Jump to content


Photo

Online music theory exam - my experience

music theory online theory online abrsm online music theory theory grade 5

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 peterhontaru

peterhontaru

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 37 posts
  • Member: 899767
    Joined: 12-July 19

Posted 24 November 2020 - 22:24

Hello all,
 
I've made a fairly comprehensive video about my experience with the ABRSM online music theory exam and thought I should share here too. I was told a lot of people looking to progress to the grades found it helpful to see someone else's journey and it is the kind of video I wish I could've seen a while ago, which is why I made it in the first place.
 
It covers some positives and negatives with the ABRSM Grade 5 exam as well as tips on what I found helpful while learning for the exam and the books I studied from too. Long story short, I think the online theory exam is a great alternative to the traditional face to face exam.
 
Having just taken the Grade 6 performance exam in piano, I am considering making a video on that too, so please do let me know if you have any specific questions and I will ensure to include them.
 
 
If you'd like to skip through, here's a timeline: 
Timestamps: 
00:00 - intro 
00:38 - context 
01:52 - negatives 
03:30 - positives 
05:43 - results 
06:55 - books 
09:12 - tips 
10:32 - summary 
 
I hope this is not seen as promotional as I don't get anything out of it, but have to disclaim that it is my own video. If a moderator finds this inappropriate, please remove it and I apologise in advance.

  • 0

#2 mohamedmoustafa

mohamedmoustafa

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 15 posts
  • Member: 900554
    Joined: 06-December 20

Posted 15 December 2020 - 18:51

Hi Peter,

I checked your YouTube channel & I am truly impressed. I started learning Piano this month. I attended 3 sessions so far, learned some very basic notes & how to do A & C major scales, yet I can't wait to use both hands separately & know more about music theory. Also, I noticed that you played songs without notes from the first month. I thought I wouldn't play without notes unless I have 5+ years of experience whatsoever :D Anyway, I am proud of what you've accomplished & feel free to shot tips & tricks so I can catch up ^^

Thanks,
Moustafa 


  • 0

#3 peterhontaru

peterhontaru

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 37 posts
  • Member: 899767
    Joined: 12-July 19

Posted 18 December 2020 - 13:21

Thank you so much, Mohamed :)

 

It means a lot to hear you found it helpful/inspiring and very glad to see you started the journey yourself. I think there's just too much to talk about when improving at the piano and at the same time it's impossible to say do this, this and this and you'll improve. However, by far the most important thing is consistency in practice. Try do to a bit every day and long term you'll improve.

 

Regarding playing from memory, I personally find that to be one of the easiest things but maybe it's because I did it a lot to a point where memorisation isn't too challenging, or maybe I am predisposed. On the other side, I still need to practice sight reading a lot as it is not my strong point and working on it almost daily.

 

Good luck with your progress. I will be posting a video soon about my piano performance exams, similar to this theory video :)


  • 0

#4 YellowLemon77

YellowLemon77

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 81 posts
  • Member: 897222
    Joined: 22-January 17
  • Caldicot

Posted 22 December 2020 - 11:59

I am hugely impressed with your journey!  I have been playing since 2016 and am only studying towards Grade 4 now... and struggling too.  I do have 2 children (whom I have been home schooling for the majority of 2020 since March... starting Grade 4 in March).  I usually practice about 1 hour each day.

 

Well done!  What is your secret?  :)  Pure talent or much more than 1 hour per day?


  • 1

#5 peterhontaru

peterhontaru

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 37 posts
  • Member: 899767
    Joined: 12-July 19

Posted 28 December 2020 - 17:13

Thank you so much :)

 

We all advance at different speeds and just because I passed a higher exam doesn't necessarily mean I am automatically a better musician.

 

I practice in between 1 hour and 1 hour and a half most days and have been practicing consistently all throughout the 3 years.

 

I completely understand, having to home school children takes a lot of effort and energy.


  • 0

#6 kevin1981

kevin1981

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 48 posts
  • Member: 899738
    Joined: 29-June 19

Posted 31 December 2020 - 11:17

@peterhontaru, did you really only start to play piano since January 18? So you have reached G6 under 3 years! It would be great if you could share your tips. I know practice is the main thing which I think we all do, but I guess practice in a useful way is more important.
  • 0

#7 peterhontaru

peterhontaru

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 37 posts
  • Member: 899767
    Joined: 12-July 19

Posted 03 January 2021 - 13:32

Technically I started around a month before that as I joined a couple group adult lessons but I didn't have a piano until then, so I only include from when I had a piano and actually practiced.

 

I don't think I have any hidden secrets really, I was just good at consistently applying all the generic advice that you see out there. I say generic because everyone recommends the same thing and it actually works.

 

Some that helped me the most is dividing my sessions into 30 min blocks (sometimes I do one, most times I do 2-3 blocks in a day or rarely 4).

 

Another is to always know what you're going to work on and focus on actually practicing hard bits not playing the thing that you already know because that will not advance you. 

 

Lastly, consistent practice is much much much better in my opinion that practicing in a couple days, even if you end up practicing more that way. By that principle, 7 total hours a week of 1 hour daily is much better in my opinion than let's say 10 total hours if you practiced all of that in 2-3 days. The brain needs time to digest everything you learn.

 

I always try and post things that I think others might find helpful on my YouTube channel if you'd like to follow. If not, Graham Fitch and Josh Wright have some absolutely incredible videos out there that help me a lot, so check them out :)


  • 0

#8 peterhontaru

peterhontaru

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 37 posts
  • Member: 899767
    Joined: 12-July 19

Posted 07 January 2021 - 09:23

I have finally made a video about my Grade 6 ABRSM Piano performance exam covering my experience, comparison to practical, feedback, pieces.

 
Hope those of you interested in the pathway will find it helpful! If you have any questions, please do let me know and I will do my best to help. When I started, I could only find the ABRSM official videos, which were very helpful but would've loved to also see feedback from someone who has actually taken the exam themselves.
 

  • 0

#9 dorfmouse

dorfmouse

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1623 posts
  • Member: 1946
    Joined: 18-August 04
  • Germany

Posted 07 January 2021 - 10:43

Deserved congratulations to you for your result and excellent video feedback!

A thing that I think will be encouraging for many is that you achieved excellent results using simple equipment - not a professionally miked grand piano; with just a digital and your mobile phone your musicality still was clear to hear.
(About how far from the piano was the phone?)
Carry on the good work!
  • 0

#10 peterhontaru

peterhontaru

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 37 posts
  • Member: 899767
    Joined: 12-July 19

Posted 09 January 2021 - 02:16

Thank you very much :)

 

I hope so too, I am very open about my progress and pretty much everything piano related on my channel with the intention to show others how much it takes and provide an accurate view. Obviously, might be different for others but, as a student, I can only share my story :)

 

The exam was actually recorded in a church before the lockdown, 2 minutes from where I live, on a grand piano. The sound quality was with a phone though, placed on a cheap amazon tripod. I think it was only 3-4 meters away from the piano. The distance is not that important, but I would highly recommend you check to ensure everything is in frame and that the sound quality is good before you record the full take.

 

If you want to see exactly what it looks like, there's a few videos on the channel just before this one (you'll see the black grand piano in a church setting). It's not those videos that I sent, but they were all recorded from the same location.

 

You could definitely record in your bedroom though, but I was fortunate to have been offered the possibility to use that grand for a short time so took my chance!


  • 0





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: music theory, online theory, online abrsm, online music theory, theory grade 5