The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program

 The world’s finest program of music study and assessment 

For more than 125 years, The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) has offered an internationally renowned program of music study and assessment through its certificate program. Today, the RCM Certificate Program is considered one of the most preeminent music education systems in Canada and across the globe. The program provides students with world-class, well-rounded musical training, from beginner through to advanced levels. With the completion of each level, students further hone their skills and develop their ability to play music independently while nurturing a lifelong appreciation for music making.  

The Curriculum

The RCM Certificate Program curriculum begins with the Preparatory Level(s), followed by Levels 1 through 10 and concludes with the Associate Diploma of The Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT). A Licenciate Diploma of The Royal Conservatory of Music (LRCM) is available for piano. At each level, a Certificate of Achievement can be earned by successfully completing a Royal Conservatory practical examination. 

Not only does the curriculum teach the essential elements of musical training but it also encourages students’ enthusiasm for music, empowers artistic expression and celebrates achievements.  

The certificate program focuses mainly on classical music, though opportunities to play jazz, folk and popular music are included within the program’s framework. RCM’s classical training provides the strongest possible foundation upon which to continue a student’s musical journey. 

RCM Certificate Program Training Highlights: 

  • Available for 21 different instruments, plus voice 

  • Ten levels, plus Preparatory/Introductory Levels and Professional Associate of The Royal Conservatory (ARCT) designations for performers and teachers 

  • Learn to play an instrument or sing by mastering technical skills such as scales, chords and arpeggios in a series of keys  

  • Learn to identify intervals, cadences and rhythmic patterns, as well as develop critical ear training skills and sight-reading skills 

  • Build knowledge and understanding of musical language, including foundational theory, harmony, counterpoint, analysis and music history 

  • Learn repertoire in a wide range of styles and genres for performance and assessment

The Benefits of the RCM Certificate Program

High quality: The Royal Conservatory offers a rigorous, internationally renowned standard of music education, discipline and assessment. 

Comprehensive: The RCM Certificate Program incorporates repertoire, etudes, sight-reading, ear training, technique and theory for multiple disciplines. 

Recognition of Achievement: Student performance is recognized at each level through examinations and regional and national awards. Students can celebrate their accomplishments and track their progress.  

Credit: Achievement in examinations is recognized as credit toward secondary school graduation in many Canadian schools, as well as being an important element in entrance requirements for college and university music programs. 

Accredited Assessment: Examinations are professional, objective and consistent, delivered by accredited examiners for students at all levels of study. 

Pedagogical Support: Teachers receive support through published syllabi, series and other academic resources such as official examination papers and sample examinations. Ongoing professional development opportunities are also available via online resources, courses and regional workshops. 

Convenient: Both students and teachers can register online for the certificate program with no additional fees or administration required. 

Adaptable: Teachers may choose their own pedagogical approaches and methodologies for their students. 

Did You Know? 

  • The RCM Certificate Program is considered the “gold standard” in many countries for its ability to develop high-calibre musical literacy. 

  • Each year, more than 40,000 teachers motivate more than 500,000 students to participate in music making. 

  • The program’s internationally renowned standard of assessment develops complete musicianship in students by including technical tests, ear tests, sight-reading, etudes and repertoire in all examinations.  

  • The program has been proven to be a powerful tool for developing children’s intellectual, social and creative potential. 

  • With a focus on nurturing creativity and developing self-confidence, the program allows students to work at their own pace.  

  • The program motivates students, helps them set and achieve goals and instills a sense of accomplishment as they complete each level. 

If you’d like to find a teacher and participate in the RCM Certificate Program, visit our National Music Teacher Directory.