G5 Music Theory exam tomorrow - any last minute tips?

(36 Posts)
pianomama Fri 15-Jun-12 14:48:34

DS is taking his G5 theory tomorrow - any last minute advice/tips/general experience? He hasn't sat any written exams before, so very nervous.
How did your DC do? How long did you wait for results?

Colleger Fri 15-Jun-12 15:10:22

Good luck! My eldest sits tomorrow and my youngest really needs to sit it but we've not got round to studying. Eldest at boarding school so can't offer any advice but wanted to say good luck.

Lancelottie Fri 15-Jun-12 15:13:51

When he's finished -- stay in there long enough to check it through, rather than waltzing out gleefully like DS2 did and then having second thoughts about question 3 when it's too late to go back!

pianomama Fri 15-Jun-12 15:14:07

Thanks - good luck to you too!

pianomama Fri 15-Jun-12 15:16:13

Thanks Lancelottie. I will try the usual "read the instructions" and check your answers afterwards smile .

BrigitBigKnickers Fri 15-Jun-12 21:49:39

I used to teach Grade 5 theory.

On a scrap piece of paper (given to you in the exam) write out:
1) a chromatic scale (with all the equivalent flats and sharps.)
2) GooD AlE BeeF (sharp keys left to right (with F# at the end)/ flat keys right to left with a flat sign in front of them (except F))
3) Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle (order of sharps left to right, order of flats right to left.)
4) Remember the relative minor starts on the sixth note of the major scale (and has the same key signiture)Harmonic minor raise the 7th, melodic minor raise 6 and 7 on the way up and back the way they were on the way down.
5) For the harmony questions write out the chords for I II IV V and VI.
6) Intervals include the bottom note.

Good luck.

pianomama Fri 15-Jun-12 23:17:01

Brigit - I wish you taught my DS. Thanks and fingers crossed.Will be pleased with the lowest pass possible .

My students have their grade 5 tomorrow - lots of luck to everyone!

Agree with above, write out a little kayboard, FCGDAEB and keep your wits about you. use scrap paper for rough and double check eeveryhting.

CURIOUSMIND Fri 15-Jun-12 23:33:05

Season A only tested a couple of very simple words, maybe things will change this time?
Writing neatly was the most useful tip for my DS1.
Best luck!

BrigitBigKnickers Sat 16-Jun-12 16:37:49

How did it go pianomama?

How did it go? DD2 did her grade 1 this morning. That was scary enough for me.

roisin Sat 16-Jun-12 17:33:23

Hope it went well! ds2 did his last term: I'm pleased it's over and done with!

pianomama Sun 17-Jun-12 01:30:53

Thanks , went well according to DS "was easy". No more theory for a while - horrai!

Was surprised to see quite a few very small looking peoplw doing G5 - not that I am a competitive mother smile

pianomama Sun 17-Jun-12 01:34:31

rosin - how long did you wait for the results?
Hoping to get away for a while at the beginning of July, would be so good to know before then.

Poor Ds had end of year school exams all week , really needs a break that child

roisin Sun 17-Jun-12 04:03:10

I think the Board said results within 4 weeks, and it was just a few days shy of that. (He did it 1st March and results email was 27th.)

But I've just checked the website and it suggests 6 weeks now! Not sure if I dreamed the 4 weeks bit!

roisin Sun 17-Jun-12 04:08:24

How little are the littlies and how old is your ds? My ds was 12 and was the youngest/smallest by some way at the centre, which surprised me because on here you always get the impression that everyone is doing grade 6 when they are about 8 yo wink

pianomama Sun 17-Jun-12 10:23:55

Ds is 10 so not an 8 yo doing G8 smile .
There were 3 or 4 boys looking younger then him.

One little boy came out first looking very confident and pleased with himself way before the others finished. He did have that look of a little genious about him smile.

Ds took his time - hope he was mature enough to check things afterwards.

There was also someone who looked like 19-20 doing G1 and a couple of grown up ladies - I find it absolutely admirable. Cant imagine myself being able to sit an exam at my age - much easier to make poor Ds smile.

pianomama Sun 17-Jun-12 11:37:45

Colleger - how did you DS feel about the exam? Did he think it was easy?
Hard to know sometimes with kids - my DS usually tells us the exams/auditions went terribly bad only to get really good results few weeks later.
I really hope the reverse is no true smile

pianomama Sun 17-Jun-12 15:40:18

FiveHoursSleep - how did your dd's exam go?

First grade exam is always the scariest.
It will get easier as she progresses through grades.

I learned to stay calmer or send DH with DS to the exams - works better for us. Sometimes our own anxiety is not helping little ones and they seem to focus better without fussy mothers around. (Talking about myself smile). I just cant resist the urge to fuss unnecessary and this annoys my DS. Ooops, none of us are perfect. smile

She thought it went fine but came out after 40 minutes bangs head against wall
I'm used to theory exams now, DD1 is preparing for grade 3 and I'm gearing up for grade 4...

pianomama Sun 17-Jun-12 19:33:30

Ouch, I can just hear that head bang.
Hope the wall remained intact.

DS is very similar and i put it down to being a perfectionist and very ambitious. <Amature child psychologist me>.

However he now knows not to take it out on the piano .

We all deserve a wine .

BrigitBigKnickers Sun 17-Jun-12 20:07:26

These exams really don't take very long (especially Grade 1)- it's very easy to be finished in about 20 mins or so and then have plenty of time for checking.

If they don't go out after 40 minutes then they have to wait until the end before being allowed to leave.

CURIOUSMIND Sun 17-Jun-12 21:17:39

They are doing theory whatever the grade in one big room usually, so the small face may just do Grade 2.I am sure you are all competitive Mums!

Season B is always the busiest, so may take longer for the results out.
Last time it was a bit less than 4 weeks.

roisin Sun 17-Jun-12 21:25:28

Have any of your CDs done gr6+ theory exams?
ds2 only did gr5 (distinction). He was going to do music GCSE as extra curric this year, but the teacher's leaving, so they're not offering it.

I was wondering about getting him to do a higher grade theory exam to keep up his theory knowledge.

pianomama Sun 17-Jun-12 22:21:50

CURIOUSMIND - only a little bit smile. I know there were some very young looking children doing G5 as they had stickers with the grade they are taking on the tables.

Mind you , the girl next to my DS looked like 13-14 and turned out she was only 11.

rosin - I dont think many people do actually, its just a stepping stone to get higher performance grades for most people.

I suspect not many instrument teaches can teach theory pass G5 ?? Not sure really.

People who need higher theory usually do 5 and 8 as a minimum.

pugsandseals Tue 19-Jun-12 18:40:21

Grade 6, 7, 8 theory are worth UCAS points you know! As are the practical exams

music tarrif
GCE tarrif

Grade 8 distinction in thoery is worth 30 UCAS points, compared to 40 points for an E at AS level, so personally I don't heavily recomend the theory/practical exams for UCAS points alone. in terms of keeping theory skills going - maybe but perhaps only for the very determined?

Always happy to be proved wrong though smile

All the instrumental teachers i know could ace their grade 5 theory smile

CURIOUSMIND Fri 22-Jun-12 09:23:53

Pianomama's DC is very young, has plenty of time to do this.I think its great FUN to explore the theory beyond G5. G6 book looks different from G1-G5, and will not cover all the exam questions (from Amazon customer review), so you may need some other materials as well.

pianomama Thu 05-Jul-12 08:32:01

Just found DS will have to study for his G6 theory next year as he is starting in JD and this is required ..

He does enjoy it though so its a good thing

valentinedelight Wed 23-Jan-13 12:06:18

Hi there, any tips for making learning theory fun? Any good iPad aps, or books? My son passed his grade 5 piano over a year ago but his theory is hovering around a grade 2-3 level and he needs to get up to speed quick. He's very mathematical which should help, but not so keen on theory. I need something good for a 10 year old boy. Thanks in advance!

Theas18 Thu 24-Jan-13 16:50:53

"making learning theory fun".... not that I know I'm afraid. We haven't delved into apps etc as I would be wary that they might not be teaching what the exam needs.

I know about all the arguments generally about " teaching kids to pass the test" rather than general learning, but theory is just that I'm afraid!

If HE (rather than you) WANTS to do grade 6 soon he has to realise that it's a "must" to do the theory and get on and do it.

If he's not desperate to do " an exam now" he can carry on learning on and on upwards (as well as plenty of repertoire) it really doesn't matter if his next piano exam is grade 6 now, or grade 8 in a year or 2, does it? He can take time to get the theory done.

On the whole I'd like to think that self motivation will drive the theory, in practice a small amount of low level bribery may be needed (our piano teacher uses chupa chups!! do the work, earn some lollies!)

Theas18 Thu 24-Jan-13 16:52:02

Oh and also look at both boards for theory. DD2 has done trinity and found it loads easier. You can use a trinity grade 5 result to move up associated board grades though!

BrigitBigKnickers Fri 25-Jan-13 09:05:07

Also if you take the Jazz piano grades, a grade V jazz is accepted instead of grade 5 theory and will mean you can move on to grade VI classical practical (Jazz piano only goes up as far as Grade V)- not sure why though!

valentinedelight Mon 04-Feb-13 16:30:46

Great. Many thanks for your suggestions.

valentinedelight Thu 07-Mar-13 11:36:56

We've found a great teacher (thanks to a Mumsnet recommendation!), and my son loves his sessions with her. Only thing is she lives in north london an dit is quite a trek for us. However, she would be willing to come to us if she had a few hours of teaching. Anyone in the Notting Hill area looking for theory lessons?

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