WCAMS Self-Evaluation Guide

Use this guide to determine your voice or instrument level.
(Levels are presented for guidance only and are approximate)


Beginner: new to singing, either choral or solo

Intermediate: sings a lot but never had lessons

Advanced: somewhat trained voice; up to 5 years lessons

Professional: 5 or more years of private lessons

String Players

Beginner: RCM levels 2/3 and below; only able to play in first position

Intermediate: RCM level 3/4 to 7; Comfortable playing in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th positions

Advanced: RCM level 8 and above; Comfortable playing 3 octave scales and (cello) in thumb position

Wind Players

  • comparative ease in lower octave of instrument
  • comfortable in keys of C, F, G, Bb and D (one octave)
  • fluency in lower register with comparative ease in second register (up to C above treble clef);
  • Knowledge of chromatic fingers from low E (clarinet) / low Bb (oboe) to C above the treble clef
  • fluent in keys of C, F, G, Bb, D, Eb, A, Ab, and E (two octaves)
  • fluent in the first two registers of the instrument
  • commensurate ease in all major keys (two octaves) and minor keys - 3 sharps and flats
  • Knowledge of the chromatic range of the instrument up to high G (clarinet) / high F (oboe)
  • Ease in all three registers of instrument (clarinet)
    both registers of instrument as well as extended range to high F (oboe)
  • Fluent in all major and minor arpeggios, and thirds - two octaves
  • Capable of reading and comfortably performing standard symphonic repertoire

Brass Players

  • Has played at least one year
  • comfortable reading in treble (trumpet, horn) / bass (trombone) clef
  • Comfortable in three major keys (trumpet: C, D and F, horn: F, Bb, C)
  • Approximately RCM 6; some experience in band
  • Knowledge of all 12 major scales, 2 octaves
  • Comfortable reading bass (horn) / tenor (trombone) clef
  • fluency in harmonic series lip slurs over the range of an octave+fifth: C-G (trumpet, horn), Bb-F (trombone)
  • Some experience in band
  • Approximately RCM 10; experience in school, community band or orchestra
  • Comfortable reading alto clef (trombone)
  • Able to sight-transpose parts written in different keys (horn, trumpet)
  • fluency in lip slurs over 2 octave range
  • Practices regularly, has a strong flexible embouchure
  • Fluent in all major & minor scales, and arpeggios
  • Capable of playing symphonic solos and orchestral passages for their instrument
  • Has performed in professionally judged competitions


Beginner: RCM levels 2 and below; able to play rudimentarily with 2 hands; have maybe taken some group lessons, or some lessons long ago

Intermediate: RCM level 4/5; rudimentary sight-reading skills; can accompany simple pieces with practise time; several years of lessons

Advanced: RCM level 8; some limited chamber music experience; playing a variety of styles and in most keys; playing with a nominal level of musicality consistently

Professional: above RCM level 8; sight-reading close to individual technical level; experience with chamber music or accompanying, and able to give leadership to other participants

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