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Why learn music theory?

Love playing your instrument, playing solo or with others or just listening to music?  Music theory really helps you to understand the music you are immersed in.

How can theory help me?

Theory can help your playing in all sorts of ways.  Sight-reading is much easier when you understand how the music is written, and what those strange Italian words mean.  Scales make so much more sense when you get how they are created and how they relate to each other.  Syncopated rhythms are a piece of cake when you understand how and why we decided to write them like that!

Ever fancied composing your own music?

Understanding music theory really helps you if you want to compose your own material.  It enables you to notate music accurately so you can pick it up the next day or give it to someone else to play.  It helps you to find harmonies and accompaniments for tunes you've written.  It allows you to write appropriately for the instrument you've chosen.

Studying GCSE or A-Level music?

Music theory is absolutely invaluable for GCSE and A-Level studies.  The listening examinations are absolutely full of theory content - understanding the style of music, the way it has been written, the notation, the harmonies, the basslines, the key signatures, etc.

Points mean prizes

ABRSM Grades 6-8 in Music Theory count towards UCAS points - if you get a distinction in Grade 8 theory, you get 10!

Do I have to learn music theory?

Not at all ... but if you are going to do ABRSM Grades 6+ and take the exam, you do need to pass Grade 5 theory first.  You can bypass this by taking another exam board, but this could limit your choices of piece.