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Music theory supports those participating in music lessons to read and understand the music better; it provides the ability to critically listen to music, detect errors in the music and write and perform music accurately. This in turn assists in interpretation and performance. To truly learn to play an instrument there needs to be consistent study and appreciation of music theory.

Theory teaching takes place during lessons but additional teaching may take place during the year as group theory classes. Basic music theory is taught alongside instrument tuition, but dedicated lessons in theory are usually needed in order to pass the Grade 5 standard. In order to progress to higher grades (6-8) of ABRSM, Grade 5 theory is required and as the School of Music actively promotes ABRSM as the chosen examination board, specific grade 5 theory group classes also take place throughout the school year. Please note that not all students may come under the ABRSM umbrella but can still partake in sitting theory exams. If students pass grades 6 to 8 they receive valuable UCAS points which can be added towards University entries. Time frames for completing theory training varies from student to student.

As a member of St. Columb's School of Music, each student receives theory within their music lessons, and are also eligible to attend group theory classes for free when they are arranged throughout the year. These are not compulsory but recommended. Individual theory lessons and extra grade 5 theory lessons can also be arranged with an individual music teacher at the same cost as a musical lesson.

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