This morning I took the Subject exam in K-12 Music and passed on the first try. This is one of three exams required for certification candidates. Here is the one thing I wish I had known about the exam when I originally registered for the program:
You CAN NOT take this exam outside the state of Florida! This is true for other resource subjects like Art and Foreign Languages.
Here are a few more tips about the exam I took today. Please note that there are different versions of the exam, so you still want to make sure you study everything covered in the FTCE Flashcards (available at Amazon.com for $40). I also recommend combing through a good Music Appreciation text if you are lacking in basic Music Fundamentals.
1. A large percentage of the questions cover the National Standards for Music K-12. The study guides on Amazon help somewhat in this area.
2. There was little to no music history covered.
3. There were 18 listening questions covering everything from musical form, style, theory and ethnic music.
4. You need to know voice ranges and types.
5. Learn what beginner guitar, string and recorder students should know including the names of the guitar and violin strings.
6. Take a brass methods class.
7. Learn basic conducting patterns.
8. Know the difference between Orff, Kodaly, and Dalcroze methods.
9. Use common sense and know EXACTLY what the question is asking. That really helped me narrow down the answers.
10. Learn all the instrument abbreviations in an orchestral score.
11. There were no questions on any of the learning theorists mentioned in the study flashcards (i.e. Bruner, Piaget, Vygotsky, etc.). But that doesn't mean they won't show up on a different version of the exam!
12. Listen to non-Western music (Japan, India, Middle East) and know the main characteristics.
13. Know the main characteristics (by ear!) of Western music genres (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century, gospel, ragtime, jazz).
In all honesty, this exam would be extremely difficult for someone with a minimal Music Theory/History/Performance background. The questions are really geared toward candidates who have at least a Bachelors Degree in Music Ed. or Performance and some classroom music teaching experience. Good luck in your certification endeavors, and let me know if you have any questions.