Practical musicianship is not the only focus here at St Angela’s Academy of Music. We believe that a thorough knowledge of musical theory is also very important and to that purpose we offer a series of theory classes, delivered by Mr Paddy Butler. The classes are in conjunction with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and are aimed at second level students and adults.
New students to theory generally commence at Grade 3 level while more advanced students progress to Grades 5 and 6. A significant consideration in relation to these theory classes is that instrumental examinations with the ABRSM require students to present a certificate of minimum Grade 5 theory in order to be examined at Grade 6 level or higher. Furthermore, having a Grade 6 ABRSM theory qualification can lead to a possible exemption from the entrance exams to some third level music courses.
The classes provide an excellent foundation in musical theory, enriching students’ instrumental learning and also assisting in the study of musicianship for both Junior Cert and Leaving Cert, while at the same time delving into areas which are not part of the general musicianship syllabus. Topics covered include rhythm, pitch, scale writing, comprehension and composition. Additionally, there is an opportunity to study Sibelius, a software program which allows users to create, edit and print musical scores.
Written examinations in theory usually take place around the first week of March and the candidates are prepared beforehand with handouts and sample exam questions. Students consistently find this area of study extremely useful and enlightening in terms of their overall musical development and it is a highly recommended learning resource at St Angela’s Academy.