What is the course about?
A course for those with some knowledge of music theory. Using the ABRSM/Trinity Grade 3 syllabus, you will further 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. All grade exams are available three times per year (Nov, Feb, June), and it is usual to sit your exam the term after your course finishes.
What will we cover?
- compound metres based on quavers (6/8, 9/8, 12/8)
- rhythms including the demisemiquaver and anacrusis
- pitch notation requiring more than two ledger lines
- octave transposition between treble and bass clef
- major and minor keys up to four sharps / flats, including scales, key signatures, tonic triads, and quantity and
quality of intervals above the tonic
- melodic phrase structure
- standard musical terms and signs.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- read, write, hear and clap and rhythms in compound metre
- understand and interpret the anacrusis
- read and write pitch beyond two ledger lines
- transpose at the octave between clefs
- read and write music notation in major and minor keys up to four sharps/flats
- understand a wider range of standard musical terms and signs
- answer questions on a Grade 3 theory music exam paper.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
At City lit our theory classes are cumulative:
- You need to have completed Music theory: grade 2 or have equivalent knowledge to join this grade 3 class
- In particular you must already have sound knowledge of major and minor keys up to three sharps and flats, simple rhythm and metre, and pitch on treble and bass clefs, including ledger lines.
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 3 (c.£5) [external website].
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course leads to Music theory: grade 4
For more details about musicianship and music theory please visit our blog: Musicianship and music theory at City lit which lists our full sequence of musicianship and music theory classes.
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