ANZCA's Teacher Newsletter – April 2019 Not displaying correctly? View in your browser.



Dear Teachers, Students and friends of ANZCA,

Series 1 practical examinations are now approaching in May/June for Australia and late June/July for Malaysia and Singapore. Programming is well underway; although there have been significant changes in the office, we still expect to give you four weeks’ notice of examination dates.

Good luck to your students in their upcoming examinations, and also to you in your efforts to get them motivated!

Fellowship Examination
There is an upcoming Fellowship Performer examination in May, with woodwind player Christopher Young attempting ANZCA’s highest practical exam level. This event is open to the public; for more information, see Forthcoming Events below.

Online Enrolments
Thanks to everyone who used the online enrolment system in Series 1. Although there were a few teething issues, overall we felt it was a great success! Teachers have really appreciated being able to send the invoice off to the parents and avoid the hassle of having to chase up payments. We will continue to refine the form, and we welcome your feedback.

Online enrolments for Series 2 will open on the 1st of May for Australia and New Zealand.

Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference 2019
This year the APPC is being held in Brisbane at the University of Queensland from July 8th to 12th, and ANZCA is again involved as a Silver Sponsor. We are also delighted that the submission for a workshop by ANZCA examiner Karen Henderson has been included on the programme.

This workshop is titled:
“The versatile studio teacher: Modern tools for your portfolio from the ANZCA syllabus.”

A big thank-you to Queensland Representative Cynthia Delaney for all her efforts to date; I'm sure there will be a lot more organising in the weeks ahead.

Tony Betros, General Manager


News Diary

ANZCA Graduation Ceremony and Concert

Congratulations to all our Graduates and Encouragement Award winners who were presented with their awards at the 2019 Graduation Ceremony and Concert on the 2nd of March, and particularly to all the performers for a wonderful concert. 

For photos from this event and the full list of graduates, go to the Graduation page of our website.

Here's a short piece (of wishful thinking?) encountered by Board Director Maureen Grieve at a Singapore studio in 2018:



Forthcoming Events

ANZCA Annual General Meeting 2019

ANZCA's 2019 Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday, 3rd of May, 10:30 am, at the ANZCA office, 4/14 Yan Yean Road, Diamond Creek (Vic.).

This meeting is open to the public. If you would like to attend, please advise the office (by phone (03) 9434 7640 or email so that we can plan seating.

Fellowship Examination

Woodwind player Christopher Young will undertake the Fellowship Performance examination in a public performance in May, supported by his quartet. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Where:  Bar 303 (jazz venue), 303 High Street, Northcote (Vic.).
When:  Saturday, 25th of May, 3:30 pm.
Tickets:  $10, available at the door.





Each year as practical exams approach, we receive enquiries about repeats in exam list pieces. The basic directions are given under List Pieces in ANZCA’s Regulations (see the annual Examination Handbook and Information), and can be summarised as:
  • “Dot” repeats (including numbered endings) are not required in exams, but da capo and dal segno marks should be observed.
D.C. and D.S. repeats are required because they are often necessary to make the piece structurally complete and/or musically satisfying.

An exception is given in Regulations for modern-stream students:
  • A single repeat (e.g. a verse, chorus etc.) may be included for embellishment or improvisation.
Of course, musical forms and structures (and even typesetting) can vary widely, and for this reason we do allow for considerable flexibility and teacher/student discretion regarding repeats. For example, a four-bar introduction might be notated as a single bar with a “4×” repeat sign; to play just one bar would most likely sound ridiculous! On a slightly larger scale, a piece using first- and second-bar endings to create AABA form could well sound musically incomplete without the repeat. (This would be an opportunity for embellishment.) Similarly, a singer may need to perform more than one verse in order for the lyrics to flow logically into the chorus.

In such cases, inclusion of one or more repeats may well be necessary for a truly successful performance. Remember, the examiner will not deduct marks for including repeats, but may stop the performance or direct the student to play from a specific place if it is running too long.

Another issue that arises regarding repeats is in the use of backing tracks. Syllabuses such as drum kit and guitar often include pieces with backing tracks, but are marked (e.g.) "Main sections, no repeats". In such cases there are two basic options: don't use the backing track, or edit the track to fit the requirements. While the second option may seem challenging, there are now many computer programs which allow this to be done quite easily – often by the students themselves.

To sum up: only include repeats which are important to the technical standard, structure, or musicality/interpretation of the piece. Keep in mind that, in a conventional grade exam, the total time for all lists should be no more than half the overall exam time (and will usually be less). If a student's exam programme is running a little long and there are repeats which are not really necessary, get rid of them; conversely, if the programme is short and you feel a piece could be improved with a repeat, feel free to add it in.

Free Choice Lists

While most students’ free choice selections for Series 1 will be well and truly decided by now, please do remember that it is the teacher's responsibility to ensure that any piece not from the ANZCA syllabus is of at least the relevant grade standard. While some teachers find this stressful, rest assured that we encounter very few situations where a selection is clearly too easy for the level. The message is: trust yourself!

Also remember that, if in doubt, embellishment can be added to modern-stream pieces to bump up the overall standard.



From our Representatives...

Jenny Brown, New Zealand

Thanks to everyone for getting your theory entries in on time!! A great effort, and much appreciated.

Practical and theory exam information is always on the last pages of the ANZCA Examination Handbook: theory exam dates, closing dates, exam fees and late entry costs, etc. – it’s all there!! The rest of the book is well worth reading, as I often get questions from teachers about details that are already spelt out clearly in the Handbook. So please, treat it as your ANZCA bible, and remember that it is also available to download from our website if you need to.

Practical exam entries are due online or to me by Monday 27th of May. This is the first day of week 5 of the school term. Maybe you could make the beginning of week 4 YOUR day to have all entries in, which gives you a week to get them sorted out! The online enrolment system will be open from the 1st of May.

PLEASE double-check the spelling of your candidates' names. It's so easy to get a letter wrong, or reverse the first and last names. Maybe an initial will suffice instead of a long middle name. Please check with your candidates' parents if necessary.

Details of the ANZCA scholarship available to music students at Otago University, Dunedin, will be available shortly. We are delighted that Otago University is the first New Zealand uni to receive an ANZCA scholarship, thanks to the enthusiasm of South Island Representative Denise Dore and the keenness of many Dunedin teachers who use the ANZCA system.

Best wishes for pleasing results for those students sitting a theory exam on Saturday 25th of May, 9:00 am start.

Happy studying and playing!

Audrey Chin, Malaysia & Singapore

Moving on very quickly, the theory exams will be happening in a few weeks' time, and everyone should have received their theory slips with the information of venue and time. Remember to bring the slip to the exam hall.

As we hope the hot and dry season will end soon in this region, we will be celebrating International Jazz Day at the end of April. The following links have information on where you can go with your students, and perhaps join in the music-making as well.

Kota Kinabalu



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