Launch of New Woodwind, Brass & Percussion Syllabus!

September 302014

William DowdallThe building of a syllabus is a very important and difficult job.  Care must be taken that the syllabus contains a cumulative course of study along with a sense of enjoyment.  In this syllabus which has been constructed by top professionals in the RIAM, there are many new innovations.

Melodic fragments occur in the earlier grades to replace scales for some instruments; these melodic fragments are intended to be used as a warm up, thus encouraging their use on a daily basis.  The introduction of CD accompaniment is also new and is a very important development as it not only incorporates new technology but, more importantly, gives the student a chance to rehearse with their backing track at will.  This will encourage much better ensemble playing and, as technology improves, should give more flexibility of tempo in the future.  In addition, there will be new syllabi for Trombone Treble Clef and Tuba Treble Clef and a Trumpet/Cornet syllabus. The requirements for Theory have also undergone further development and should be studied carefully.

Having performed for many years as both Principal Flute with the National Symphony Orchestra and laterally as a soloist, the need to perform is an integral part of my life.  The use of grade exams offers the student an opportunity to build on performance skills which in turn will generate greater confidence, as well as providing an assessment of the student’s musical development.

As there are many changes in the syllabus, I would encourage teachers to become very familiar with the various requirements.

In the spirit of open learning, I look forward to meeting some of you during RIAM Local Centre workshops that are planned for the future and may I remind you of the new RIAM Teaching Network online presence.

Very best wishes

Bill Dowdall
Head of Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Faculty

woodwind familyLocal Centre Syllabus for Woodwind, Brass & Percussion Instruments 2015-2018