Inspiring stories and performances by talented teen musicians from across the US and Canada will be showcased in From The Top: The Achievers, a live taping of NPR’s popular radio show with host Christopher O’Riley on Tuesday, March 27 at 7:30 PM in Zankel Hall. This performance, presented by the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program in partnership with From the Top, features a range of students who have excelled in their musical studies. Learn more about this new national initiative below.
Across the United States, private music teachers are on the front lines of music education, taking on increasing responsibility as schools are challenged to provide all students with access to music. While these teachers are perfectly positioned to offer critical one-on-one instruction, their students often have no way to evaluate their progress and measure their accomplishments beyond their local community or state. How does an aspiring musician in Kansas know where he stands compared to his counterparts in the next town over, not to mention in New York, Oregon, or Florida?
Last year marked the launch of the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program, an initiative created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in partnership with Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music to serve private music teachers and their students. The program provides a national set of musical standards and a level-by-level system of evaluation, encouraging students of all ages from across the US to set clear goals, take their musicianship to the next level, and obtain invaluable context for progress made through nationwide assessments adjudicated by music professionals.
Canadian star soprano Measha Brueggergosman, who began her studies at age seven, spoke about her experience with the system for a recent article in The Baltimore Sun. “For a type-A, goal oriented control freak like me, I needed to know I was progressing by steady increments,” Brueggergosman said. “The system provides that. For other people, it can be a leisurely stroll through music appreciation. You don't have to go on to the conservatory, but if you do, you're that much farther ahead.”
The first Achievement Program assessments took place in December across the country. The number of teachers and students participating in the program is rapidly increasing as word gets out, and the number of assessment sites available for the next round of tests in the spring—currently more than 100—is climbing to match. For anyone studying a musical instrument or interested in starting, The Achievement Program presents a tremendous opportunity. “This system gives you a method not only to learn to be better technically, but also to develop an appreciation for classical music, from Baroque to modern,” Brueggergosman said. “It’s a win-win.”
Related:From the Top: The AchieversQuinn Gomez on Butterflies and Bobcats, From the Top, and The Achievement ProgramCarnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program