The Royal Conservatory

Certificate Program

We are proud to introduce
The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program

The RCM Certificate Program incorporates repertoire, etudes/studies, sight-reading, ear training, technique and theory into a structured curriculum that is designed to assess the students progress and musical growth. At the completion of each level a Certificate of Achievement can be earned by successfully completing a Royal Conservatory practical examination.

The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program is most appropriate for students who are dedicated to their instrument and are interested in receiving recognition in a program that is internationally renowned and sets the standard for music education and achievement.

Achievement in RCM examinations are recognized in schools, which may help you reach your goals to be selected for accelerated programs such as the AAP (Advanced Academic Program) and magnet High Schools.

Your teacher can advise you if your child is ready for this program.


  • No. Each child is different and therefore having multiple programs to choose from ensures that students are receiving the perfect music education for them.

  • Speak to your instructor about the program. They can advise you if the program would be a good fit for your student. In order to begin the RCM certificate program, the students must have a working knowledge of the instrument. That means beginner level materials must be completed before the student can begin the RCM program.

  • The RCM program requires the student to take a test at each level in the following areas; repertoire memorization, technique, musicianship, and theory. If the student successfully completes the level exam they are rewarded with a certificate of completion and may then advance to the next level of studies. The Music Loft standards of learning also teach repertoire, technique, musicianship and theory however there are no official certifications and the curriculum is tailored to your child.

  • Go to the website and create a log in. You must register through the RCM portal.

    Examination dates are Nov/Dec, May/June and August. You must register 5 months in advance to reserve your day and time.

What are the costs associated with the RCM program?

Tuition 30-Minute Lesson$370 – 8-week semester
$185 Monthly
Tuition 45-Minute Lesson$570 – 8-week semester
$285 Monthly
BooksSet of books per level start at $80
Examination Fee$60 and up as the levels advance

Our RCM Teachers

Violin, Viola, Cello, RCM program (Online)

Missy Chappell

Violin, Viola, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Zhuo Diao

Voice, Alto Saxophone, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Andrew Goldstein

Voice, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Nikole James

Conducting, Piano, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Dr. Yoon Nam

Piano, Violin, Viola, Ukulele, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Bridget Olson

Missy Chappell

Violin, Viola, Cello, RCM Program

Missy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music and her Master’s degree in Educational School Leadership, Instruction and Curriculum from Concordia University.

Missy is an accomplished cellist and sought after music educator. She teaches private string lessons and performs on cello extensively in the Northern Virginia area. Previously, she was the Associate Director for the Golden Isles Youth Orchestra in Brunswick, Georgia. Missy currently serves as a Strings Teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools.

She has performed on cello with the Orchestra of Northern New York, the Manassas Symphony Orchestra, and the Amelia Island String Ensemble. Missy has taught students of all ages, conducted string ensembles, taught music theory and masterclasses, and coached small chamber groups.

Zhuo Diao

Violin, Viola, RCM Program

Zhuo Diao is a graduate of The Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China with a Bachelor of Music in Performance, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She earned an Artist’s Diploma and a Master’s Degree in Viola Performance from Shenandoah University Conservatory in Virginia.

Zhuo’s performance history started at a young age, performing in orchestras for the following schools, October the First Middle School (Beijing), The High School Attached to Tsinghua University (Beijing), Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), and Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester,Virginia). Zhuo has traveled and performed all over the world with many famous composers including Seiji Ozama, Daniel Barenboim, Jan Wagner Yang, Werner Andreas Albert, Xincao Li, and Yongyan Hu.

In her fourteen years of teaching experience, she has trained award-winning musicians. Several of her students have won the American Protege International Piano and String Competition, as well as the Washington Universal Piano and String Competition. Other students have been accepted and have performed with the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Zhuo has also prepared students to attend universities such as MIT, University of California, University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech.

Being bilingual in Chinese and English, Zhuo is sharing her passion and love for music with both Chinese and English speaking individuals.

Andrew Goldstein

Voice, Alto Saxophone, RCM Program

Andrew received his Master’s degree in Voice Pedagogy, Bachelor’s in Music Education, and certification from the Contemporary Commercial Music Institute at Shenandoah Conservatory.

Andrew is an active singer and teacher in the Northern Virginia area. This past year, he sang in the chorus of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center and with the Maryland Lyric Opera. He has also performed as a soloist and in operas in Italy, Michigan, Illinois, and more.

Andrew has taught K-12 general music, band, and chorus in both Fairfax and Loudoun County public schools, and teaches piano, voice, and saxophone privately in Ashburn, Herndon, and online.

Under the direction of Grammy award-winning conductor Robert Shafer, Andrew sang with Shenandoah’s Conservatory and Chamber Choir in Rome, Venice, Florence, and Assisi, Italy, as well as at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center in Maryland. Originally a saxophone player, he was featured in Shenandoah Conservatory’s wind ensemble’s performance at the Virginia Music Education Association conference.

Nikole James

Voice, RCM Program

Nikole James earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Having performed in many different venues across the United States, including The Kennedy Center with the Washington National Opera Institute, as well as Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic, she is most recognized for her artistry and captivating stage presence. Her operatic roles include Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, and opera scene programs as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario, Aunt Bea in Bolcom’s A Wedding, and Lucy in Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca. In addition to her wide variety of operatic roles, Nikole has also performed the role of Julie Jordan in Carousel.

She was the Southern Division winner and national finalist for the MTNA Competition, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, she received first place in the Senior Division for the NVMTA Competition, first place in the Regional Level at the Bland Music Competition, and was named “Most Outstanding Vocalist” and “Broadway Bound” at the William Schmidt Vocal Competition. Currently, Nikole is a judge and member of the National Federation of Music Clubs, which provides a wide range of performance opportunities to music students of all skill levels. Ms. James understands the importance of healthy vocal technique, and through her teaching, hopes to inspire her students and share her passion for music with others.

Dr. Yoon Nam

Conducting, Piano, RCM Program

Dr. Yoon Nam has directed or performed music at churches for most of the past decade. She has directed adult choirs, youth choirs, children’s choirs, hand bell choirs, and orchestras. She has also sung regularly and accompanied others on the piano and organ. Yoon has studied music most of her life, first studying piano at age of five, voice at thirteen, and attending the prestigious Seoul Arts and Music High School as a voice major. She continued studying voice in college for her undergraduate and master’s degree. During this time she began teaching voice as an adjunct faculty member at Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul. She also served as a soloist and assistant director at Young Nak Presbyterian Church in Seoul. Yoon came to the United States for the advanced study of music in 1996, earning her second master’s degree and a Doctor of Music in music conducting at Indiana University. After graduating, Yoon found her calling as a full time music minister, serving at Richmond Hill United Methodist Church in Georgia. In 2010, Yoon joined Floris United Methodist Church as a traditional music director. She directs the Sanctuary Choir, Chamber Choir, brass and Cantata orchestras.

She has two beautiful daughters, Christine and Joanne.

Bridget Olson

Piano, Violin, Viola, Ukulele, RCM Program

Bridget Olson teaches private piano, viola, violin, and ukulele lessons, with an emphasis on the whole musician. She assigns materials catered to each student to help them reach their greatest potential. Students study scales, left and right hand technique, rhythm, theory, aural training, and repertoire at every level. Bridget encourages upper level thinking and mindfulness in each lesson. Her greatest joy is watching her students grow as both musicians and people.

Students of Bridget have successfully completed examinations through the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) and Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). She continues to offer RCM lessons through The Music Loft.

Bridget studied viola under Doris Lederer while pursuing her Music Education degree at Shenandoah Conservatory. In addition to teaching her private studio, she is the Music Specialist at Montessori Country School in Herndon, VA and enjoys working in the public schools as a guest clinician.

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