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Grade 5 theory crash course!

(13 Posts)
MoppingMummy Sun 03-Feb-13 10:33:57

My 9yr old dd is taking grade 5 violin this term. The next stage is to pass grade 5 theory. We have been working through the Abrsm workbooks slowly, but we really need to speed up now!

The ideal would be to complete grade 5 theory in the summer, before year 5 (and dreaded tuition). So, can anyone recommend a theory course in the midlands area??

MoppingMummy Sun 03-Feb-13 13:35:22


MoppingMummy Sun 03-Feb-13 13:37:51


circular Sun 03-Feb-13 19:42:54

Not in the Midlands, but the residential summer course at Gloucester Academy of Music is excellent. Last year ages ranged from 8 to 17.

Only negative point was waiting till November for the next exam sitting, with no tuition in between.

MoppingMummy Sun 03-Feb-13 23:16:54

Did you do this course?? That sounds like a good option - I'll look in to it, thank you!

circular Mon 04-Feb-13 14:12:55

I've PM'd you

MoppingMummy Tue 19-Feb-13 23:30:47

Thank you so much circular. I will definitely look in to that course.

Schmedz Wed 20-Feb-13 12:10:21

If you prefer her not to have to do the Grade 5 Theory just yet, it could be worth switching to Trinity exam boards which don't have it as a prerequisite for Grade 6 practical and above (possibly needed for Diploma levels). Arguably, the pieces at those levels (for piano in particular) are actually more likeable than the current ABRSM selection (well according to my friend's 9 y.o DS and his father who is a pianist Professor of music).
However, if you are thinking about music scholarships for senior school, having the Theory under her belt is potentially very useful if she manages to do well in that exam (and will obviously allow her to sit the higher ABRSM grades). Scraping a pass in Grade 5 Theory is not particularly impressive and kind of undermines the valuable skills which are supposed to be learned through the process of preparing.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Thu 21-Feb-13 21:44:10

Would it be easier to find a local teacher and pay for a crash course of one-to-one lessons? Agree with Schmedz, no point in just scraping it for the sake of it.

HenD19 Thu 21-Feb-13 21:53:11

I's a secondary music teacher and private piano and theory teacher. Well done to your daughter who has done really well to reach grade 5 standard. The only way to do it in my opinion is to get one to one lessons. I personally think she would struggle to do the exam in the summer if she hasn't done much theory's difficult! Could she not work towards the theory while working on grade 6 practical exam pieces, scales etc?

noteventhebestdrummer Fri 22-Feb-13 07:15:04

There's a point to just passing Gd 5 theory if your aim is to be able to take Gd 6+, it's not critical to music education to get a distinction at it and no music scholarships I've known about care what mark you have! They value it as a means to an end, the quality secondary schools will re teach all the information in it and more in class music anyway.

potatoprinter Fri 22-Feb-13 07:40:13

I would get one to one lessons similar to the violin. My DDs piano teacher did theory with her over the course of a couple of years. She did the grade 1 theory and then just progressed through the papers - no more exams - until she was able to do Grade 5. It might take longer than the summer though. Perhaps aim to do theory next spring and the grade 6 violin in the summer. Half an hour a week with some practice in between should be fine.

Schmedz Sat 23-Feb-13 15:32:08

NETBD, I couldn't disagree more. As someone who has involvement with choosing music scholars every year, I can assure you that the mark (at least at our school) IS taken into consideration especially when you have a large number of applicants who have all taken the exam (which happens when your minimum standard to apply is Grade 5 and most applicants are usually well above this standard). Not the 'be all and end all' but certainly indicative of the child's musical interest, potential and ability.
Also, much of the content is extremely useful and those who have a good understanding of it can (and do) use much of the content to enhance their performance standards, which is probably why the ABRSM make it a prerequisite in the first place. Sadly it becomes another chore on the exam mill for many.

Yes, much (but certainly not all esp at KS3) of the content will be revisited in secondary music lessons and is covered in part for GCSE, so if someone wants to churn through their practical exams, like so many do, they will 'get the Theory over and done with' and move on with their performance exams. I think that is a shame for their overall musical development.

Young musicians who have Grade 8 on one or more instruments are not always very impressive (and certainly not as uncommon as people think). Young musicians who play good repertoire with musical maturity are much harder to find. Young musicians who appreciate the mechanics of theory for its own intrinsic sake are like hens' teeth!

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