RCM Theory Examination Overview

The RCM Examinations graded theory system assesses essential tools in a student’s musical development. Candidates may begin theory examinations at any point in their practical music studies but are encouraged to begin theoretical studies as early as possible. With the exception of Keyboard Harmony and Musicianship, which occur during the practical examination session, all theory examinations take place in a formal written setting.

Each examination requires preparation with a qualified teacher. RCM Examinations Official Examination Papers are available to aid students for their examination preparation.

All new and returning students are required to register for each of the term and course.

RCM Theory Courses Explained - Level by Level

*It is highly recommended that theory study be concurrent with practical study at all levels.

Theory (Formerly Rudiments)

Preparatory Theory, Level 1-4 Theory (new)
There are no examinations required for these levels, but it is highly recommended that theory study be concurrent with practical study of the corresponding levels.

Level 5 Theory (formerly Basic Rudiments)
Co-requisite for: Level 5 Practical Examination.
Recommended theory prerequisites: Level 4 Theory

Level 6 Theory (formerly Intermediate Rudiments)
Co-requisite for: Level 6 Practical Examination.
Recommended theory prerequisites: Level 5 Theory

Level 7 Theory (new)
Co-requisite for: Level 7 Practical Examination.
Recommended theory prerequisites: Level 6 Theory

Level 8 Theory (formerly Advanced Rudiments)
Co-requisite for: Level 8 Practical Examination.
Recommended theory prerequisites: Level 7 Theory

**There is no time limit if the theory courses are completed before the corresponding practical exam. However, if the practical exam is completed, you have five years to fulfill the theory requirement.

Lesson Locations

We at Via Musica offer lessons at both Richmond Hill and Mississauga, additionally we offer virtual lessons.

Virtual ClassroomTM for Theory

Via Musica pioneers in online teaching technologies. The online-teaching research and development started in the early 2000’s when one of our students moved to USA. In order to help her finish her ARCT courses, we started teaching her online and she is now a diploma holder of ARCT in USA. Via Musica’s online teaching research, development, and actual operational experience are at least a decade ahead of any other competitors. Unlike some other imitations out there, all Via Musica classes are delivered “live in person” instead of viewing a recording or reading some web pages. Via Musica prides the personal touch in our Virtual ClassroomTM, we insist on the lessons are delivered live with full audio-visual experiences. Not only the students can see and hear the instructor, but also other online and in-class students. Live dialog, question-and-answering can take place right on your own computer. Via Musica does not believe online learning should be a “cheap alternative”, we ensure students will get the full learning experience in the Virtual ClassroomTM as if you are physically in-class.

Online students are required to have a high-speed internet, webcam, headset with mic, scanner, and a fast computer to take courses; a large screen monitor would be very helpful.


Please click here to view faculty biographies.

Group Lesson Policy

  1. Registration:
    1. Registration for each course is required for both new and return students. Please register at www.ViaMusica.com. In case of the classroom is full, acceptance to the on-location course is first-come-first-serve based on the registration time stamp, overflow students can still enroll the course online.
    2. If the student wishes to take a course without completing the prerequisite course(s), he must take a placement test to qualify. He will not be allowed to skip ahead if failing the placement test.
  2. Tuition Fees:
    1. Tuition and applicable fees are paid in full at the beginning of each term. Cash, cheque or Interac e-Transfer accepted.
    2. An one time, non-refundable $25.00 registration fee is applied to new students. Siblings receive $5.00 discount.
    3. There is no discount on tuition when multiple courses are taken in the same term.
    4. For returned cheque (NSF, stopped payment, etc): a $30.00 (per transaction) administrative fee will be charged.
    5. Via Musica purchases materials on behalf of students as a free service. Once the order is submitted, there will be no refund nor return.
    6. Students must use the specified textbooks, but not obligated to purchase through the school. Outdated edition or alternative textbooks are not accepted.
    7. Should there be any damages to instruments, equipment or the premise caused by the student and/or his/her company, the student will be responsible for the repair, or replacement of the damaged items.
  3. Withdrawal and Refund:
    1. A written withdrawal & refund request must be submitted to the office. No show is considered and treated as withdrawl.
    2. Withdraw before the first class: $30.00 withdrawal fee will be deducted before refund.
    3. Withdraw before the fourth class: $30.00 withdrawal fee plus the pro-rata tuition will be charged.
    4. Withdraw after the fourth class – no refund thereafter.
  4. Exam Application:
    1. Examination application is student’s responsibility, Via Musica will not automatically apply on student’s behalf.
    2. Online application for RCME examinations is available at http://www.rcmusic.com. Paper based application will cost extra.
    3. Application submitted after deadline is subjected to late fee and paper handling fee, charged by RCME.
    4. Please use the appropriate RCM Teacher Number when register: Benedict Chan - 109580, Dennis Chan – 51179, (USA students - 11842), Jade Wan - 44470, Jerry Zhong - 111708, Jonathan Huang - 55155.
  5. Course expectation:
    1. Students must pay total attention in class. Phone, messaging, portable music, social networking sites, etc, are not allowed.
    2. Students must not disrupt the flow of the class, the teacher reserves the right to remove student from class if necessary.
    3. Students must promptly submit homework. Regular review of material taught is expected to keep pace with the course. Homework marking is based on first-come-first-serve. Priority goes to those who promptly submit their work, late submission may not be marked.
    4. Students are expected to participate and interact in class projects, group studies and assignments as part of the learning process. Extra sessions might be added when necessary.
    5. Full-scale mock exams run on the last two weekends, extra to regular classes.
    6. Via Musica does not and cannot guarantee exam result, for students’ effort and dedication affect the outcome greatly.
  6. Online Lesson:
    1. Students must have high-speed internet, a SKYPE account, webcam, headset with mic, scanner, and a fast computer.
    2. Students must position himself/herself in a quiet location, free from any distractions such as TV, radio, phone, family, IM, social networking, etc.
    3. Online lessons are “live” sessions, students must sign on promptly, class participation is expected.
    4. Via Musica will provide reasonable technical aid to setup online lessons, however, the school does not provide ongoing technical support.
  7. Access to Student Resources:
    1. All lessons are recorded for review purposes. Students are encouraged to use this online facility to aid their study. Student ID and password will be given to currently enrolled students for the duration of the course.
    2. All recordings are copyrighted intellectual property of Via Musica. Students are not allowed to share, to give away the password, or to view the content with any non-Via Musica students in any which way. Failing to do so will lead to termination of access, and/or legal consequences.
  8. Lesson Rescheduling and Cancellation:
    1. If students are unable to attend class for any personal reason, there is no make-up. However, lesson recording is available for review.
    2. In the event of the teacher’s absence, make-up lesson or adjustment will be made.
    3. Students can request extra tutorial sessions. The availability, duration, & fee are at the discretion of the teacher or the tutor.
    4. Time lost because of a student’s tardiness will not be made up.
  9. Course Cancellation:
    1. We reserve the right to cancel, or change the course schedule if a minimum enrollment is not met.

Theory Terms

All theory courses are in 3 months terms starting September, February, and May; preparing for the December, May, and August RCM exams respectively. the 6-weeks intensive courses (2 lessons per week) offer in July-August also prepare for August exams.