Testimonials

LONGFORD CENTRE
Thank you so much for everything.  Very happy with both the results and your excellent examiner.  Beautiful certificates.  Students will be very happy.

CHERTSEY CENTRE
Victoria College Examinations which the girls take, have been decided on to suit the needs of the girls at SWPS.

We are not a Stage School and our aim throughout is not ‘to put the girls on the stage,’ but to give them confidence, enhance their academic learning and encourage their verbal skills.   Discussion and preparation for University comes as the higher grades are approached.

The girls like variety and the choice to take Verse, Prose and Acting within one examination.  LAMDA restricts this.  They do not offer such a combination; they offer either Verse and Prose or Acting as separate examinations.
 

Victoria College allows a really excellent choice and self- selection of pieces, thus enabling a wide range of genres to be accessed.  LAMDA is restrictive and their syllabus does not change often.  This proves boring to teach, and for the pupils a limitation of work to select from.

All of the SWPS take Biology, at least to GCSE level and have an understanding of the theory of the lungs and breathing.  LAMDA spends so much of their syllabus on theory of breathing.  This would not stretch our girls but bore them.

Most, if not all of our girls go to Universities that require grades, and so they should, not UCAS points.  The points LAMDA offer are only the allowance for the top grade taken, nullifying previous points.  If our girls get into the 6th form, then they are hardly likely to need points.
 

The girls at SWPS have never needed extra points to get into University. However, the confidence and exposure to literature has stood many in good stead for interviews and their presentations at University.  This is what we are about.

Our 6th formers love taking the Drama Diploma because it encourages them to look at pieces, of a high standard, across a whole range of literature.  It also gives them a recognised diploma AVCM for life, beyond points.

LAMDA Diploma is heavily weighted on written essays and theory.  Our girls are involved in academic work for their A Levels so really don’t need this approach.

Just this week, a pupil told me that one of the questions at her university interview was ‘what is the role of theatre in Society of today?’

Verbal competence, cultural discussion and enjoyment is what we are about.

 

COLOMBO CENTRE
Thank you for informing me of my result!   I’m very happy with it! Thank you for all the support you gave me throughout my time of study with VCM! It has been a great delight to work with VCM! I hope to work with VCM in the future as well because of the good experience I had with VCM during the past four years.
 

CREWE CENTRE
Fantastic experience – all candidates were pleased with the exam and the results, and enjoyed working on the syllabus.  Thank you.
 

JERSEY CENTRE
You’re all so lovely at VCM with our pupils.  I think a couple were just frustrated they had gone to pieces.  I did ABRSM all through my childhood (and my Teaching Certificate with them) and they seem to look for the bad - you look for the good and that, coupled with the syllabus choices is why I would go nowhere else with my pupils!
 

CHELTENHAM CENTRE
As ever, we had a great day.  Each and every one of the students left their exam with a smile, as a result of the positive experience. Your examiner has a remarkable talent for putting students at their ease and bringing out the best in them.  She is a wonderful ambassador for Victoria College "encouraging students and supporting teachers″ and students are always delighted when they hear that she will be examining.
 

SALTASH CENTRE
The examiner was a perfect gentleman and lovely to have in the home.  All the candidates were pleased that he took the time to look at their past certificates and awards.  It was wonderful to receive the results and certificates within a week.  I do hope that he will be able to come to Saltash again.
 

STEEPLE ASTON CENTRE
I was delighted with the results of the VCM exams held at school last term. I shall certainly continue to use VCM as it provides such an accessible structure. Overall it has raised standards and provided a strong focus. It was good to see the borderline candidates get through, with only one unsuccessful pupil.
 

DARTFORD CENTRE
May I add my name to the long list of teachers who have been entering their pupils for VCM examinations for many years past. I started using VCM examinations in 1992 and still continue to do so. There are several reasons for this, I am speaking mainly of piano exams.
 

Over the years you have sent me several examiners and on some occasions have examined yourself. I like the friendly approach to the candidates and also the meticulous marking. Every aspect of the examination is marked and commented upon. Encouragement is given in every possible way.

I would also like to comment on your SpeechPower syllabus. A wide diversity of candidates is intended for this syllabus. One aspect I find useful, is that of coaching those wishing to enter University. During the examination every effort is made to give youthful candidates confidence and to express their views clearly and concisely.

My teaching practice has always been in the private sector. I am a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Royal Society of Musicians.


SKIBBEREEN CENTRE
I would like to thank the examiner and VCM for a very successful examination session.  I am delighted I chose to use VCM as my examinations board.

WOKING CENTRE
We were so pleased with the lovely certificates and we love the medals too. Onto the next round now. My Public Speaking group at home have all benefitted so much from the exams as they are bright lads and can now speak. One of the lads said that education makes a man but conversation defines him......they really have enjoyed the course and all wish to go on.

We had our yearly concert last night and the girls performed pieces prepared for their recent exam.  The standard was stunning and everyone was saying how varied and pleasing the syllabus was.  This is just what we like...we don′t feel restrictive about challenging the girls to aim high and perform good literature, especially as we have bright youngsters.  The new head was at the concert and he said he wanted the extracts to go on so he knew how the plays finished.  It has proved, yet again, that VCM is absolutely right for us here and that the high standard we achieve was seen by all last night.
 

GRIMSBY CENTRE
Your institution always provides excellent service, high standards and affordable examinations for my students. Your examiners always put my candidates at ease and are extremely user-friendly and approachable. You have always provided flexibility with the venues and your examinations enable students to achieve recognised qualifications.


MEADOWHEAD CENTRE
Fantastic as usual!


FOREST HILL CENTRE
Excellent session.  Everyone enjoyed it!


PENPEDAIRHEOL CENTRE
The examiner was excellent as usual.
 

DROGHEDA CENTRE
Always a pleasure to work with Victoria College.  Your examiner is exceptional.  Comments from parents and students are always great.
 

BROMLEY-BY-BOW CENTRE
Yet again – thank you for a lovely morning of exams for my pupils and myself.  From start to finish – a good experience had by all.
 

ATHLONE CENTRE
It’s always good to see the examiner.  She is courteous, professional and kind to students.
 

HAMILTON CENTRE
Excellent exam session!
 

DERBY CENTRE
The examiner was very professional and put the candidates at ease.  Results arrived very quickly.  Another positive experience.
 

NANTWICH CENTRE
Thank you for a most enjoyable music exam day.  You were most encouraging to all the pupils and I am delighted with the results.  I now look forward to moving them on to the next grades but also working with some of them from the SpeechPower syllabus which I think will help to build confidence for the musicianship tests on the piano exams, but also generally.  Thank you for sending the results so promptly.

ENNISKILLEN CENTRE
The examiner was professional as usual – she went the extra mile to learn some Makaton sign language and communicated with all the children at their level.

 
HARTLEY WINTNEY CENTRE
An amazing examiner who puts the children at their ease and gives them a super experience.  Thank you!

BIRMINGHAM CENTRE
We have been preparing candidates - both children and adults - for   the speech examinations of Victoria College Examinations for over 5 years.  I have personal experience of their examinations having taken a range of diploma qualifications. As an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors, I am able to compare Victoria College Examinations with other examining boards and rate Victoria College Examinations as one of the best examination boards in the UK. The examinations are clearly detailed in the syllabus and challenge the candidates to perform at their very best. All my pupils have reported that the examinations tested their knowledge and helped to develop their skills in speech and voice.

CORFE MULLEN CENTRE
Brilliant exam session again.  Everyone enjoyed themselves.
 
HAVERHILL CENTRE
I have been a full time music teacher for 23 years, teaching in both the state and private sectors, but currently work full time for one establishment. Having entered over 3000 children for both theory and practical music exams, I have come to realise there is something missing in the education system. For this reason, I turned to the Victoria College to fill this gap, and have found it to be the answer to many of my queries. I now enter pupils for both ABRSM and the Victoria College examinations, after an assessment of the pupil. To outline my difficulties, I wish to pinpoint a few of the pupils I have transferred from the ABRSM to the Victoria College, and my reasons for doing so.
 

A while ago I entered a mother and her daughter for both the ABRSM grade three piano examinations. The daughter gained a merit, and the mother 103, just a scrape. The mother told me it was unfair. She had worked harder than her daughter, but due to adult nerves she could not perform. She has no intention of becoming a professional pianist but was rather put off by the result when she just wanted a goal for fun. Obviously standards must be met in performance, but in this case were high performance standards needed, when wishing to learn for fun. I consequently transferred her to the VCM for her Grade four and since doing so her enjoyment of playing has been restored, and she can work towards her desired goals. She knows she can play just as well as her daughter, but can′t show it to others.
 

The Victoria Syllabus pieces are not easier compared to the other board s, they are very well compatible. I have certainly found that many of the pieces on offer are those from older withdrawn syllabuses, from other exam boards. One of my pupils studied the clarinet with me, from Grades One to Five. For Grade one she took the ABRSM (easier than the Victoria at this level), for Two she took the Victoria, Three the ABRSM (based on piece choice), Four the Victoria (pieces choice) and Five on the ABRSM.  It made no difference to her development to transfer back and forth.

The Victoria College has a vast syllabus, which became very useful for three others a few years ago. I was struggling teaching the ABRSM grade three piano pieces. The children could not relate to any of them. I thought perhaps it was just me, but having spoken to a teaching colleague, she was also having difficulty in the same area. She told me that the pieces were putting her pupils off. Consequently, I transferred the children to the Victoria College′s syllabus, and enthusiasm was returned. Without this change, these pupils could have discontinued without doubt.

Another pupil studied piano, theory, flute, saxophone and clarinet with me. I have never met a child with such amazing sight reading skills. At age 12-13 she was sight­ reading ABRSM grade 7 piano exam pieces. Her sense of rhythm was way beyond mine at times. She always played so rhythmically accurate, and was a great group leader in wind bands. Everyone followed her.

However, having extraordinary skills she did not fit into ABRSM exam categories. She had no interest in perfection. Every lesson consisted of a new book, which she played accurately from beginning to end. She was the type to step in and fill in any play, accompanying or assembly gaps, sight reading everything. Emily was not an exam candidate. Whenever we did try adding in exam detail she did not want to know and her enjoyment in playing ceased. A candidate like this would have scored badly on the ABRSM board, where detailed performance perfection is needed. With this in mind I did manage to persuade her to take one clarinet exam, (only Grade Two), using the VCM, knowing their marking criteria would not stunt her development in the field she wanted to follow. This the only exam direction this child could have gone in.

Certain standards obviously have to be met by the exam boards, and I did have a child fail on the VCM, and this was the correct decision. She had stopped practising a few weeks before the exam and there was nothing I could do with the time running out to the exam date. Consequently, I informed the parents in advance and the result was what we were expecting- and it was the correct decision.

Just last term a pupil came to me for Grade one clarinet. She had previously taken grade four singing on the ABRSM and had failed. Having spoken to her singing teacher she was absolutely gutted because she could not understand why. Hence when it came to her grade one clarinet, I choose the VCM, not being sure on her exam problems. Whilst piano accompanying her in the exam here, she stopped playing. If this happens I always continue, hoping the candidate will come in shortly, but she did not, and after two lines I finished the piece without her. This was so unlike her, and other boards are instructed to give very low marks for incomplete performances, so I thought she had blown it. However, the examiner automatically looked at her sympathetically and said "What′s the matter, Alice?″ In a distraught voice she said, "I lost where I was″. The examiner continued with, "Shall we pretend we didn′t hear anything and do the whole piece again?″  This time Alice played extremely well. She needed great encouragement to get started, and having failed I presume for the same reason, her confidence had been shattered further. I owe much to the VCM here, for treating her as a human and helping her to achieve. She has the same skills as others, but needed coaching to bring these out. Would other boards have responded the same?

My final thanks go to the VCM for their handling of my pupil EM.  She has extreme co-ordination difficulties, but academically she is normal, and she wanted to achieve goals like others. To outline her difficulty, she had to be withdrawn from the school touch-typing class, being unable to keep her fingers over the keys. However, her mother wanted her to learn the clarinet to try to help with her coordination, rather than saying she can′t do it. Consequently, we spent a good year just covering the right hand notes only. Finally, she was able to play Grade One pieces, but the coordination difficulty meant she played with frequent squeaks where holes were not being adequately covered, so her playing did not sound as good as others. Having spoken to the VCM, I was very touched in the way that they sent an examiner who had a similar child and would be in better position to understand my pupil′s problems. The VCM board helped her with her confidence in this first step. In no way would she have achieved with the other boards, they have to mark upon what they hear, and EM can′t produce professional sounding standards.

I hope I have helped outline the importance of the Victoria College Examinations to me. I currently enter a quarter of my pupils for this board, and the others for the ABRSM. Both have their places, but I long to see the Victoria qualifications acknowledged further.


MAGHERAFELT CENTRE
For many years, I have entered students for Victoria College examinations. These students range from four-year-olds to undergraduates and professional mature candidates.  I cannot speak highly enough of the syllabus structure and the approach of the examiners. The syllabus is very comprehensive offering examinations in each subject area, hence the development of students′ ability in specific areas is maximized.
 

Yes, the syllabus is challenging, but such challenges are welcomed by students who find this approach refreshing and motivational.  Indeed, they look forward to the diversity of skills to be gained and are eager to move on to the next levels.  As a result, students grow and develop in a positive environment very much centered on a holistic approach. Therefore, confidence is developed, together with self-esteem and the acquisition of life-long skills.


Victoria College Examinations prepare students for the demands of today′s world, making them confident, competent individuals, equipped with vital skills to further their career opportunities.
 

ISLE OF WIGHT CENTRE
Upon my retirement from full time work seven years ago, I decided to put time and effort into improving my musical abilities and qualifications.  I found that the Victoria College Examinations were able to offer me exactly what I needed.
 

During this time, I have successfully taken Victoria College theory and piano examinations. I found the piano pieces chosen for the examinations to be very musically attractive and interesting.

My studies for the theoretical Associate Diploma were most rewarding, and I was subsequently   awarded the AMusVCM Diploma with Honours.   The examination results and certificates have always been received very quickly, and on some occasions within less than a week of the examination date.


I thoroughly recommend the Victoria College Examinations to all music students and teachers.

HADDENHAM CENTRE
I opened my school fifty years ago and always used the L.A.M.D.A. Examination syllabus. Some years ago the board was changed and the new head of examinations

radically changed the syllabus, with which my pupils and myself were far from happy.

A teacher and adjudicator, whose opinion I value very highly indeed, recommended Victoria College Examinations to me.


I was highly pleased with the extensive syllabus, as were my pupils, and for the past ten years we have been extremely happy with Victoria College. Their examiners have all been of a very high standard and my pupils very happy with their exam experiences and results.

I would strongly recommend Victoria College Examinations to any speech/drama teacher.

PORTADOWN CENTRE
I have been using Victoria College Exam Syllabus for some considerable time, I find the examinations to be very varied allowing me to accommodate every type of candidate, thus enabling students to appreciate the skill which will equip them at all stages of their education, also the requirements of the syllabus for practical and theory work sit extremely well with the school curriculum
 

SHEFFIELD CENTRE
A candidate with Asperger′s Syndrome writes:

I am currently a student studying to become a piano tuner at Newark College. When I applied to be on this course, the college accepted me on the standing of the qualifications that I received from Victoria College coupled with my GCSE and NVQ results. Newark College were very impressed with the Grade 5 Violin examination and the Grade I piano exam that had been taken and passed under the umbrella of the Victoria College.


I am now thoroughly enjoying my course, thanks to the help, guidance and support that Victoria College gave me in my early years. Taking these exams improved my confidence and also made me a very good musician. I am now using the music skills that I learnt through the Victoria College examination system to hopefully learn a worthwhile skill and set me up with a good job at the end of the course.


Thank you Victoria College for all your help.
 

GUILDFORD CENTRE
I first discovered the Victoria College Examinations about twelve years ago. I had been teaching Speech and Drama for a number of years and initially took the examinations myself. I took Diplomas in both Speech and Acting, followed by a Teaching Diploma and later the Fellowship in Speech. I loved taking the examinations   myself as they offer such a diverse syllabus. 

All my students now take Victoria College Examinations, over any other board, once or twice a year. At this school there are approximately 90 children aged between 6 - 11years. The syllabus is extremely suitable for the younger children I teach, allowing them do all three disciplines, of acting, poetry and prose reading within the same Speech Examination. However, many love the variety of work needed for the Acting syllabus.

I am also Head of a Drama group external to school, ages six to eighteen years, the children love the addition of the medals and I have had many students from my private teaching that have now gone on to the Diplomas and are now teaching themselves.

The examination sessions are easy to arrange and extremely accommodating for students. The Examiners are extremely knowledgeable and encouraging to all the students. Having taught Guildhall, LAMDA, Trinity and English Speaking Board examinations I find that I always have such delight in teaching the Victoria College syllabus and the students have such delight in taking the examinations.
 

GILLINGHAM CENTRE
I have been the local secretary for Victoria College Examinations Centre and teacher for Piano, Keyboard and Organ for many years.  The examination standards are comparable with other institutions.   I have always found the college very efficient with documentation and the results usually arrive within a week.

The examiners are always pleasant and put pupils at their ease. Some of the examiners are prepared to work weekends including Sundays which is useful if pupils are unable to meet week day appointments.

HARLOW CENTRE
I am an independent music teacher of 25 years, living and working for the people of Harlow.

The work that the VCM does is fantastic! My students have been taking their exams for at least 17 years. When I first started teaching I used ABRSM, but found the general experience limiting, negative and impersonal, sometimes destroying the confidence of my precious pupils, and their thoughts and feelings about sitting future exams.

Since switching to the VCM, my music school has flourished and I have kept the same pupils for many years, and they have only positive thoughts about climbing up the exam ladder. This means that more of them go on to gain the higher level grades needed for University or College.

As a teacher I highly value the "extra mile″ that the VCM go to with little things like sending an examiner to my home studio so my piano candidates can take their exam on the same instrument they have been practising on - this seemingly little thing turns out to be a gigantic plus f or them. Other plusses, f or example, are (a) being able to take an exam at any point in the year with only six weeks′ notice, (b) a longer lasting syllabus to give slower learners the same opportunities, and presenting the most beautifully designed certificates I have ever seen. The list goes on...
 

COULSDON CENTRE
VCM Examinations have played an educational and developmental role in my life and have been a major contributory factor in fulfilling several of my personal ambitions.

I have worked towards several examinations with VCM but I want to begin by talking about the Fellowship Diploma in Teaching Speech and Drama. The diploma holder must have shown proficiency in a range of practical performance skills, teaching skills in a demonstration lesson and theoretical skills through written work, meaning that practical skills and knowledge can be passed on to future students. I feel assured that high calibre teachers are entering the teaching profession when holding this diploma. Diploma holders are also entitled to full membership of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama, who recognise this diploma and the LVCM in Drama Education as professional qualifications in teaching.
 
Throughout all the examinations that I have worked towards with VCM I have found that each of my experiences within the examination room have been very professional. On every occasion, I was greeted by an examiner who was welcoming and created an atmosphere which was encouraging and sought success. The examination reports arrived shortly after the examination session, showing a good administration system as well as care towards the examinee, as waiting for results can be quite nerve-wracking. For each of my exams the reports were excellently written being thorough in reporting all aspects of the exam with clarity of comments and writing. What I noticed with these reports was that the marks matched the comments!

From the perspective of a working professional that has taught within all key stages of education up to MA level and with OFSTED experience, I am certainly of the impression that the examinations offered by Victoria College are of an exceptional standard. I will always encourage my own students to experience VCM examinations at grade and diploma level as I know they will encounter a quality practical examination backed up with a well-produced written report containing both pertinent comments and encouragement.
 

GLASGOW CENTRE
I write as a past chairman of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama and my work has involved contact with all the Colleges offering Speech and Drama Exams.
 

I find that Victoria College is by far the most user-friendly organisation. While maintaining an extremely high standard of exams, I find the examiners relate exceptionally well to all candidates. Queries are dealt with by return and the certificates of the College are most professional.

 
KIRKHAM CENTRE
I am writing in my role as teacher and business owner to state my feelings regarding the Victoria College of Music (VCM).  As an experienced and qualified school teacher, I use VCM because they share similar values to my business.
 

The VCM encourages everybody from the start of their learning process.  This is shown in their excellent A-D grades.  I use these in schools to support learning.  Each student who passes feels a great pride and this encourages them to continue.
 

At the same time, Grades 1-8 are well-balanced examinations that allow pupils a certain degree of freedom.  Students value the fact that VCM allows them to compose and select their own piece of music in the piano exams.  At the same time the exams offer challenge that helps each pupil to develop.

 
SALISBURY CENTRE
Having been a teacher of Pianoforte for some 26 years, I thoroughly commend the syllabus, professionalism and quality of examinations offered by Victoria College.

The standard of technical skill required at each grade and diploma is at least the same as that offered by Associated Board, Trinity and London College examinations.
 

Victoria College offers excellent grade and diplomas in Contemporary Piano - the only college which does and therefore these examination syllabuses require particular praise as they broaden the scope of opportunity for students’ education.

Examiners marking and critiques are accurate and contain professional

opinions and recommendations to further the progress of the student.

I represent the Victoria College in the local area - and liaise to provide the college with a warm quiet recital hall with an excellent mod ern concert t grand Yamaha piano.

 
BOGNOR REGIS CENTRE
First may I thank you so very much for visiting us at Bognor Regis for the Recorder examinations. It was a great pleasure to meet you and we were so pleased that you were happy with the facilities at the Regis School of Music. The children were delighted with their results and found the whole experience very fulfilling.