Preparing for an LCM recital exam
16 March 2017

Karen Marshall | Teacher, Composer and Author

Karen Marshall outlines why she feels LCM Recital exams are a valuable option and how she uses her practice worksheets to help students prepare for their exams.

The Recital format

An LCM Recital exam consists of either a performance of five pieces of music, selected freely from the repertoire list of a particular grade, or a performance of four pieces and either a viva voce or a piece of sight-reading.

Who are Recital exams for?

I have found that the LCM Recital exams are really beneficial for students who (for whatever reason) just want to play repertoire without the additional tests. That doesn’t mean that as a teacher I don’t cover those elements, it’s just that the student isn’t assessed directly on them in the examination. They have been a valuable resource to some students who want something to work towards but may be time poor (studying for GCSEs/A levels perhaps) or who just want to play pieces that they like without the List A, List B, List C limitations. It is also useful to note that Recital Grades are also accredited and regulated by Ofqual and attract UCAS points.

How to use the worksheets

I have shared my own worksheets in Forte, I use activities like these with students over several weeks of study for the Viva Voce element of the exam. Some of it we do in the lesson, some the student does at home. It’s covered over about a term. I use the option of a viva instead of sight-reading or a fifth piece of music as it gives students a chance to explore and understand the music better, which in turn benefits their performance of the pieces.

The Viva Voce

Many of the questions and activities in these worksheets go above and outside the requirements of the viva voce component of the equivalent exam, particularly at the early grades, but the skills and understanding gained by approaching learning the pieces in this way are useful for any student. For the exact requirements at each grade, please consult the LCM Music Grades syllabus.

I hope you have found this resource useful and may consider the Recital examination as an option which can provide the flexibility for your student to perform music that they really love.

Karen Marshall is a practising private and peripatetic teacher in York with students from five to seventy-one years of age. Karen specialises in multi-sensory music teaching and is a Kodály practitioner. A member of the British Dyslexia Association’s music committee, Karen has trained teachers across the UK on teaching students with Special Educational needs.