Grade 4 music theory (ABRSM) is a lower-intermediate level exam offered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
At this level you will study more complex keys and time signatures, such as scales (major, minor harmonic and minor melodic) with up to five flats/sharps in them, and all regular simple and compound time signatures, including more obscure ones such as 9/16, as well as more advanced rhythmic tools such as triplets and duplets. You'll also learn the chromatic scales.
This grade covers the tonic, dominant and subdominant chords, and intervals between any two notes (major, minor, perfect, augmented and diminished).
You'll learn how to read the alto clef (used by the viola) as well as lots of other facts about the standard orchestral instruments.
Grade 4 is an ideal preparation course if you are thinking about taking grade 5 sometime in the future.
Please note that the grade 4 course/syllabus overlaps with grade 3, so we will also review some topics from grade 3 (those that normally cause the most confusion!)
A review of accidentals and the rules that they follow, plus a look at double sharps and flats.
The time values of each rest, including the whole bar rest.
Learn the major scales for grade 4; B and Db.
Learn the harmonic minor scales of G# minor and Bb minor.
Learn how to write/recognise key signatures with up to 5 flats/sharps, including using the circle of 5ths.
Melodic and harmonic intervals, interval qualities of major, minor, perfect, augmented and diminished.
Learn how to construct the tonic, dominant and subdominant triads
Learn about the simple and compound time signatures for grade 4.
A review of how to rewrite a rhythm in notes of half or double the value (grades 2-3) plus a detailed look at rewriting a simple time rhythm in a compound time signature, and vice versa.
Transposing at the unison and at the octave, between the treble, bass and alto clefs.
You need to know about the standard orchestral instrument, the families they belong to and the clefs they normally use.
Articulation is all about the different ways a note can be attacked: slurs, staccato, accents and more.
Mordents, turns, trills, acciaccaturas and appoggiaturas.
"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.