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Thinking of doing grade 6 theory, advice please


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#1 Bleamy

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 12:39

As my tendinitis is keeping away from the piano I might do theory instead.
I think theory is really useful to get a deeper picture of pieces by analysing harmonies.(I know nothing about them, sometimes I can't even recognise the right  key and impossible to notice the modulations) 
 

The next theory exam at the end of February, is it too late to start studying? What is the hardest part of grade 6? Is there any  working strategy to approach the exam successfully?
 

I studied grade 5 with Victoria Willians Website. I was exceptionally good.
I saw she is selling books on Amazon as well.
Has somebody tried her Music theory book?
https://www.amazon.c...ms music theory


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#2 Dotty old crotchet

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 13:47

I have all the Victoria Williams books up to grade 5 but I haven't seen the grade 6 one. They are suitable for adults, very clear, no padding, no background info, just what you need for the exam. They seem a little expensive, but they do include exercises with answers and a mock exam paper with answers. They are self published and the typeface does look a bit basic and I would have appreciated the font size being a bit bigger. I easily get a distinction in any past papers that I try so I guess they are good books. Personally, I would have appreciated a bit more background information and context.
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#3 Dotty old crotchet

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 13:54

Just to add that my reason for studying the theory is similar to yours as sore hands really limit the amount of playing I can do. I do enjoy using these books very much. Mostly they do indeed fill the need to be doing something musical although sometimes it just adds to the frustration and it's better to think about something else entirely.
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#4 Bleamy

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 15:07

Just to add that my reason for studying the theory is similar to yours as sore hands really limit the amount of playing I can do. I do enjoy using these books very much. Mostly they do indeed fill the need to be doing something musical although sometimes it just adds to the frustration and it's better to think about something else entirely.

LOL, yes, it is frustrating!.  I never thought that music can be so enjoyable and addictive! smile.png


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#5 sbhoa

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 15:22

If you've not yet looked at grade 6 you may think it's something from another planet when you do.

I think that it helps if you already have some basic understanding of harmony. As you are a pianist doing some work on keyboard harmony first could be very useful.

A knowledge of standard orchestral instruments helps a lot too. When it comes to transposition you don't get given the answer as you do at grade 5...you have to know the transposing instruments and interval of transposition. Listening to orchestral music while following the score can help you to become more familiar with looking at an orchestral score.

Without all that accumulated background I know that I would have found it much harder to tackle the later theory grades though people do manage without.

That's my experience anyway.


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#6 Hildegard

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 15:28

Just to echo sbhoa, the step ffrom Grade 5 to Grade 6 theory is huge. It would be an enormous task to be ready for the February exam if you are only just starting - especially as you say you sometimes struggle to identify key and modulations. Sorry not to be more encouraging!


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#7 BadStrad

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 16:17

Another echo from me too. If you can't easily analyse harmonies (or do any of the other things mentioned) then I would say entering for the February exam would be a waste of your money.
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#8 SingingPython

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 18:26

Definitely start working for it but don't think about entering for the exam until you've done a fair bit.  Good luck and enjoy the journey!


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#9 sbhoa

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 19:04

I took a year to do grade 6 with a teacher and I began with a basic working knowledge of harmony and a lot of experience in instrumental ensembles as well as being around grade 7 piano. 


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#10 Cyrilla

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 23:58

Have you thought about perhaps going on a Kodály course?

 

It's a challenging yet enjoyable way of learning music theory in a very practical way (singing-based).   The BKA's Spring and Summer courses offer musicianship classes for all levels of experience.

 

It can be just a tiny bit addictive...

 

:whistling:


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#11 Bleamy

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 14:40

Have you thought about perhaps going on a Kodály course?

 

It's a challenging yet enjoyable way of learning music theory in a very practical way (singing-based).   The BKA's Spring and Summer courses offer musicianship classes for all levels of experience.

 

It can be just a tiny bit addictive...

 

whistling.gif

I love Kodaly really.  it would be the most wonderful thing to learn musicianship by Kodaly the reason why I started to play piano is that singing (even talking) is very painful due to acid reflux. crying.gif 
Thank you for your response anyway smile.png


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#12 Bleamy

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 15:04

Thank you for sharing your opinion with me. i got some great ideas. smile.png
  


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#13 sbhoa

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 16:53

Thank you for sharing your opinion with me. i got some great ideas. smile.png
  

Perhaps a good first move could be to make sure that you know the grade 5 stuff thoroughly. No hesitations with those key signatures and learn to spot modulations in the music you are playing. 

Lists you may have had for talking about the period of a piece for your aural will be useful too as will being able to transpose at the intervals of a major 2nd, minor 3rd, perfect 4th and 5th. 

You could learn the order the instruments appear in an orchestral score along with German, Italian and French names of instruments. 


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#14 Tenor Viol

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:50

Then there's the realisation of figured bass as well


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#15 Outspan

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 13:13

Hi Bleamy,

 

I too have all of Victoria's downloadable grades 1-8.. I find them most helpful with students who need perhaps a different way of explaining things (Grades 1-5). I'm finding more and more that the ABRSM books just don't offer enough context or even explain more simply, it's hard for those who are learning these new terms; whilst they advise their AB books 1 & 2 for more details, even these confuddle students, particularly the younger ones.

 

I too am going back to studies and self-teaching the Grade 6; I have found again the Grade 6 ABRSM book full of details but difficult to cut through & NO suggested answers! So I've just started Victoria's grade 6... not very far through but it's really helpful and break is down to sizeable chunks.

 

I agree with others, that covering the material and being ready for Feb 28th might be pushing it, especially since the closing date is next week, but I wish you all the best. 

 

Regards

 

Outspan


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