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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:48 pm 
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My ds wants/needs to do his grade 5 theory now that he's passed his practical exam (I know there are alternatives but this is the route his teacher prefers) and I'd quite like dd to do it too (she's gone down the Trinity route so doesn't need it in the same way).
There have been a few posts on here before but I can't find any specific workbooks recommended.
There are a few different brands on variouswebsites so I'd like some recommendations if anyone has any?
Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:07 pm 
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DD is hoping to do hers in November. She was supposed to do it last year but did grade 3 instead as she didn't feel ready. I can't remember the name of the book she used last year, but this year she has a new teacher and she is using a new book. She is just finishing 'Music Theory for Young Musicians grade 4' and her teacher wants her to get the edition with Specimen Test & Revision Notes for grade 5. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be available.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:07 pm 
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Thanks. I'll keep an eye out for it. I was not planning for him to have any formal teaching. I hope the work books might be enough.!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:26 am 
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I paid for one to one theory lessons through school for my DD which was an expensive way to do it but she's just got a really good mark (not that it matters - you only need to pass!). I feel it was worth it as she definitely wants to do music GCSE and the teacher has given her a strong set of skills. You can do group lessons which are cheaper. For DIY someone mentioned mymusictheory.com, which seems to have quite a lot of free material as well as stuff you have to pay for.

The hardest bits of the exam are transposition and composition. I'm not sure how easy these are to DIY. They also have to know vast lists of Italian, French and German musical terms which just takes time and application.

As for workbooks, my dd worked through the ABRSM grade 4 and 5 Music Theory in Practice books, with the teacher, then she used the 2013 and 2014 past papers (bought from the ABRSM website online). I also have a book called The AB Guide to Music Theory Part 1 which she found useful for reference.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:56 am 
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Peridot wrote:
I paid for one to one theory lessons through school for my DD which was an expensive way to do it but she's just got a really good mark (not that it matters - you only need to pass!). I feel it was worth it as she definitely wants to do music GCSE and the teacher has given her a strong set of skills. You can do group lessons which are cheaper. For DIY someone mentioned mymusictheory.com, which seems to have quite a lot of free material as well as stuff you have to pay for.

The hardest bits of the exam are transposition and composition. I'm not sure how easy these are to DIY. They also have to know vast lists of Italian, French and German musical terms which just takes time and application.

As for workbooks, my dd worked through the ABRSM grade 4 and 5 Music Theory in Practice books, with the teacher, then she used the 2013 and 2014 past papers (bought from the ABRSM website online). I also have a book called The AB Guide to Music Theory Part 1 which she found useful for reference.


Thanks. That's very helpful. Do you mind me asking how musical you are? I'm only asking because I'm wondering how much help I am going to be able to give them. It sounds different from when I did my theory (in the 80s) but I can transpose easily enough. I did grade 8 on my instrument and music O' level but not sure if that will make up for my lack of teaching skills. ..


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:20 am 
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I have a BMus and am now working as a music teacher, but I have learned that teaching my own children isn't always the best way...! But you know your own and how they will respond to you, and I'm sure your musical skills and experience will be perfectly fine for helping. You could always start DIY-ing and see how it goes. I've also noticed there's something called Model Answers for each grade available from ABRSM, which you could work through together.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:17 pm 
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I'm not a musician, to the extent that when DS started music I expected an octave to go from A to H. Despite this I prepared DS and DD for the Grade 5 theory exams and they both did reasonably well - despite their obvious difficultly with sitting at an exam desk for more than 1 hour.

We also used the ABRSM grade 4 and 5 Music Theory in Practice books, The AB Guide to Music Theory Part 1, free material on mymusictheory.com and Grade 5 past papers - we went back about 3-4 years. In the beginning, rather than doing a whole exam paper, I found it useful to identify common question types (such as intervals) and tackle only these questions in 1 learning session. Closer to the exams DC would do a whole paper.

Other than the very basics such as being attentive to the time signature, staying within the pitch range for an instrument and trying to use arpeggio patterns, I didn't really have a clue about how the composition question should be tackled. For both children I paid for a 1-1 composition lesson with a teacher who specialised in this area.

As a trained musician I'm sure you'll not face these problems but before helping DC prepare I had to build my own working mental model of how scales, intervals, transpositions, cadences etc are related. This meant that some of what I taught them would almost certainly be viewed as a terrible hack by any self-respecting musician - fortunately DC have forgotten a lot of it and will learn it properly in school.

nyr


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:25 pm 
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Thanks everyone. Really helpful!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:34 pm 
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Mine taught themselves over a few months. They did each grades 'Theory is Fun' book, followed by the relevant ABRSM book and backed up with the ABRSM Theory dictionary. They also used a free online resource (MyMusicTheory).

This time we're trying to do it properly and DS who has just done grade 1 violin is working through the Grade 1 book.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:30 am 
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Location: Reading
my DD has just passed her grade 5 theory - she worked her way through the Theory is fun books and I also bought her a 'how to pass grade 5' book from Amazon. She did a few past papers and all was good. Her piano teacher did teach her theory as well though - she didn't just learn it from the books. Now this stumbling block is out of the way she can get back to the instruments - grade 5 piano and alto sax next term so I am hoping for not too many xmas concerts!


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