After the Introductory Primer Level has been completed, OCM’s graduation levels correspond to the levels of the Royal Conservatory Development Program, and OCM uses the repertoire lists provided by the Royal Conservatory Program in its graduation process. These repertoire lists are comprehensive and offer a wide range of styles and genres. The syllabi are available here.
Each level in the Royal Conservatory syllabus includes two or more repertoire lists. In order to graduate from a level at OCM, a student must perform a piece from each of the appropriate repertoire lists for a teacher with a high degree of mastery. OCM pianists are also required to complete the Royal Conservatory technical requirements for their level, if they wish to graduate from levels Preparatory A through 6.
When all other requirements have been completed, the graduating student will perform, from memory, one of the pieces he/she has learned from the repertoire lists on his/her next OCM recital, where he/she will receive the graduation award.
Students who graduate from the first level will earn an OCM medallion. The awards for each subsequent graduation as well as for other achievements (like 100 days of practice) will be special pins that can be attached to the lanyard of the medallion. Students will be encouraged to wear their medallions to OCM solo recitals, so that their past accomplishments can be recognized on an ongoing basis and younger students can be motivated by their older peers and what they could achieve.
Students who are interested, can register to take the official Royal Conservatory tests at authorized testing sites throughout the country as well. In addition to the performance component, these exams also test technical, aural, theory, and reading skills. Because this is a rigorous process and one that requires the student to register online, pay fees, and travel to an evaluation center, students who have decided to try for this certification should work closely to plan and prepare with their teacher.
Omaha Conservatory of Music offers a system of graduations and awards to recognize students’ progress and achievements, to motivate them, and to build a culture of excellence.
By celebrating students’ accomplishments within the graduation and awards system, OCM’s Artist-Faculty encourages them and helps them to recognize their own progress.
The graduation and awards system is designed to build on all three of the core intrinsic motivators identified by researchers Richard Ryan and Edward Deci: connectedness, competence, and autonomy. First, having a set of common goals and being recognized in front of their peers strengthens students’ sense of connectedness. Then, by achieving clearly defined goals of excellence and having their work honored, students recognize their growing competence as musicians. Finally, students have an opportunity to express their autonomy within the system by moving at their own pace, choosing which goals to pursue or not to pursue, and choosing their repertoire within each goal. The only means of reaching their goals is the autonomous work that they do.
The system encourages students to strive for excellence by building their skills through pedagogically sequenced graduation levels and working towards specialized achievement awards. It defines what excellence is and establishes a high standard of performing within the school.