Music Theory - Composition for Instruments Grade 5 ABRSM

Gain full marks in the ABRSM Grade 5 music theory melody composition question, composing a melody for instruments.
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  • Lectures 20
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 2/2015 English

Course Description

Music Theory: How to Compose a Melody for an Instrument (Grade 5 ABRSM)

*** IMPORTANT: This short course is also included in my Grade 5 ABRSM Complete Course ***

This music theory course will show you how to get top marks in your composition in the Grade 5 theory exam (ABRSM).

  • Find out what the examiners are looking for in your composition
  • Learn an easy-to-remember method for creating a great composition
  • Find out what mistakes music theory candidates often make, so you don't make them yourself!
  • PDFs included

The composition section of the ABRSM's grade 5 music theory exam is compulsory and worth 15% of the whole exam - it's a real make-or-break question.

You can only get a "distinction" (90%+) overall if you do really well in the composition question.

Come and join me for more than 90 minutes' HD video instruction, 5 flash quizzes, 9 PDFs of notes to download, music examples and online support!

We'll cover these topics in depth: Adapting the given opening, rhythm, melody, performance directions, harmonic structure/cadences.

Not sure if the course is for you? Take a look at the free preview videos below, and remember, you get a 30-day money back guarantee.

The most important thing to understand about this question is that you are being tested on applying music theory, rather than your skills as a composer. After all, it is not a composition exam! You don't need to be a budding Mozart; in fact you don't even need to be able to "hear music in your head". You simply need to follow the guidelines set out in this course, and success will be yours.

Bonus Information!

As you go along, you'll get plenty of revision of other important music theory topics, such as key and time signatures, how to work out key, melodic minor scales, beaming and intervals.

Each step is presented to you in HD video with an accompanying PDF, so that you can easily follow what I'm explaining and read up on it again for consolidation. You can also use the discussion board to ask questions - I'm happy to help!

I've also got some real-life compositions to show you, so that you can learn from others' mistakes.

A little about your teacher

I've been tutoring students in music theory for over 8 years, and my speciality is training for the ABRSM music theory exams. I've taken many students from being abysmal failures at composition to waltzing through on exam day and bagging a merit (80%+) or distinction (90%+) for the exam.

Hope to see you soon!

Victoria Williams

Founder of the website My Music Theory .com

Keywords: music theory, music fundamentals, music

What are the requirements?

  • The course is aimed at students taking the ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory exam.
  • You should already have a good grasp of the fundamentals of music: You should already be able to read music (treble and bass clefs) and have basic music theory knowledge, for example how to understand key signatures and time signatures.
  • The course is suitable for all ages, from 10 and up.
  • The course is also ideal for teachers who would like some ideas about training students for this section of the exam.
  • The course is delivered using both UK and USA terminology (crotchets and quarter notes!)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Gain top marks in the instrumental composition question in the ABRSM grade 5 music theory exam.
  • Push your overall mark up to a merit or distinction.
  • Gain an insight into how all musical compositions are structured at a basic level.
  • Learn the music fundamentals of composition

Who is the target audience?

  • This composition course is for students who are going to sit the ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory exam.

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: Introduction to the Composition Course
Is this Course for Me?

Introduction to the course - what's in each section.


Look at a typical exam question and learn what the question will (and won't) ask you to do.

2 questions

Questions about the typical exam question

The Marking Criteria *
Six Steps to Success *

This is a summary of the composition method outlined in this section.

Section 2: How to Compose

Introduction to the section - How to Compose

1. Preparation *
1 question

How to tell whether a composition is in the major or minor key.

2. Cadences *
1 question

Quiz about cadences

3. Musical Building Blocks: Rhythm *
4. Musical Building Blocks: Melody *
1 question

What things are acceptable to use in the rhythm and melody of your piece?

5. Performance Directions *
1 question

Which performance directions are essential?

6: Checking *
Section 3: Composition Gallery
Composition Gallery
Student Composition 1: 2/4 time, B minor, 14/15 points

Watch me go through a student's composition and explain how they did.

Student Compositions: 6/8 Time and D minor bass clef
Section 4: Further Resources

In this lesson you'll find out where to go for more resources related to music theory and composition.

Find out about Grade 6 Music Theory ABRSM
Bonus Lecture: Get Discounts on other Courses!

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Instructor Biography

Victoria Williams AmusTCL BA(Mus), Music Theory Specialist - Founder of My Music Theory

"This course was absolutely first rate in every way. Ms. Williams presented the material clearly, thoughtfully, and with an obvious love of teaching. The only way this could possibly have been any better is to have had the privilege of studying with her in person. I'm amazed by how much information I learned -- and in such an enjoyable way! Ms. Williams is someone who not only has a deep understanding of music theory, but a rare and wonderful creativity that makes her such an effective teacher of it. Bravo and thank you!"

Victoria graduated from the University of Leeds in 1995 with a BA Honours in Music, specialising in Musicology. She also holds the AmusTCL diploma in Music Theory, from Trinity College London, with distinction.

Since 2007, Victoria has been teaching music theory online and by email via her acclaimed website MyMusicTheory, offering free music theory tuition following the structured syllabus of the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music).

Victoria teaches all ABRSM levels, from grade 1 (beginner) up to grade 8/diploma (undergraduate level) and has an in depth knowledge of both the syllabus requirements and examiners' marking schemes. As well as teaching the ABRSM syllabus, Victoria is equally at home preparing students for the Trinity Guildhall exams, the Australian AMEB exams and the AP Music Theory exams taken in the USA.

Victoria's lessons break the tricky concepts of music and music theory down into easy-to-understand steps. She approaches teaching from the learner's point of view, building up on existing knowledge little by little, and avoids the “baffling with detail" stance taken by traditional music theory text books. She has an outstanding track-record with her students' exam successes, with the vast majority gaining top rated “merits and distinctions" from the ABRSM.

Victoria is an accomplished pianist and clarinettist, holding ABRSM grade 8 in both, and also composes in her free time. She has three children and two crazy cats.

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