WHAT IS CERTIFICATION? Certification is the process by which Settlement Music School recognizes and acknowledges student achievement and progress. Teachers use a curriculum guide for each instrument divided into levels from Beginner to Advanced. Each curriculum guide recommends appropriate technical and solo material. A consultation with your child’s teacher will determine whether your child is ready to audition during the spring each year.
IS CERTIFICATION A REQUIREMENT? Not necessarily. Teachers decide when a student should audition at a particular level. If a student is not selected by the teacher to audition, it does not mean the student is not progressing, but rather that he or she is not prepared for all the requirements of a higher level according to the curriculum guide. Students who receive financial aid from the School are required to participate in the Certification process each year. However, they are not required to certify at a specific level. You should check with your child’s teacher to determine if your child is auditioning for a Certificate.
WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD EXPECT AT THE AUDITION? The Branch Director (and members of the Education Committee of the Branch Board may attend as well) will ask the student to play music listed by their teacher on the audition form. Students at certain levels may be asked to sight-read music.
SHOULD A STUDENT EXPECT TO CERTIFY AT A NEW LEVEL EVERY YEAR? No. Curriculum guides are specific to each instrument and, therefore, vary. Students are encouraged to perform despite not having completed a level and are encouraged to certify for “progress toward level." Students who do complete a level will receive a Certificate of Achievement during the Certification Recital at the branch.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CERTIFICATION? Certification auditions are one way in which Settlement Music School acknowledges the progress and achievements of its students and faculty. In addition to the important experience your child will receive by playing for the Branch Director, this is also an opportunity for the Branch Director to get to know the student better- to discuss practicing, areas of growth, and additional interests/opportunities that the student may have. Adult students are encouraged to follow the curriculum guidelines and set goals privately with their teachers. Every year Settlement’s Branch Directors look forward to Certification, and they work very hard to ensure that it is a positive and rewarding experience for the students.
HOW CAN PARENTS BE INVOLVED? You can participate by discussing appropriate goals for your children with their teachers throughout the year. It is important to set a realistic timetable for musical progress and to support your child’s practice every day.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS? Your Branch Director will be happy to speak with you and answer additional questions you may have about Certification (or anything else!)