Grade 5 Music Theory ABRSM Online Course

Make autumn 2020 the best time to prepare your ABRSM Grade 5 music theory exam once and for all!

Much is said about ABRSM Grade 5 music theory. How hard and scary it is, how long the exam takes, how confusing is this and that…All rumors and insecurities that have converted Grade 5 music theory into a drama for most music students.

More than 22,000 candidates take this theory exam every year. Is it really a drama? No, it is definitely not. You just need to combine wisely these 3 elements: the right time to do it, the right materials to learn from and the right person to explain them. Easy.

14 sessions

Saturdays 10.30

Limited places

Grade 5 music theory is compulsory

Grade 5 music theory is required to progress to higher levels on the ABRSM syllabus. But it is not compulsory on previous grades, what leads you to be lost when you open your Grade 5 music theory book for the first time ever. It is an ABRSM curriculum controversy we teachers need to roll up our sleeves and get to work on.

The right time to do your Grade 5 music theory is together with your Grade 5 practical preparation. However, you would need a strong background and foundation in your instrument to be able to follow the classes with ease. Being familiar with previous grades’ contents will massively help you succeed in your Grade 5 music theory exam.

Easy to follow materials

Another polemic arises when you actually sit on the desk and open that Grade 5 music theory workbook. It does include a short introduction to do the exercises however, for further explanation on the matter, you are addressed to an external guide you have to buy on the side.

OK, let’s assume you did buy the pink guide and did some reading through it. You completed your Grade 5 music theory workbook and yet you are not able to correct your exercises because answers are not given. It is not a standalone tuition book. You have to buy another external workbook to know the model answers. Quite annoying.

Online music theory teacher

Then you want to solve your questions and go look up on Google or Youtube. There are thousands of videos and tutorials. But none of them will talk to you! None of them will give you any feedback on your “composing an 8 bars phrase” or your “transposition to the fifth”.

You need to interact with a teacher and ask all questions you need. Hampstead Piano Academy aims to facilitate the discussion of any misunderstanding, to provide a valuable aid for marking and instant feedback of the exercises in the Grade 5 music theory workbook.

Description of the Grade 5 Music Theory Course

Music Theory lessons

Internet has become an indispensable tool to continue with education nowadays. The way we used to understand the words “lessons, teaching, classroom…” is not the same anymore. The world has switched to online platforms, and we would like to invite you to discover it.

This Grade 5 music theory course is structured in 14 sessions running on a weekly basis all Saturdays at 10.30am.

Lessons will last for 40 minutes and will take place via Zoom. Participants will get access to the online meeting through a link sent with the booking confirmation.

During each session, one or more Grade 5 music theory chapters will be covered and some practical examples will be explained through our own mind maps, created specially for this course.

Students will be able to interact with the teacher at any time using the “raise hand” button or the chat. Answers to exercises, corrections and questions will also be discussed in group.

ABRSM Syllabus

This music theory online course will follow the syllabus of ABRSM Grade 5 music theory.

ABRSM stands for Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. It is the most popular examination board in the UK and its qualification is recognized in many countries internationally. Their assessments are available in 8 grades for both, music theory and performance.

Grade 5 is an intermediate but decisive level. A pass is needed at this step to continue with higher grades and guarantee that candidates have competent music literacy skills. Graded music theory and instrumental exams can be taken by any music student. They are currently available in more than 90 countries face-to-face and all over the world on their online versions (coming up!).

There are no restrictions or impediments to apply for these tests, with even adapted requirements for physically impaired pupils.

Any learner not afraid of this intermediate level is welcome to join!

Missed the date? Drop us a line to book your place in the next course scheduled .

Benefits of Learning Music Theory

Build a strong basis on your musical education

Learn your pieces with ease

Save time to focus on performance only during your practical lessons

Enhance your sight reading

Be fully aware of the composer’s intentions

Develop your improvisation skills

Why is Music Theory so important?

Music theory is the secret to an outstanding performance.

It provides musicians with the tools they need to learn, compose and enjoy their repertoire.

It’s a language on its own which allows performers to translate the elements of music and communicate them through sounds.

Thanks to it, interprets, composers and melomaniacs of all levels understand music in a meaningful way.

Why do I need the Grade 5 Course?

The main reason is because Grade 5 music theory is a prerequisite to upgrade to further levels in your instrument. Sooner or later… you will have to face it!

Taking the Grade 5 music theory course now will save you so much time in your future one-to-one lessons that you could use to master other challenges in your instrument.

Enjoy a different activity and make the most of your free time in these challenging months.

Advantages of taking this course

Join the class from the comfort of your home

Learn from our own easy mind maps

Interact with your teacher and other students

Become more confident with the ABRSM Grade 5 syllabus

Learn from specimen exam questions and worked examples

Save money buying many books and guides

Get ready to take the first exam available

Answer your questions in real time and mark your exercises

Learn Grade 5 music theory online

Grade 5 Music Theory Contents

Irregular time signatures

Grouping notes and rests within irregular time signatures

Tenor Clef

Recognizing notes on four different clefs (treble, bass, alto and tenor)


Transposing melodies to different intervals, clefs and instruments

Scales/key signatures

How scales are related to each other through the circle of fifths

Naming chords

How to identify and build Tonic, Supertonic, Subdominant and Dominant chords


How to easily classify simple and compound intervals on number and specie


What a cadence is and different types


The written-out representation of ornaments and embellishments

Instruments and voices

Different range of voices and orchestral instruments on various tuning

Terms and signs

Advanced vocabulary and performance directions

Contents of the Grade 5 Music Theory

What level is Grade 5 Music Theory?

Similar to the instrumental syllabuses, ABRSM divides its music theory curriculum into 8 levels, called grades.

Grade 5 is the highest intermediate level, which opens the door to the advanced courses from Grade 6 onwards.

A favorable result in a Grade 5 music theory test is the green light for all pupils to thrive in any further musical studies.

Everything you need to know

A deep understanding of the Grade 5 music theory contents is essential to interpret any instrumental piece at a high standard.

This and further grades will show certain complexities that students will successfully overcome with a thorough knowledge of the elements of music.

In these online lessons, you will learn from easy mind maps prepared by us specifically for this Grade 5 course.

Naming Chords in Grade 5 Music Theory
Not enough time for theory during your piano lessons? Join the course and be ahead!

Who is the Grade 5 music theory course for?

ABRSM students

  • Candidates who have been affected by the cancellation of ABRSM music theory exams will specially benefit from taking this course. A weekly lesson to revise all Grade 5 music theory concepts will make your answers more accurate and will help you be more confident.


  • It is compulsory to achieve a pass in Grade 5 music theory to continue with further practical exams. All pupils getting ready for their Grade 5 or 6 instrumental exams are encouraged to join us.

Eager pupils like you!

Learning Grade 5 music theory is the best opportunity to revolutionise your music making. If you are missing information to understand deeply your pieces or are confused about conflicting data in your head, you are amongst the participants who will enjoy this course!

The lessons are aimed at students who wish to improve their theory knowledge and enhance their appreciation and understanding of music.

Via Zoom live interactive sessions, you will get to discuss the course topics with your teacher and other pupils who might have the same or even smarter questions to be solved.

Reasons to choose us

Check your own exercises

One of the problems when self-studying ABRSM Grade 5 music theory is that answers to exercises are not provided in the workbook. You do not know if your exercises are correct unless you purchase the external answers book.

Students will benefit from a variety of resources to learn from and to mark their own exercises.

Stop watching robotic tutorials

The doubts pupils face when learning Grade 5 music theory might be challenging at times. Youtube, Google and some other websites have a lot of stuff to check however, they are prerecorded tutorials speaking to masses.

Say “no more” to video tutorials and answer your own questions on real time.

Interact with an experienced teacher

Lessons are taught by first class performers and experienced teachers. During these sessions, you will have the opportunity to interact with them and get the feedback you need.

Taught by Hampstead Piano Academy tutors, this course will help you know the contents of Grade 5 music theory inside out.

Looking for other grades?

Get ready for your music theory course

At this intermediate level, all pupils are expected to read music fluently. Students will make the most of their Grade 5 music theory course if they are familiar with previous grades’ theory contents or have a strong basis of musicianship.

Materials to use

The Grade 5 music theory course is designed following the ABRSM updated syllabus.

It will be indispensable for you to get the Music Theory in Practice Grade 5 workbook, plus the AB Guide to Music Theory Volume 2.

Should you wish to have another supporting material on the side, a manuscript paper book could also be very helpful in case you want to annotate comments or corrections, .

ABRSM Grade 5 Music theory

Music Theory Grade 5 Workbook
The AB Guide to Music Theory (II)

AB Guide to music theory part 2
Manuscript Book

Manuscript paper book for grade 1 music theory

Tools for your in-home classroom

Your online Grade 5 music theory course will take place via virtual meetings on Zoom. You can download the app or just access to the conferences through the link you will receive in your booking confirmation.



A good internet connection is the most important box to tick in the list.

Mobile device

Join us from a tablet or phone, although the most reliable device is a laptop.

Sign-up for this unique opportunity. Limited places.

Grade 5 Music Theory FAQ

Do you have to pass Grade 5 music theory to do Grade 6 performance exams?

Yes, you do have to pass Grade 5 music theory first. According to ABRSM, succeeding Grade 5 music theory is required to progress to Grade 6,7 or 8 performance assessments. But don’t worry you are not alone! All ABRSM candidates of any instrument, voice, composition or jazz will have to do it too. Whether amateur or professional, Grade 5 music theory is one of the key steps in a musician’s training and it would mark a milestone in your education.

Do you need Grade 5 music theory for Grade 5 instrumental exams?

No, you do not need any theory exam to enter for Grade 5 performance exams in any instrument. It is only mandatory for Grade 6 onwards practical tests.

Is there any age restriction?

There is not an age restriction to sign-up for this music theory course however, Grade 5 is not a beginners level. The recommended age for these lessons starts from the teens. Young children might consider lower levels such as our Grade 1 Music Theory Course or one-to-one intensive piano courses


The terminology of “Grade 5” does not have any academic relationship with any school grade or year neither in the UK nor worldwide. ABRSM is an independent examination board which uses its own system of Grades from Initial to 8 to measure the skills and abilities of music students.