Theory - ABRSM

Although theory exams can be taken for every grade (Grades 1-8), the only pre-requisite for any pupil wishing to take an advanced ABRSM practical exam (Grades 6, 7 & 8), is Grade 5 Theory.

Basic music theory is normally covered within a pupil's instrumental lesson, however, the knowledge needed for Grade 5 theory is much more extensive and complex. The time taken to learn this material requires specific theory lessons, usually an hour long.

At Thornbury Music, Grade 5 Theory lessons are taught individually or in small groups. Depending on the pupil's knowledge, it can take anywhere between six months and eighteen months to learn the material required for this public examination.

Many pupils have negative concepts about music theory, and we pride ourselves here in making these classes as enjoyable and as fun as possible.

Please note that TRINITY COLLEGE LONDON do not require any theory examinations for any practical examinations taken.

Practical Musicianship

There is an alternative to Grade 5 theory, Grade 5 practical musicianship or PM. PM is only suitable students who have a very good ear and excel at Aural. The tests are based on aural skills, sightreading, improvisation etc. We have to date had a 100% success rate in this exam but only a few candidates sit this exam every year, and it is by no means an easier option unless you are gifted in this area.


Aural is taught both within lessons and outside of lessons. Extra aural lessons are offered to any student preparing for an exam.

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