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Music Theory Lessons

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What are the pass marks for the grade 5 exam?

You may think that the violin is all about being able to perform and play the examination pieces. However, this is not the case. Before being able to take your grade 6 and onwards practical violin ABRSM examinations, you must at least have passed the grade 5 theory examination. The passing grades out of 100 are:

  1. 66 points to attain a pass
  2. 80 points to attain a merit
  3. 90 points to attain a distinction
What is the music theory exam syllabus

The theory examination tests different topics for different levels. For easier grades, students will need to know the basic such as notes, chords and rhythm. This is to help students build up their foundation to learn challenging stuff in future.

For higher grades such as grade 5 onwards, students are required to compose their own music and memorise the categories music instruments are in. For example, the violin is in the strings family whereas the flute is in the woodwind family.

For every grade however, students are required to memorise french or spanish music terms such as ‘allegro’, which means that you would have to play the song fast.

The download below is from ABRSM, to help you gain a better understanding about music theory.

ABRSM Music Theory

What are some tips for music theory exam preparation?

If you have your music violin theory examination around the corner, these tips might be useful for you:

  • Have at least two 2B pencils along with a sharpener and eraser. (No pens are allowed.)
  • Summarise your notes to read before the exam. (Remember not bring them into the examination room.)
  • Leave your home early. (To avoid rushing or being late.)

We have created a video teaching you the basics about grade 1 music theory. If you are taking your first music theory exam, click on the link above to watch the video. We are sure that the video will be helpful for you.

How can I improve my music theory?

Having a good violin teacher and music theory books is crucial in learning and improving your music theory. Your violin teacher would need to guide and teach you your music theory. If the violin teacher himself is not good in music theory, you might end up learning the wrong things. Hence it is important to find a ABRSM diploma certified and encouraging violin teacher.

There are many music theory books in music shops. However, only a few are good and include many practises for you. Our violin teachers recommend the Theory Revision Workbook by Lee Ching Ching. This is suitable for Grade 1 students taking beginner violin lessons as it covers all the ABRSM music theory exam syllabus. Alternatively, you could ask your violin teacher for a personal recommendation.

Can I join your music theory lessons if my exam is upcoming?

In some cases, students need extra practice and help to pass their music theory exam. If you are one of them, join our theory lessons. There are both private violin lessons and intensive violin lessons where you can ask the private violin teacher anything without having other students around you.

Watch a free Grade 1 music theory tutorial?

We have created a free grade 1 music theory tutorial featuring our student taking over the role as a teacher. In the video, we will teach you all the music theory basics- the key signature, sharps and flats, clefs and notes. To watch the video, click on the link above.

Want to register for our music theory lessons?

If you are interested in our music theory lessons, please fill up the contact form on the right.