Our virtual concert recorded in 2020 - 2021
Understanding the need for pupils’ progress
Many parents who care for education encourage their young children to learn to play a musical instrument. The best grammar and independent schools give preference to children who have attained a certificate between levels 2 and 4. What is the reason for such a preference? Here are just a few simple facts:
● Yes, learning to play a musical instrument is enjoyable but it is also a hard work. A piano level certificate serves as a proof of resilience, the ability to overcome challenges and concentrate. This is what the best schools require too.
● Playing music develops high-level intelligence and logical thinking. Those who are good at music are usually good at maths and languages.
● To achieve a piano level, a child needs to be organised, since this extra-curricular activity requires regular practice in addition to standard daytime school lessons and homework. Children who achieved a music level usually manage their time better than the rest of primary school pupils.
● And finally, music levels attained by a child give an indication of strong parental support.
Being aware of the practical side, I encourage children to sit the next piano level examinations without delay, as soon as they ready. In addition, I believe in progress. Having a goal is the best motivator – that is why my pupils progress quickly and steadily.
Piano & Music Theory
Those who have a high level of linguistic awareness understand music well, and vice versa, since music is also a language that is understood universally. Thanks to this connection, it was easy for me to write poetry and become a linguist after studying music for over 15 years from the age of 5. Moreover, it was music that inspired my poetry.
My approach to teaching music is similar to teaching language. I crave to pass on my understanding of musical phrase and features of expression. I teach my students to give expressive performances, which in turn reflects in their high grades at ABRSM examinations.
Following the philosophy of this examination board, which matches my own viewpoint, I develop my pupils as all-around musicians; I draw their attention to the styles of the music they play and to the application of music theory in practice. For that matter, I introduce music theory to my pupils at early stages so that they are prepared for the level examinations in music theory when it becomes necessary.
The Level 5 Music Theory certificate is a pre-requisite for level 6, 7 and 8 piano assessment. In preparation for music theory exams, I take my pupils through practice papers and teach a number of strategies in order to help them succeed.
It is important that young musicians polish their skills by performing in public. I organise an annual concert, where my pupils and some of the local musicians demonstrate their talents and inspiration. The concert usually happens 1-2 weeks before the summer music examinations that gives children the opportunity to build their confidence before the being tested for their next grade.
Music Theory Level 1-5
BOOKS to prepare for examinations:
The Level 5 Music Theory certificate is a pre-requisite for level 6, 7 and 8 practical music assessment. This means that one is not allowed to sit a Level 6 practical examination (for any instrument) without holding the Music Theory Certificate Level 5 or above. Here is a link to the ABRSM examinations requirements.
How easy is it to gain this Certificate?
The theory is the maths of music – and the Level 5 examination paper in this subject may be even more challenging than GCSE Mathematics. And just like maths, music theory requires a systematic approach to learning and teaching, knowledge of a large amount of information and regular written exercises.
Besides access to Level 6 practical examinations,
the BENEFITS of knowing music theory include:
Understanding the language of musical expression
Greater ability of a young musician to work unaided
Memorising instrumental pieces 2-3 times faster and more easily
Higher marks in the aural test (part of the practical examinations)
Improved sight-reading skills (part of the practical examinations)
Skills in playing music by ear
Skills in music composition
Improved general logical and analytical thinking
To cover music theory Levels 1-5, ABRSM
Elements of aural training for practical examinations. Example: identifying major and minor scales, intervals and chords by ear, perfect and imperfect cadences etc.
Homework will be set on a weekly basis.
Assessment: On completion of each level, the students will sit an internal assessment that will be a paper from a past ABRSM examination. At the end of the course, the students will be in a position to sit the music theory examination Level 5 with ABRSM.
Resources: Electronic resources will be provided by the tutor for printing out by students (there will be no need to buy textbooks).