This course has concessions available

Read Music: Theory II

A series of modular courses which prepare students for the (optional) ABRSM exam; many of those who take the exam pass with distinction. A complete beginner would start at Grade I and could, with tutor guidance and the support of Kodály musicianship exercises, attain the Grade V qualification within 2 years.

Who is this course for

This course follows on from Learn to Read Music Grade 1, and is suitable
for all those who wish to develop a basic understanding of the principles
of written music through extensive theoretical exercises. Please note that
this course is not suitable for complete beginners. Instrumentalists and
singers may also find this course useful.

What does this course cover

This course aims to give an introduction to fundamentals of music notation.
Topics are taught in fortnightly blocks (depending on the complexity of the
topic) with frequent revision schemes. Some historical background will be
given where appropriate.

Topics covered will include:
Ledger lines
Time signatures
The major keys of A, B-flat and E-flat
The minor keys of A, E and D
Groupings of notes and rests
Composing simple 4-bar rhythms
Performance directions

By the end of the course students should:
1. Have a clear understanding of the topics covered. (see course content)

2. Demonstrate understanding through relevant written and aural exercises.

3. Be able to work through these exercises independently.

Part of the course will be spent revising for the Grade 1 exam which students may elect to take at the beginning of March.

What will it be like

It will be taught in a seminar/workshop environment.

The piano will be used when demonstrating various aspects. Input and discussion from students will be encouraged.

Aural dictations and practical 'hands on' exercises will supplement the theoretical exercises.
All written work done by students will be checked regularly. At the same time special attention will be given to various additional questions/difficulties of individual students, i.e. discussions : group/one and one/one.

Students will also be given the opportunity to evaluate their own progress.

What else do you need to buy or do

Music Theory in Practice (Grade 2) by Eric Taylor (3.00)
(Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music)

First Steps in Music Theory by Eric Taylor (5.95)
(Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music)
2013 Past Papers Grade 1 (2.25)

Some homework will be `suggested' each week making more sense of class work. Instrumental lessons strongly encouraged.

Students may like to consider enrolling in one of the choirs at the Mary Ward Centre, or some of the ensemble classes for string.

What this course could lead to

Piano, or other instrumental lessons, choir singing, further theoretical
studies; entering for Associated Board examinations. Please ask for advice.


I'm really enjoying the music theory course and look forward to Monday evenings. I started the Grade I course last term with hardly any knowledge of music theory or experience of singing. However, the tutor, Holger, is very patient and understanding, and the lessons are full of variety, including singing and clapping rhythms in a circle for half an hour, then moving on to the written theory. All the students are very friendly and support each other, and we regularly enjoy a laugh together. Often I don't want to leave when it's time to go home!

Karen Slater


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

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Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’