Five Aspects Of Conservatory Achievement Testing

Every year, students at the Rochester Conservatory go through a specific testing process called Conservatory Achievement Testing. What does this entail, and why is it done? We want to make sure that we accurately identify where every student is at, in order to help them on their musical journeys throughout the year ahead.

Here are five criteria that Conservatory Achievement Testing tests in order to understand a student’s level and progress.


Yes, of course performance is important. But we have our own specific criteria in this area and ability to report your student’s progress in detail, in a way that is useful for figuring out where your student is headed in the future.


We test for aspects of music theory, because this conceptual side of music is responsible for directing aspects of performance and composition.

In other words, the music theory is underneath it all. You can have great sound, but without a solid ground in music theory, you can be at a disadvantage in competitions and behind when it comes to higher levels of mastery.

Ear Training

Here’s where we look at how students have adapted their sense of pitch and ear for music.

Some of this gets done naturally as you go, along with your lessons and practice. However, again, there is some detail involved in analyzing each student’s particular skill set.

As a helpful marker of a student’s progress, ear training also helps them to develop.

Sight Reading

We also take a look at a student’s proficiency with sheet music.

It takes specific skills to read sheet music – general literacy doesn’t cut it. To master sight reading, students have to understand note scales as written and other designations.


At more advanced levels, students will learn to transpose sheet music into a particular key. This helps with versatility and performance, and informal jam sessions. It’s part of developing that mastery, skill and drive that helps students to succeed with music later in life, or be confident about their training. 

That’s not all we do at Rochester Conservatory, but it does tell you a little about the care that we put into analysis and curriculum for students. Browse the site to see more about how we run events, group classes, and individual instruction for students. We are a top music school in the local area, with great connections to local families and many satisfied enrolled students and members. If you’re interested, let’s talk about getting your child into a competitive and fun music program!


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