We recognize three general degrees of music theory:

  1. ELEMENTARY: Levels Preparatory to Level 4
  2. INTERMEDIATE: Level 5 – Level 8
  3. ADVANCED: Level 9 – Level ARCT

Below is the CHART of corresponding Theory Co-requisites (any musical instrument including voice, excluding drama) of Royal Conservatory of Music Examination (RCME), and information on Music Certificates being accepted for Credit at High School.


Level Preparatory, 1, 2, 3, 4 …. NONE. Explanation: No written test is required within these levels, but Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 Theory are expected to be studied along the practical instrumental studies prior to taking Level 5 – the next level.

Level 5 Practical …………………… Level 5 Theory (formerly known as Basic Rudiments)

Level 6 Practical …………………… Level 6 Theory (formerly known as Intermediate Rudiments)

Level 7 Practical …………………… Level 7 Theory (formerly known as Advanced Rudiments)

Level 8 Practical …………………… Level 8 Theory (formerly known as Advanced Rudiments) and Introductory Harmony (recommended)

Level 9 Practical …………………… Level 8 Theory, Level 9 Harmony + Level 9 History (formerly known as Advanced Rudiments, Basic Harmony + History 1)

Level 10 Practical …………………. Level 8 Theory Level 10 Harmony and Counterpoint + Level 10 History (formerly known as Advanced Rudiments, Intermediate Harmony + History 1 and 2)

Level ARCT Practical …………… Level 8 Theory, Level ARCT Harmony and Counterpoint + Level ARCT History + Level ARCT Analysis (formerly known as Advanced Rudiments, Advanced Harmony, Counterpoint, Analysis, History 1, 2 and 3) and Grade 6 PIANO.

*Level 9, 10 and ARCT Harmony and Counterpoint will be offered one more year, until August 2018.

GRADE 11 UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE PREPARATION MUSIC CREDIT (requirements differ from RCME Certification Program):
Level 7 Practical + Level 7 Theory (Intermediate Rudiments)
*RCME lists: Level 7 Practical + Level 6 or Level 7 Theory (this statement still needs to be confirmed with the Ministry of Education, March 2017)
Level 8 Practical + Level 8 Theory (Advanced Rudiments)

Here is a summary of current transition year for theory:
Parents and teachers need to consider several reasons/advantages of doing a Basic, Intermediate or Advanced Rudiments examination under 2009 Syllabus during the final months of the crossover period which ends on August 31, 2017.
The KMS is prepared to teach these levels over the summer months (JULY, AUGUST 2017) for students who wish to write these theory exams in August, 2017, but both parents & students must be prepared & support an intense 6-week study.
Basic = Level 5 (co-requisite for Level 5 Practical)  (no need to do Levels 5 Theory 2016 Syllabus)
Intermediate = Level 6 (co-requisite for Level 6 Practical)  (no need to do Levels 6 or 7 Theory 2016 Syllabus)
Advanced = Level 8  (co-requisite for Level 7 and 8 Practical) (no need to do Level  8 Theory 2016 Syllabus)
After August 31, 2017, students/teachers must comply with the 2016 Syllabus requirements for co-requisite theory requirements.

Learn about the crossover plan through the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations website:
Here is the link to explanation about High School Accreditation, credit requirements:
In order to have a certain Level Certificate, student is not required to pass all the previous levels.

Without theory training students cannot know what any one piece of their education will mean to them five or ten years in the future. Knowing about music in general is going to make them both better performers and listeners. We best serve ourselves as learners and musicians when we learn as much as possible without a prior agenda.

Knowledge of Music Theory empowers students to:

  1. Understand how music works.
    Any graduate from music school should understand is how and why the performers and composers plan and execute their work. Their tools involve everything from rhythm, notes, and scales to harmony, voice-leading, and form.
  2. Be able to critically listen to music.
    Music students need to learn how to listen critically to what they hear, identify what it is, and be able to speak intelligently about it.
  3. Write and perform music accurately.
    Regular exercises in theory and aural skills will not only improve understanding, but it may also make the abstract concepts meaningful in a real-world context.
  4. Be able to detect errors.
    Performers, conductors, educators, music producers, and recording artists need the same sharpened listening skills. The point is that one never knows, as a musician, when error detection will come in handy. We focus on this from day one in aural skills and hone it regularly.
  5. Be able to sight read.
    Being able to read music accurately and effortlessly. The core of sight reading is being able to hear what you see.
  6. Understand the styles and genres of Western music
    Music developed over time. Being able to distinguish and follow the evolution of composing techniques and genres enables the student to understand the changes in society that happened and influenced humanity as a whole.
  7. Improve critical reasoning skills.
    Music theory classes are especially good places to sharpen critical thinking because we have a great deal of information that needs to be processed in a short amount of time when listening to or writing about music.