At Laura Jean Music Academy, we offer weekly piano lessons taught by our teachers from all different backgrounds. We currently operate virtually through Zoom. We give students the option to study pop, contemporary, or jazz styles. They may opt to be taught with the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) curriculum, which is a rigorous curriculum including specific music theory, sight reading, set pieces, etc. See the section below for ABRSM Exams. Students are encouraged to hold recitals on Zoom or film music videos twice per semester. Check out one of our students' music videos below:
Laura Jean Music Academy teaches piano through the method of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. We believe all-around musicianship training is paramount in ensuring the holistic development of our students' experiences. There are 8 grades in total with ABRSM and the grading system is designed around ability and does not correlate to the grading system for schools in the USA.
The Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) is an examinations board based in London, UK, and provides examinations to 93 countries around the world, with over 60,000 participants worldwide.
We prepare our piano students for practical exams evaluated through the Laura Jean Music Academy in 5 areas of musicianship:
Students prepare 3 pieces per exam that are chosen by the board for each grade. Each student will select one piece from the following sections:
A - Baroque/Classical Period - These focus on agility, articulation and speed.
B - Romantic Period - These are generally focused around dynamics and the ability to create emotion while playing.
C - Contemporary/ 20th Century - These range from pop, jazz, blues, experimental and are focused on style and character.
Various scales, arpeggios, and chords are taught with the expectation of students being able to effortlessly play or sing all learned content. These are evaluated once per semester by testing at random any and all studied materials.
Students are taught sight reading through Sight Reading Factory, including 3 levels of advancement (Junior, Senior, and Performance), each with a subset of 3 practice levels (9 levels total), and an online evaluation at the completion of each level.
Various exercises are played by the examiner and students are required to demonstrate skills in listening to and analyzing music (for example: clapping the rhythm or singing the melody). At higher levels, students are expected to comment on features of a short piece played by the examiner, including dynamics, phrasing and style and period.
Beginner and advanced music theory is taught to our students through all areas listed above, and additionally includes studies of articulations, chord theory (both classical and jazz), melody, rhythm, counterpoint, harmony, form, tonal systems, scales, tuning, and intervals. Music theory exams occur once per semester and are evaluated by one of our teachers.
Pre- and Post- COVID
Students will take their exams in front of a live examiner provider by the Board and marks will be awarded for all of the above. Official certificates and final grades are delivered a few weeks later.
The Board is unable to provide online exams at this time so we are preparing students with our own mock exams. Over Zoom, students will experience as close to in-person exam conditions as possible. Exams will be recorded and assessed by our staff.