QUOTE(x-music-fairy-x @ Jun 8 2011, 12:29 PM)
So I think it is about time I took my music theory further than grade 5. Unfortunately I won't be able to afford a teacher to teach me it, but am willing nearer the time of the exam to pay for a few lessons..However is it possible to teach yourself? I have a friend who is doing grade 8 music theory is willing to help me if need be.
Also I was wonder which books are going to be the most helpful?
I've been told to get the AB guide to music theory part 2 and the music theory in practice grade 6. However one of the comments on the website when I looked was that this didn't cover everything, so is there a better book or other which would cover it?
I'm planning on getting some past papers nearer the time too.
Thanks Lisa x
I would advise against "Music Theory in Practice Grade 6". I found it next to useless and had a lot of stuff in there that was no longer on the syllabus. It was just confusing and stressful.
The Theory Workbook 6 published by ABRSM was much better. That's the one with the big 6 on the front cover.
The other book that I would recommend is Harmony in Practice by Anna Butterworth (plus the answer book) This was excellent and very well explained. You don't need all of it as it covers up to grade 8 but it is very easy to pick out which sections are relevant. On some other thread I seem to remember typing a list of the exact chapters and pages I had used for my grade 6 - if you look through the Theory and Composition section of the forum you will find some other threads about materials for self-study of grade 6 and it will be in there somewhere.
Past papers are invaluable and I would suggest you get them sooner rather than later so you can see exactly the type of questions asked - particularly for questions 4 and 5 where you are asked about extracts of music.
As to whether it is possible to teach yourself - yes it is. Lots of people on this forum have done it and done well, myself included. It is a good idea to have someone look over your work to make sure you are on the right track with things like harmony and figured bass. Having said that, I didn't have help and still managed it.