Grade 6 theory(13 Posts)
I know most people get through grade 5, breathe a huge sigh of relief and never touch the alto clef again, but I have a slightly quirky dc who loved doing grade 5 theory and now wants to do grade 6. Is it much harder? Is the abrsm workbook the best way? Should we wait until later (Dc currently y6)
Is grade 6 still the start of figured bass?
I found it a massive jump from grade 5.
If he's interested why not forge ahead. It'll give him an edge with his practical music.
Just be aware that he light be a bit bored in year 7 music classes BUT there will be elements of school music that he knows nothing about so is on a level with his peers.... Eg world music , pop etc
DS2 is doing Grade 6 theory, but very slowly. It did seem to involve a large outlay in bookscat the start though, but that might just be out teacher! He takes it into school whenever that are doing theory and does his own thing. He is Y8. He did the same last year.
Dc's school music classes are v good - I don't think he'd ever get bored! I didn't know that figured bass featured but dc will cope, hopefully.
We can take it slowly: dc had been getting through a grade a term so there's no worries about slowing down a bit if the material is harder.
I would strongly recommend the Grade 6 workbook with the big '6' on the front, rather than Music Theory in Practice Grade 6 which is not user-friendly and gives far more information than is actually needed for the exam.
Your DC would need a teacher's help. I'm not convinced that working through the workbook on their own would be enough as there are quite a few new concepts and without someone to check his/her work (many of the questions have multiple possible answers so require someone who fully understands harmony & counterpoint to mark them) might struggle to have any idea of how well it's going.
There is also an orange book called Harmony in Practice which is very helpful indeed.
I have a young man doing it this term - it's taken him over a year, but he has SEN and also doesn't do any homework for me during the week. He has music A level already, which helps. It's a huge step up from Grade 5, and completely and utterly different - lots of rules about harmony, figured bass and realising chords. But if your son's keen, he should go for it. I did Grade 8 theory actually!
I teach music theory up to grade 8 and have had quite a lot of younger students do grade 6. I don't think there is any harm in starting it, but to bear in mind that there is a lot more to it than the earlier grades, so it's good to allow plenty of time to let it all sink in and not rush into the exam.
I made a video a while back about what's in grade 6, as it's a common question! It's a challenge for sure, but there is no better student than one who is self-motivated! Give me a shout if any specific questions.
Here's the video - overview of ABRSM grade 6 theory:
it is a big jump, but dd throughly enjoyed it. Shes now working on grade 7 through her own choice.
Thanks for the advice on books and the video - I think dc will like it. It looks much more fun than grade 5 to be honest!
You might like to look at the ABRSM forums - there have been discussions about workbooks for grade 6 on there etc. Definitely don't use Music in Practice - my son's been working towards grade 6 all year and their teacher's just put them on to that one for final extra practice now. It doesn't do an effective job of teaching the material to start with.
Expect it to take time, but definitely worth it. I wish I'd been in a position to keep my daughter going when she'd done grade 5, she was interested at first then decided she wasn't interested - better things to do with limited time was I think part of it. I think it's a maybe for next year though as she is changing schools.
You might also want to consider swapping to a different board - Trinity College does graded exams at the same levels as ABRSM, but I find their workbooks a lot more user friendly, and they include explanations, which is helpful if your DC is working on their own. There are a few topics that aren't covered earlier by ABRSM e.g. cadences, that he/she would need to read up on. On the other hand. quite a lot will already have been covered in ABRSM Grade 5.
With Trinity, Grade 6 focuses on Baroque, Grade 7 on Classical and Grade 8 on Romantic period music. Trinity also covers scales and chord labelling for pop and jazz (unlike ABRSM that only covers classical) - e.g. blues scales, pentatonic.
I've been teaching higher grades for a few years, and my students have enjoyed the Trinity course. I feel it gives a good overview at each level. There are past papers available (free to download) on their website, so your DC could have a look at those to get an idea of what is required.
All, please can I ask how did your child do in practise test before their exam? We still havent had Chords fully covered/explained and very little practise, havent touched ornaments yet and interval is only just got the concept learnt. Yet we had a past test done and it was 76% marked by our teacher. How did your children do couple of weeks before the test? I am only hoping for a pass(and know there is so much to learn).
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.