What is the course about?
A course for those with knowledge of the basics of music theory. Using the ABRSM/Trinity Grade 2 syllabus, you will increase your knowledge and understanding of musical language and notation through practical exercises in class in conjunction with written homework.
This course may be used as preparation for an ABRSM music theory exam. Please contact the music office (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to sit your exam at City Lit, which is an ABRSM Theory exam centre. ABRSM theory exam dates/fees are published online here: https://gb.abrsm.org/en/exam-booking/exam-dates-and-fees/ all grade exams are available three times per year, and it is usual to sit your exam the term after your course finishes.
What will we cover?
- Subdivision of the beat into triplets
- Time signatures of 2/2, 3/2, 4/2 and 3/8, including the grouping of rhythmic values within bars
- ledger lines on treble and bass clefs
- keys of A, Bb and Eb major
- the construction of minor keys (A, E, D): harmonic and melodic scales, scale degrees, intervals above the tonic,
key signatures, tonic triads
- commonly used musical terms and symbols.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- read, write, hear, clap and play/sing rhythms in 2/2, 3/2, 4/2 and 3/8
- understand and apply triplet rhythms
- read and write pitch in treble and bass clefs, up to two ledger lines above/below the stave
- read, hear and write music in major keys up to three sharps / flats
- read and write music in simple minor keys (A, E, D)
- understand the use of melodic and harmonic minor constructions
- understand commonly used musical terms and symbols
- answer questions on a Grade 2 theory music exam paper.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You need a confident understanding of the basic building blocks of music and notation (having completed
Music theory: grade 1, Musicianship 2, or equivalent). You will need to be able to read and write notes on treble and bass staves, simple time signatures and rhythms, and keys up to two sharps or one flat.
You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussion and practical exercises, take notes in English and write staff notation.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor presentation and explanation, written and practical exercises (clapping, singing, playing) written exercises, tutor feedback, class discussion. Written homework between sessions will help you practise and consolidate what you learn in class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need manuscript paper, pencil and eraser, notebook and pen.
Please buy and bring to class:
ABRSM Guide to Music Theory Part I (covers Grades 1–5) (c.£7) [external website]
ABRSM Music Theory in Practice Grade 2 (c.£5) [external website].
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course leads to Music theory: grade 3
Study of music theory is greatly enhanced by our Practical musicianship courses. For more details about musicianship and music theory please visit our blog:
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details