage, the title should
be given. A slower pace of reading is a good
idea, so that there is a chance to look well ahead.
At the end of phrases, looking up will help to
communicate the passage.
g) Folder of Work
The Folder of Work has proved a very helpful
learning strategy. The pieces chosen should be
of interest to the student so that they can
discuss them with some knowledge. Good
presentation, in the form of some illustration,
is a splendid idea, demonstrating obvious skills.
Additional note: since 2010, the Folder at
Grades 1 to 5 has had the added requirement
of a Personal Reflection. Guidance as to the
main content of the Reflection is given in each
case. It is worth stressing that this should not
be a comment on each piece in the Folder, but
a single short personal commentary, placed at
the end of the Folder.
h) Discussion
When it comes to the questions, there are no
‘trick’ questions and no deliberate attempts to
catch students out. The examiner wants to hear
what the candidate thinks about the pieces they
presented and what they enjoyed about
producing their performance. Where theory is
needed at the higher levels, we hope for
conversational rather than purely rehearsed
answers, to show the student’s personal interest
in the topic.
e) Vocal variety
a) Not reading the syllabus correctly
It is important to make sure that pieces which
are selected comply satisfactorily with the
criteria in the syllabus. Sometimes pieces are
chosen from a different grade and this leads to
There must also be awareness of the way in
which the voice is used. Even with very young
children, if they understand the meaning behind
their pieces they will often produce some
splendid vocal variety. This makes all vocal work
i) Help
LCM is always ready and pleased to help with
any advice needed in order to bring about the
success which is so important to us all.
Playing Piano is Fun – Alice Chua
LCM Piano Handbooks
Congratulations to LCM examiner Alice Chua,
whose Playing Piano is Fun series has recently
been published.
Playing Piano is Fun is a novel approach
developed through the author’s practical
experience derived from teacher-pupil
interaction. The large music font size captures
the students’ attention and helps them to focus.
Meanwhile, pages are left intentionally without
pictures to encourage students to further
express their creativity by providing illustrations
for the songs themselves. New elements are
introduced incrementally and are incorporated
London College of Music Examinations
Barry Draycott
Senior Examiner
LCM Publications
Compiled by Peter Wild
LCM Publications
progressively. Teacher’s accompaniment is
encouraged to enhance the musical experience,
thus inspiring and motivating students. Some
suggestions for the enhancement of the
teaching elements can be found inside the front
cover. In addition to playing piano, this series’
unique approach includes listening, singing,
transposing, harmonising, improvising and
composing at an early stage.
The series comprises four books, and is
published by Rhythm MP (UK distributor: Faber
As I complete writing up a number of DVD
Performance Award report forms, it occurs to
me to write and say how pleasurable it is to
look at, listen to and report on these. The ones
just completed were: two pop vocals, a piano,
an electronic keyboard, a couple of side drum
and an Irish traditional fiddle.
At LCM we will miss her as a former examiner,
a representative and a teacher, and we send
our condolences and very best wishes to her
two sons, Shaughan and Beirti, and her friends
in Ireland.
London College of Music Examinations
Compiled by Peter Wild
I first met Aine in Charleville some 25 years
ago, and on many visits to Tralee, Cork and
Killorglin whilst examining.
She will be sadly missed, especially in County
Kerry and Cork, where she worked and had
many friends.
LCM Publications
Performance Awards
Aine’s rich profundo contralto voice was well
known in Ireland, the UK, Germany and America.
I had the privilege of working in concerts in
Ireland and the UK with Aine and I was
impressed by her great ability to ‘work’ or
‘assess’ the mood of the audience.
Compiled by Peter Wild
Aine Nic Ghabhann
Aine was a gifted vocal teacher, having many
students who achieved success at RAM and
later in their professional careers.
London College of Music Examinations
Playing Piano is Fun is a keyboard tutor series
for beginners. It is designed to meet the
developmental needs of children as they
journey through the wonderful world of music.
The tunes are specially composed by Alice
Chua, and are based on the characters and
subjects from the classic stories of Alice’s
Adventures in Wonderland and Through the
Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. The literary
experience is translated into the language of
music with the intention of awakening the
musical interests of children.
Do consider this as an option if you do not want
to be examined ‘live’ in an exam room, or you
wish to have a report on the pieces that you are
preparing for a graded or recital exam later in
the year. You will receive a full report – as for
any of our exams – and this will enable you to
gauge your progress and see where you are in
your performance level, and for you and your
teacher to have some feedback which you can
use to enhance future music-making.
Why not give the DVD option a try and have
Philip Aldred
Chief Examiner in Music
“This new syllabus… is ambitious,
innovative and in some ways ground
breaking. It offers the usual graded
examinations but also launches a
whole new type of exam: the Recital
Grade, which consists of four pieces
plus sight reading/viva voce, or just
five pieces. Fully accredited, Recital
Grades can be made up of pieces
drawn from any list from the relevant
grade. Will this new development
challenge the traditional grades and
appeal to the droves of busy
candidates who hate add-on tests and
technical work?”
“The graded books include all scales/
arpeggios, sight reading and aural
tests and full programme notes (to
help students with viva voce, required
up to and including Grade 8). Studies
(also included) can be performed
instead of the scales and arpeggios.
Lots of international composers and
unfamiliar repertoire will be a
professional development opportunity
for piano teachers!”
“I believe it is a promising yet
challenging new syllabus for students
and their teachers – congratulations
Music Teacher, January 2013
Congratulations to LCM examiner
Coral Gould, who was awarded an
MBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours
List for services to Music and the Arts.
Jack Richards
We are very sorry to report the
recent deaths of the following
friends and colleagues:
Gail Chambers, representative
for Newport
John Clarke, representative for
The Singing Studio, Yeovil
Chief Examiner Philip Aldred [right] presenting the
FLCM by Professional Achievement to Darren
Henley, Managing Director of Classic FM and
author of the government-commissioned reviews
of music education and cultural education
Aine Nic Ghabhann,
representative for Killorglin
Khoo Joo Lin, representative
for Penang, Malaysia
Rex Satchwell Retires
Jocelyn Lord writes:
We were all rather sad when we heard that Rex
Satchwell, one of our long-standing examiners,
had decided to retire. It always seems that 'older'
examiners become 'part of the furniture' and that
we cannot imagine being without them. I know
that Rex thought long and hard before making his
decision, but he is a decisive person and knows
that regrettably the time has come.
Over the decades his contribution to LCM has been
immense. Together with tireless examining –
often at very short notice – he has made valuable
contributions to the syllabuses, publications, anthologies and teaching guides, as well as to
the training of examiners and the moderating of written exams. Much of the published work
remains, and will be an inspiration to students.
That he will be missed is an understatement. I met with him a few weeks ago. He looked
extremely well, and was looking forward to moderate travelling, and to enjoying his deep
involvement and commitment to Coventry Cathedral. Long may he continue to enjoy all
these things as he leaves with the kindest thoughts and regards of all his fellow associates
and examiners. We all wish him a happy retirement.
Stephen Hazell adds:
The Drama & Communication examiners group has, with Rex’s retirement, lost a very
special contributor. He brought to us deep theatrical and literary knowledge. His was an
authoritative voice, therefore, and his actual voice, rich and powerful in quality, will remain
etched on our memories.
Our exam candidates will also remember Rex, as a clear and thoughtful examiner, who was
in the business of testing them (as examiners should), while at the same time being eager
to seek and reward the positive qualities of their performance and understanding.
Jocelyn has noted the wide range of his involvements in the work of LCM Examinations. He
has been a significant shaping force for us, and deserves our warmest thanks. He will be
missed by the office staff and the Music examiners also, and we all wish him much fulfilment
in his further ambitions.
It is with great sadness that we report the
death of former Senior Examiner Jack
Jack was a key part of LCM Exams for many
years as the examiner responsible for the
percussion syllabus. Jack’s involvement with
percussive education dates back further, when,
in the early 1980’s, with Brian Stone, he
established the first set of drum kit and
percussion exams with the Guildhall School
of Music and Drama. This pioneering
development has been the basis for most
percussion teaching for the past 30 years.
As a young percussionist in the mid 80’s, the
name Jack Richards was symbolic in my
upbringing. Of course, I never realised that
one day I would become a colleague and more
importantly a friend to this lovely man. In
recent years, I had the pleasure of working
closely with Jack creating the current drum kit
syllabus. He was always so thoughtful about
new developments and the implication that
they might have in the exam room. As an
examiner, Jack’s calming approach to
everything meant that any candidate would
get the best out of their playing.
Although Jack retired from LCM Exams a
couple of years ago, we remained good friends
and he was always a great sounding board for
any advice that was needed.
Jack’s passing is a great loss to the music
world and we offer our deepest sympathies to
his family at this time.
Aidan Geary
LCM Exams Graduation Events, September 2012
by Peline Ong, Regional Representative, Asia Pacific and India
Graduation Ceremony
London College of Music Examinations
successfully held its Graduation Ceremony on
1 September 2012 at The Grand Ballroom at
Sunway Putra Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Professor John Howard (Director, London
College of Examinations) delivering a speech
during the Graduation Ceremony
The ballroom was filled with diplomats in high
spirits from the Asia region who arrived for
one main reason: to receive their diplomas at
the Graduation Ceremony.
Reception for Exam Centre
For the first time, LCM Exams hosted an
evening reception for our exam centre
representatives from the region, who have been
working closely with the exams office. It was a
great opportunity for our representatives to get
to know each other, building a strong rapport to
further strengthen the working relationship.
There were more than 500 attendees, including
diplomats (for 2009-2011), their family
members and LCM exam centre
Professor John Howard and Professor Anthony
Woodman (2nd from left) receiving the Brand
Laureate Brand Personality Award and the
Brand Laureate Premier Award
The ceremony commenced with a grand
procession of the platform party consisting of
Professor Anthony Woodman (Pro-Vice
Chancellor, University of West London),
Professor John Howard (Director, London
College of Music Examinations), Peline Ong
(Regional Representative, Asia Pacific and
India), LCM examiners Rosy Chua, Tonni Wei,
Christopher Tutin, Robert Langston, Wei Wong
and Achini Abeygunawardene, and Elaine Kang
(Honorary Fellow of the London College of
Syuen Toh, from UKEduNet Sdn Bhd, also
received the Honorary LCM from Professor John
Howard for the wonderful work she has done
in the past for LCM Examinations.
Piano Book Launch
Syuen Toh receiving the Honorary LCM
from Professor John Howard
In conjunction with the Graduation Ceremony,
the Board of Governors of the Asia Pacific
Brands Foundation awarded the Brand Laureate
Brand Personality Award to Professor John
Howard, and the Brand Laureate Premier Award
to London College of Music Examinations.
We look forward to seeing more diplomats at
the next graduation ceremony in 2014!
The launch of the new piano handbooks was
very well received by exam centre
representatives and teachers. It was presented
by Professor John Howard, with demonstrations
of the pieces by Robert Langston. The launch
also provided an opportunity for representatives
and teachers to buy the books at a discounted
price, and it proved to be a successful event.
2014 Graduation Ceremony
Group photo with all the diplomats
and platform party
The next graduation ceremony will be held in 2014. We will be sending
invitations to all diploma candidates passing exams in 2012 and 2013.
Stave House Awards
Stave House Awards Launch
The photos below were taken at the Stave
House Music Awards launch event, held
on 13 September 2012 at the University
of West London.
When Ruth Travers first spoke to me about
the Stave House method I immediately fell in
love with the idea. Using stories and songs
and animal characters to engage a child’s
imagination and to make notation learning
fun and accessible, it just made so much sense!
I first began using Stave House with my 3
year old nephew and he was instantly
enthralled by this new ‘game’. He is now nearly
four and can identify all of the notes on the
treble clef and can clap all of the basic rhythms.
Working at Barnes Farm Infants’ School with
Year 1 and 2, teaching Stave House, has been
a truly wonderful experience so far. I am
constantly amazed at the speed with which
these young children are grasping the language
of music notation. In just one term, the
majority of pupils in Year 2 have learned
enough to be able to enter for their Stave
House Level 1 Award and are able to sight
read Mary Had A Little Lamb and play it on
chime bars or hand bells. My little Year 1s are
always excited about music lessons, and ask
me as I pass them in the corridor, “Have we
got any new characters today?” It is always
encouraging to hear such enthusiasm!
I would recommend Stave House to any
instrumental teacher looking to teach young
children how to read music notation in a way
that they will really connect with and
understand. I have already begun using Stave
House with all of my young students, and I
will soon be starting group music classes for
3-8 year olds based around Stave House at
my new theatre school near Colchester. I am
very proud to be a part of such an exciting
development in children’s musical education!
Back: Russell Travers (Stave House),
Philip Aldred (LCM Exams),
Andrew Hatt (LCM Exams).
Front: Marcia Perkins (Stave House
assessor), John Howard (LCM Exams),
Ruth Travers (Stave House)
Laura Wyatt
Ruth Travers (creator of Stave House)
John Howard (Director of LCM Exams)
Congratulations to Emily Fox (flute) and Eimer
Finnegan (fiddle), who both passed the DipLCM
in Irish traditional music performance in the
Spring 2013 session.
Congratulations to Sally Mae Comey, who
achieved 100% in her first music theatre
exam. Sally Mae is pictured with her teacher,
Tanya Erskine (East Belfast representative),
and Tanya’s mother, Ray McGinley (examiner
and Londonderry representative).
Emily and Eimer are pictured with their
teacher, Nora Byrne Kavanagh, who runs the
Waterford exam centre.
Sara Raybould (Director of the London
College of Music)
Rob Fordham Examathon
We are delighted to bring you news of a great challenge completed by the
Music School Manager of one of our thriving LCM centres. Rob Fordham, of
Presto Music School in Warrington, successfully completed an LCM
‘examathon’ when he took every LCM electronic keyboard exam back to back,
from Grade 1 through to Grade 8. This unique event involved over three hours
of constant playing with increasing technical difficulty, not to mention endless
scales, viva questioning and ear tests, with chord sequence and accompanying
tests chosen in equal measure.
Rob is a fully qualified professional musician,
so this challenge was to raise money through
sponsorship for charity. Rob raised a total of
£607.50 for ‘Destination Florida’. This is a
children’s charity based in the North West of
England which specialises in creating holidays
of a lifetime for children who have not
experienced the fun and laughter of a normal
childhood due to illness.
Janet Dowsett had the very pleasant task of
being the examiner for the event. Janet said,
“Even though I knew that Rob was a very capable
player and excellent teacher I still didn’t know
how he would fare in this tremendous task of
playing eight consecutive grade exams. After
all, how many people play every single scale
impeccably, get all ear tests accurate with
perceptiveness, play beautifully expressive
chord sequence tests, know all answers to viva
questions, and produce stunning versions of
pieces, all appropriate to the actual grade? The
amount of preparation he must have put into
the exams was phenomenal. And he was able
to control his inevitable nerves on the day to
produce stunning performances. I have to say I
have never before given such consistently high
marks. It was a real
privilege to listen to him.”
Rob actually gained eight
distinctions. Several of the
grades were awarded
100%, and he even
achieved 99% at Grade 8! All of this occurred
on the fifth day of the exam session, after Rob
had been in charge of dozens of exam
candidates of his own and other teachers at
the centre. He must have been worn out before
he started.
Rob said: “The challenge was originally given
to me by some of my Grade 5 students, so I
thought it would be a good way to engage them
in doing something a bit different. It was a lot
more work than I had anticipated, but it felt
great to put myself back in the shoes of the
people I’ve taught at Presto over the past 8
I feel the experience has not only helped me
as a player, but also as a teacher preparing
students for the very exams that I sat. I was
overwhelmed by the support and sponsorship
that I received from colleagues, friends, family
and students, who gave generously to an
excellent cause.
I can now answer the question ‘What would
you get if you did Grade 1’ too!”
We hope other teachers will be inspired by this
to take exams themselves. It’s unlikely that
you’ll do your own ‘examathon’ (though not
entirely!), but perhaps you can take an exam in
an ‘unknown’ instrument? We have heard
wonderful stories of teachers training each
other in unfamiliar musical instruments
(basically ‘swapping’ instruments) and taking
Grade 1 or 2 exams in those new instruments.
It’s always good for teachers (and examiners)
to remind themselves how it feels to take a
practical music exam – why not be motivated
by Rob and others and give it a go?
Theory Past Papers, Theory Handbooks and Piano Recordings
now available as downloads from
Practising with past exam papers can provide ideal preparation for your LCM music theory exam. Past papers also provide you with a clear
example of the type and format of questions that may appear in the exam.
LCM music theory exam past papers are now available as low-cost digital downloads (57p each, or less if you buy more than one) and as
the past papers are downloads there are also no postage charges – you’ll receive them direct to your computer within moments of placing
your order.
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News from Centres
UK & Ireland Exam Centres
On Thursday 11th April 2013 a large audience
gathered at Dromore High School, Co Down,
for the annual Charity Concert and LCM
Presentation Evening.
New Representatives
The audience was treated to a programme of
great variety. Speech and drama, music theatre,
music composition, rock guitar and piano were
all represented in performances at various
levels, but always of a high standard. There
were also interludes, which delighted the
audience, from the versatile Lisburn Saxophone
Kate Pilkington, Ingleside, Bowling Green,
Combe Martin, Devon EX34 0LG
T 01271 882843
E [email protected]
Sonya Russell, The Manse,
3 Rosses Meadow, Ballymena, Co Antrim
BT42 2SD
T 028 2564 8646
E [email protected]
The joy of music and drama shone through and
many ages and generations were represented.
Seventeen year old Rory McCollum was
presented with the Sonya Russell Trophy for
High Achievement. Rory recently gained his
ALCM in speech and drama.
Blackburn & Burnley
Craig Smith, 290 Tag Lane, Ingol, Preston,
Lancashire PR2 3UY
T 07793 811318
E [email protected]
The Music Galleria Shield of Excellence was
presented to Sarah Kilpatrick, who achieved
100% in her Step 1 pianoforte exam. Music
Galleria also provided a large amount of music
for the inspired to purchase.
Mary Curran, 56 Crathie Road, Glenmavis,
Airdrie, Lanarkshire ML6 0NR
T 01236 755354
E [email protected]
Proceeds of the event went to the Northern
Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.
Colwyn Bay
At the close of the concert, comments indicated
that budding musicians and actors had been
inspired and the audience had been treated to
an uplifting concert.
Jacqueline Lloyd, Y Bwthyn Bach,
157a Conwy Road, Colwyn Bay LL29 7NA
T 07850 178824
E [email protected]
LCM Representative, Sonya Russell, her family
and team of supporters deserve our gratitude
for the dedication given in organising such an
event and the encouragement they give to the
Stuart Corbett
Senior Examiner
Ann Burden, 627 Huddersfield Road,
Oldham, Lancashire OL4 3PY
T 07510 097001
E [email protected]
Photos 3 & 4 by kind permission of
Drew McWilliams
Helen Conlon, 1 Richmond Place / Apt. 2,
Rathmines, Dublin 6, Ireland
T 01 547 8182
E [email protected]
Thanks and best wishes to the following, who have recently stepped down as representatives:
Margaret Allen
Joy Ward
Gary Taylor
Blackburn & Burnley
Maureen O’Hara Keighley
Alycon Abbott-Brown Colwyn Bay
Gill Tripp
Market Lavington
Sorcha Barry, 56 Windfield Gardens,
Knocknacarra, Galway, Ireland
T 086 151 5121
E [email protected]
Margaret Jones
Colwyn Bay
Alan Hamilton
North West Lancashire
Catherine Donohoe
Maureen Burgess Sheffield
Rian Carney
Alice Greening
Tunbridge Wells
Stephanie Norman
Dorothy Finch
Melanie Benzon, The Farmhouse, Warren
Road, North Somercotes LN11 7RA
T 01507 358907
E [email protected]
News from Centres
Belfast & Lisburn School of Music
UK & Ireland Exam Centres
New Representatives
Kathryn Adams, 3 Cavendish Road,
Hull HU8 0JS
T 01482 799543
E [email protected]
Michael Turner, 58 Holdsworth Road,
Holmfield, Halifax HX2 9SZ
T 07878 155879
E [email protected]
Beirti O’Nunain, 45 Slipway House,
Burrells Wharf, London E14 3TD
T 07887 675026
E [email protected]
Market Lavington [Summer only]
Adrienne Hale, 17 Dark Lane North,
Steeple Ashton, Trowbridge BA14 6EY
T 01380 871890
E [email protected]
Brian H McDevitt, Brae Studios,
15 Castle Brae, Newtownstewart,
Co Tyrone BT78 4AS
T 07747 687073
E [email protected]
Preston North and Fylde
Craig Smith, 290 Tag Lane, Ingol, Preston,
Lancashire PR2 3UY
T 07793 811318
E [email protected]
Hilary and Steve Osborn, 75 Haywood Lane,
Deepcar, Sheffield S36 2QF
T 0114 283 0431
E [email protected]
In the weeks leading up to Christmas 2012, I
was privileged to attend two special concerts
in Northern Ireland.
Belfast representative Angela Sofley organised
a High Achievers’ Concert, which took place at
Finaghy Methodist Church.
The large audience was treated to a concert of
the highest standards. The concert also
reflected the great breadth and depth of the
LCM Examinations system. Some of the
performers chose pieces which were not on
the examination syllabus. The result was a
wide range of repertoire and styles. The levels
represented ranged from Steps through to
various diplomas. Subjects included classical
piano, jazz piano, jazz trumpet, classical singing,
pop vocals, classical harp, Irish traditional fiddle
and tin whistle, music theatre, speech & drama
and ensemble (choir).
The appreciation and quality of the
performances was reflected in comments
made to me after the concert by members of
the audience: “The standard of the
performances was fantastic.” “I didn’t know
LCM covered such a wide range of subjects and
instruments.” “This concert has made my
Angela put a great deal of effort into this
concert, and the support of friends and family
helped create this memorable event. £125 was
also raised for Belfast Children’s Hospice.
The Christmas Concert at Lisburn School of
Music also featured many performers who had
taken LCM Exams. Again, the range of
performances was extensive, including classical
and jazz piano, harp, guitar, rock group, music
theatre, speech & drama, string ensemble,
woodwind choir and a number of vocalists,
whose comedy songs certainly sent the large
audience home with smiles on their faces.
As with all such events the support given by
teachers, accompanists and organisers helped
make this occasion so successful. A great deal
of thanks is owed to Head of School, Stephen
McLoughlin, and the staff of LSoM for
encouraging the students in such an enjoyable
Stuart Corbett
Senior Examiner
Karnataka, India
The Karnataka LCM centre had the pleasure of
having Mr Kevin Gill as their examiner for their
summer 2013 session.
After the examining session was over, Mr Gill
gave a helpful talk on LCM Exams with special
focus on the new piano and electronic keyboard
syllabuses. We had many teachers attend,
including those who had sent candidates for
the first time, and those who were intending to
send candidates for the next session. The
teachers thoroughly enjoyed what Mr Gill had
to say, and during a lovely tea that was
organised by one of the teachers in her
beautiful home, Mr Gill had quite a fan club
gathered around him, with teachers asking him
various questions, and taking photographs.
Karnataka thoroughly enjoyed having Mr Gill
here, who was quite adventurous with his
transport and food tastes, and of course we
would love to have him back!
Neecia Majolly
Karnataka Representative
Rachel Hooton, 3 Barn Lane, Golborne,
Warrington WA3 3NR
T 01942 700601
E [email protected]
For up-to-date contact details for all public centre
representatives, visit the ‘Exam Centres’ pages on our
News from Centres
Wakefield & Leeds
This annual Prize Giving Concert for the
Wakefield and Leeds Centres of London College
of Music, was held on Friday 12th October in
the theatre at Queen Elizabeth Grammar
School in Wakefield. There were 23
performances including piano, music theatre,
popular music vocals, classical singing,
electronic keyboard, jazz piano and recorder,
ranging from Pre-Preparatory up to and
including DipLCM. The event was enjoyed by
an audience of around 200.
Everyone who performed had been selected
from the candidates who entered for LCM
exams in Wakefield and Leeds in the academic
year 2011/12. All had performed to a high
standard in their examinations and achieved
the highest mark for their subject and grade
over this period.
Certificates and prizes were presented by LCM
examiner Helen Madden, who also gave a short
speech and a jazz saxophone performance.
Norman Hazell MBE, ex-Mayor of Wakefield,
was the invited speaker. Anne Robinson, local
New Overseas Centres
representative and concert organiser, would like
to take this opportunity to thank everyone for
their hard work and support.
Pictured left to right are some of the prize
winners and the guest speakers:
Helen Madden GCLCM (LCM examiner),
Francine Graham (Grade 8 music theatre
prizewinner), Joanna Musgreave (Grade 8 piano
prizewinner), Anne Robinson LLCM(TD) ALCM
(LCM representative), Sadie Wild (DipLCM
music theatre prizewinner), Anna Perry
(DipLCM piano prizewinner), Norman Hazell
MBE (guest speaker)
Julie Iwanciw
Birmingham Representative
Fatih Erkoc
Fatih Erkoc Sanat Akademi
Bademli Mah. Eski Mudanya Yolu Cad.
Er-Er 1 Sitesi 26
Sokak No.2
Bursa 16960
E [email protected]
Graces Speech & Drama Studio
Nigel Groome speaks to all the performers
and the audience
The concert was a great success, with
performances of a very high standard. The
evening raised £420 for Marie Curie Big Build
Appeal to build a new hospice in Solihull.
Special thanks to Nigel Groome, senior
examiner, and his wife Susannah, for attending
and presenting the awards, and also to Kevin
Gill, LCM examiner, for accompanying the
Fawzia Chowdhury, Principal
Sound of Music
Bashati Dream House No.3, Flat C4
Road 21
Gulshan 1
Dhaka 1212
T (088) 01741116999
E [email protected]
On Saturday 20th October 2012 a capacity
audience attended the annual LCM Birmingham
Centre Presentation Concert at Shirley
Methodist Church. They were entertained by
32 students performing piano, keyboard,
classical guitar, pop vocals and music theatre.
All performers received certificates.
Certificates were also presented to pupils who
had gained 90% or higher in theory
examinations. Trophies were presented to
those gaining the highest marks in their
Francesca Zarrillo
Music Academy Italy
Via Collamarini n.22
40138 Bologna
T 051 6010314
E [email protected]
Grace Yap
Graces Speech & Drama Studio
162 East Coast Road
Singapore 428868
T +65 6344 8894
E [email protected]
Istanbul Technical University
Julie Iwanciw
with two of the
Dr Nail Yavuzoglu
Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music
State Conservatory Continuing Education
Center Ispirtohane Cultural Center
Bakirkoy ITU Ispirtohane Kultur ve Sanat
Merkezi Palmiye sok. Atakoy 7-8
Kisim Bakirkoy
T 90 505 926 85 66
E [email protected]
News from Centres
New Overseas Centres
Helen Darmawan
Sekolah Musik St Cecilia
Jalan Bhayangkara No.30 D
Talang Banjar, Jambi
T (62) 815 32 200 800
E [email protected]
Franscois Bezuidenhout
Phoenix Benedict Music Academy
79 9th Street, Linden
Johannesburg 2195
South Africa
T (0) 82 346 9776
E [email protected]
Kota Kinabalu 2
Jovina Ng
All Saints’ Music Academy
Ground Floor, Wisma Alglican
Jalan Lee Teck Phui
88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Students studying for LCM music theatre grades
and diplomas have been cast in the National
Youth Music Theatre’s exciting new production
of West Side Story.
Amara Okereke, Megan Gilbert and William
Leaf Puvanesan auditioned with thousands of
other hopefuls and landed lead roles in the
production which is to be directed by Nikolai
Foster, who is one of the country’s most
exciting directors. Amara is to play Maria,
Megan plays her friend Rosalia and William
takes on the role of Chino. They will be
performing with a 35 piece orchestra at the
Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, August 21st
to 24th 2013, and tickets are available online
Established in 1976, the National Youth Music
Theatre represents the very best in work with
young people through music theatre. For over
thirty five years it has enabled young people
across the UK to develop both their creative
and personal potential, leading Andrew Lloyd
Webber to call it ‘the best youth music theatre
in the world’.
Amara (Grade 7 distinction), Megan (Grade 8
distinction) and William (Grade 6 distinction)
are all pupils of singing teacher, Helen Leaf,
William Leaf Puvanesan, Megan Gilbert,
Amara Okereke
who is also Musical Director of the award
winning performing arts group, danSing. All
three take examinations at the LCM centre in
Pocklington, which is run by Gina Campbell.
Helen is extremely proud of her pupils and
said, “It is a great privilege to be chosen to
perform with such an esteemed theatre
company and I am delighted with Amara,
Megan and William’s achievements. They will
have an amazing experience.”
NYMT encourages young people to fundraise
for their own training and if you would like to
sponsor Amara, Megan and William please
contact Helen for further information at
[email protected]
Helen Leaf
Kota Kinabalu 3
Michael Cheong
Michael Drum Planet
77, 1st Floor, Lot 5, Lorong Palas 1E
Taman Jindo, Phase 1
Jalan Lintas, 88300 Luyang
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Kuching 3
Tay Boh Tsun
Ars Nova Music & Arts Academy
Lot 288 Ground Floor
Westwood, Tabuan Road
93100 Kuching, Sarawak
Madison Academy of Music
Roderick Teh, CEO & Principal
Madison Academy of Music Pte Ltd
Tanglin Shopping Centre
19 Tanglin Road #02-16
Singapore 247909
T +65 9385 4281
E [email protected]
Hong Kong and China
The picture shows young candidates whom I
saw during my tour to Hong Kong in December
2012. The tour was, as expected, well
organised, and ran smoothly thanks to Philip
Pau and his staff. I examined in some new
venues, as well as seeing some familiar places
and faces. The children were all eager to
perform their pieces. They dressed up
beautifully for their mime – it’s not a
requirement to do so, but it certainly adds to
the fun.
Tuesday 4th December was a day to remember
as I was heading to Guangzhou in China to
examine. This was known historically as
Canton, and is the capital of the Guangdong
Province. It is located on the Pearl River, and is
the third largest Chinese city, with a population
of over 12 million – it’s an attractive
destination, and its size suggests we may get
more business there!
These were the first of our examinations to be
held at the venue. It was a new experience for
the children to meet a British person other
than their teacher (who is in the photo). I was
made welcome by the staff and parents, and
as the children were shy and nervous, I joined
in with them at a short warm up session.
For me, it was a lovely memorable experience
and insight into another culture, and it was
also a small step in extending Drama &
Communication work into new territory.
Joyce W Mitchell
Drama & Communication Examiner
News from Centres
Bintulu, Malaysia
During his examination visit to Bintulu in
Summer 2012, LCM examiner Dr John Beilby
conducted a workshop with students, teachers
and parents at MY Music. John explained in
detail each element in a practical examination,
giving advice on attaining high marks for
scales, studies, examination pieces, sight
reading, viva voce and aural tests. He also
outlined the changes in the new piano syllabus.
Royston Music School,
New Overseas Centres
Mark Carter
American International School of
Caixa Postal 2026, Maputo
T +258 2149 1994
E [email protected]
LCM examiner Ms Yolande Gregor-Smith
gave a workshop and lecture class on 15th
August 2013, after the examination session
in Bintulu.
Deborah Ann De Souza
Graces English Academy
Condo B, #402
Tetkatho Yeik Mon Housing
New University Ave Road
Saya San Quarters
Bahan Township, Yangon
T +95 9 7309 7836
E [email protected]
In the workshop, she commented that she was
pleased that the standard of performance had
improved since 2010, when she was in Bintulu
for the first time. However, she highlighted
several points where candidates lost marks
during this examination session. Additionally,
Yolande invited two students to play their
pieces, and demonstrated how to teach the
pieces effectively to all the participants.
I wish to thank John and Yolande for their
wonderful presentations.
Polis Charalambous
Paphos Academy of Fine Arts
4 Thetidos, Paphos 8027
T 357 26937670
E [email protected]
Thomas Hii
Bintulu Representative
Penang 1
Pictured above is a group from Trinity
Methodist Church Ensemble, Singapore, who
entered for the Level 1 Ensemble exam.
Dr John Beilby with some of the
participants. Seated left: Joseph Hii
(General Manager of MY Music), and right:
Thomas Hii (LCM Representative, Bintulu)
The children are taught by centre
representative, Eunice Tan. The group was
examined by senior examiner, Richard
The instrument is Indonesian, and is known as
the ‘angklung’ (the name referring to the
whole set).
Photos by kind permission of Trinity
Methodist Church, Singapore
Yolande Gregor-Smith with Joseph Hii,
Thomas Hii and teachers
Rachel Khor
J Y Klasik Sdn Bhd, 490-H Jalan Air Itam
11400 Penang
T 04 829 0298
E [email protected]
David Emmanuel Cadlum Saraza
Saraza Music Center
2nd Floor Kriscel Realty Lessor Building
22 J.B Tan Street, BF Resort Village
Las Pinas City, Metro Manila
T +6391 72407611
E [email protected]
Freddy Arendse
Tshwane School of Music
PO Box 41258, Eersterust 0022, Pretoria
South Africa
T 012 806 6060
E [email protected]
News from Centres
Bintulu Classical Piano Competition
New Overseas Centres
Christina Tan
Trinity Arts & Music Academy
Block 12, Lot 107 & 108
Prima Square, Phase II
Jalan Utara, Mile 4
Sandakan, Sabah
T 089 238998
E [email protected]
Sri Lanka 6
Asha Ilapperuma
Mystical Rose International Institute
No. 941/30, Kotte Road
Etul Kotte
Sri Lanka
T 94 112864495
E [email protected]
Fred Aliisi Terewa
Fanaka Memorial School
PO Box 31655
Dar es Salaam
T 255 716 04 69 63
Albert Yek
Kudos Music
B15581-1, Block A
Kubota Square
Jalan Kubota
T 6089 777791
E [email protected]
The London College of Music Examinations
‘Bintulu Classical Piano Competition 2012’
was held on 23rd September 2012 at Parkcity
Everly Hotel, Bintulu.
The competition was open to all Sarawakians,
as well as West Malaysians, Sabahans and
foreigners resident in Sarawak for at least the
past two years. It aimed to provide a
performance and competing platform for all
piano students, as well as to improve the piano
performance standards in the state.
The competition was divided into four
categories: Junior (12 years old and below),
Intermediate (13 to 15 years old), Advanced
(16 to 18 years old) and Open (no age limit).
32 people participated in the competition.
For each category, each contestant was
required to play two contracting pieces, one of
which was a set piece: J S Bach’s 2-part
Invention No.1 in C major (Junior category);
J S Bach’s 2-part Invention No.8 in F major
(Intermediate category); J S Bach’s 3-part
Invention No.3 in D major (Advanced category);
and Handel’s Air from the 5th Suite in E major
and ‘Harmonious Blacksmith’ Variations (Open
Winners of the categories were as follows:
• Junior Category: Stella Tan Wen Jia (Miri)
• Intermediate Category: Lois Ting (Bintulu)
• Advanced Category: Alex Lim (Bintulu)
• Open Category: Lois Ting (Bintulu)
The adjudicators for the competition were Mr
Loo Bang Hean (chief adjudicator), Mr Lam Siu
Chong and Ms Eunice Ling. The main sponsors
of the competition were YC Music (M) Sdn Bhd
(Malaysian sole distributor for Young Chang
and Weber pianos), Dr John Beilby (LCM Senior
Examiner), YC Sales & Services, and MY Music
Thomas Hii
Bintulu Representative
The Dr John Beilby Challenge Trophy winner
was Lois Ting (Bintulu).
Oak Field School, Lincoln
Tawau 2
Linda Koh
The Music Makers
11942 Taman Citra
Jalan Jabatan Haiwan
91000 Tawau
T 6013 885 5050
Pictured is a group of candidates with special
educational needs, performing Let’s Twist
Again as part of their Level 1 Ensemble exam.
Richard Lambert, who examined the group,
commented: “It was a humbling, moving
experience observing the sheer joy that these
challenged people so clearly communicated.”
The music teacher is Simon Townsend.
Eight members of the choir also entered for
individual music theatre or pop vocals exams,
at step or grade level.
News from Centres
Toronto, Canada
New Overseas Centres
One of the great delights of having the privilege
of being an LCM examiner is the diversity of
locations which we travel to, and the richness
and variety of the representatives, teachers
and candidates whom we meet on these travels.
Summer 2012 found me in Canada, visiting
the enterprising and enthusiastic Toronto
Centre, based in Burlington. Burlington is a
pleasing suburban area on the western edge of
Lake Ontario, approximately 30 miles from
the hustle and bustle of Toronto. The Centre is
run energetically by the ever-smiling Karthik
Ramalingam, a musician of diverse interests.
The candidate list was varied: snare drum, drum
kit, flute, popular vocals, jazz saxophone,
keyboard, classical guitar, and during my visit
a day of RGT electric and acoustic
Underpinning all the performances was a
thorough understanding of the music and its
context. Verbal communication from the
candidates was also expressive with some
developed responses in the Viva Voce. Everyone
who came into the exam room was treated,
prior to entry, with the indigenous Tim Horton
brand “Tim bits”; these tasty mini-donuts
became a characteristic of the exam day,
together with the extensive lunch kindly
provided by Karthik and his colleagues.
At the end of the exam session a Friday evening
meal with Karthik and his ever-patient wife,
extended late into the night with much joviality.
A lasting impression of passionate teaching
and a love for the place music finds for us in
our lives.
Richard Walsh
Nguyen Vu Thanh Van
ACM Suoi Nhac Company Ltd
170P No Trang Long Street
Binh Thanh District
T +84 8 3516 0257
E [email protected]
Jorika Ferreira
Vida Music School
23 Vida Street
9469 Free State
South Africa
T +27 57 3881981
E [email protected]
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London College of Music Examinations Newsletter
LCM Examinations
University of West London
St Mary’s Road
W5 5RF
Tel: 020 8231 2364
[email protected]
© 2013 University of West London, LCM Publications
Issue 2013.1