ABRSM Music Theory Grade 1

All you need to know to fast track to success with your grade 1 ABRSM theory exam.
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  • Lectures 16
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 2/2015 English

Course Description

This course of instruction covers the grade 1 ABRSM theory syllabus in full. Within the syllabus you will be shown the basic principles of music theory covering key areas which will enhance your understanding and lay the foundations for further study to higher grades if desired. The learning modules cover accidentals, adding missing bar lines, intervals, key signatures, major scales, notes & note values, questions on a melody, simple time signatures, single dotted notes & rests, the stave, tonic triads, treble & bass clef and writing a two-bar rhythm. The majority of the course is delivered via video tuition. However after each module you can use a vast array of relevant and informative resource material which includes questions with answers and an online test module for each subject which will automatically mark your answers. This course will provide you with a fast track opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge to pass the grade 1 theory exam. This knowledge will open up many doors for aspiring musicians. If you acquire a certain amount of understanding of the 'nuts and bolts' of theory you will be able to learn to read music with ease. Having an understanding of theory will increase your opportunities of playing music with others. If you read music you can join local groups, bands or orchestra's and enjoy playing with like minded musicians. If you need to gain your grade 1 ABRSM theory exam or if you just wish to brush up on your theory knowledge, this course if for you. ABRSM currently works in over 90 different countries around the world so there is probably the opportunity for you to sit an exam wherever you maybe in the world.

What are the requirements?

  • This course provides an introduction to the basic fundamentals of music so you do not need to have any prior knowledge of music theory.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Work with and use the following basic musical notation:
  • The stave
  • Notes & note values
  • Treble & bass clef
  • Accidentals
  • Major scales
  • Key signatures
  • Simple time signatures
  • Single dotted notes
  • Rests & dotted rests
  • Adding missing bar lines
  • Intervals
  • Tonic triads
  • Writing a four- bar rhythm
  • Questions on a melody

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is particularly suited to students embarking on the grade one ABRSM theory exam. It will also be of benefit to those just wishing to brush up on their theory knowledge.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Welcome and introduction

Hi, I'm Michael Luck and this lecture gives me an opportunity to explain how to use this course and to make the most of the resources provided.

Section 2: How to write music notation

In this module you will learn about the construction of the stave with bar-lines and the importance of the correct positioning of notes on the lines and spaces. 


In this module we will be looking at notes and their value. We will also see how to write notes correctly on the stave.


In this module you will learn about the treble and bass clefs and their importance when naming notes on the stave.


In this module you will learn about accidentals, namely the sharp, flat & natural sign and how they effect the notes they precede.

8 questions

Test your knowledge for theory grade 1.

Section 3: The construction of the major scale

In this module you will learn about the structure of the C, G, F & D major scales.


In this module you will learn about the format of key signatures for the keys of C, G, D & F major in both treble & bass clef.


In this module you will learn the meaning of the time signatures of 2/4, 3/4 & 4/4.

The construction of the major scale
16 questions
Section 4: Rhythm variation using dotted notes & rests

In this module you will learn about the use and values of the single dotted note.


In this module you will learn about the semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver & semiquaver rests and their dotted equivalents.

Dotted notes & rests
19 questions
Section 5: Analysis of two & three note forms & use of bar lines

In this module you will learn how to add missing bar lines to short melodies in 2/4, 3/4 & 4/4 time.


In this module you will learn how to count harmonic and melodic intervals between two notes.


In this module you will learn about the tonic triad and how to write a tonic triad on the stave.

Intervals, triads & missing bar lines
26 questions
Section 6: Understanding rhythms & melodies

In this module you will learn the basics of writing rhythms to a given opening. Care must be taken as it's important to understand the time signature before writing your rhythm.


In this module you will learn about signs, terms, note values, intervals, tonic triads and note pitches as shown in examples of a short melody.

Writing a four-bar rhythm & general questions
21 questions
Section 7: Review & congratulations

Course review & further study

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Instructor Biography

Michael Luck, Founder of Music Theory Online

I have been teaching music theory for over 30 years. As a peripatetic music teacher I have helped students of all ages with their theory studies. I can help students studying with any examination board but I mainly teach the ABRSM syllabus. I play saxophone and flute and gained a DipABRSM certificate in performance during 2008. Over the last eight years I have been teaching theory 'one to one' via the internet to students around the world. At present I teach in the UK, Ireland, Australia, USA, South Korea, India, Singapore and Sweden. I have recently started teaching the new LCM (London College of Music) popular theory syllabus. This syllabus is now often used as a prerequisite to enter performing arts universities. I am also a WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee) examiner marking the GCSE exam papers in Wales UK.

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