Free Theory Lessons at Fireworks School of Music

AMEB Theory of Music Additional Requirements – some observations and notes

One things AMEB students don’t know (until they get there!) and even us teachers sometimes forget, is that in the upper exam levels there are additional requirements in theory. For example, if you sit your grade 6 violin and you pass with honours, but have not yet done your Grade 2 Theory (or Musicianship or Music Craft) you will get your lovely comments sheet in the post, but no certificate. You have not actually formally completed Grade 6 until you fulfil your theory prerequisites.


Back in the ‘olden days’ when I was a student, sitting a theory exam meant putting your form in weeks ahead of the exam, going usually to a church hall with many other students and sitting what would have often have been our first very formal written exams, not unlike written university exams. Results would take about six weeks to be posted back to your teacher.


Ah, but bring in technology! In the past couple of years, AMEB has introduced online Theory of Music exams, up to Grade 4. Now you pay for your exam, get unlimited practice runs at the exam (which are conveniently graded immediately), until you feel ready to sit the real thing, which is also graded immediately up to Grade 3. If you pass, your certificate arrives in a matter of days. It is such a different experience!


From the AMEB syllabus 2013 (paraphrased):

AMEB Examination (not leisure exams)

AMEB additional requirements

Gr6 Practical

Pass Gr2 Theory of Music

(or Musicianship or Music Craft)

Gr7 Practical

Pass Gr3 Theory

Gr8 Practical

Pass Gr4 Theory

Certificate of Performance

Pass Gr4 Theory


Pass Gr5 Theory


Pass Gr6 Theory

So often in your involved practical lessons, theory can get pushed aside or forgotten. So to play my part in rectifying the situation, I am offering free group theory classes for AMEB Theory of Music Grades 1-4 these school holidays, with the possibility of enrolling in an online exam at the end, should you so wish. If you are behind in your theory and want you hard earned practical certificate, if you have an advanced exam coming up and want to get your theory done beforehand, or if you are a student who wants to keep their theory on par with their practical exams, come along and I will do my best to help you out.


Ellen Harle

Fireworks School of Music

For more information on our free group theory classes June 24-28th, visit


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Winter Program ’13

Winter Program ’13
These coming school holidays, for the first time, we are going to offer a holiday program from 24th – 28th June. The plan is to have instrumental and vocal intensives: one 30 minute lesson per day (5 lessons) which will cost $125 (normally $176), and I will also be running free theory classes for any students who want to sit an AMEB online theory exam.
I will be opening this up to anyone who would like to do it, but I want to offer the places to current Fireworks students first as due to our limited space there are only about 12 spots available per instrument. 

If you would like to enrol in the Winter Program, I will have sign-up sheets at the front desk from this week, you just have to choose your lesson time for the week. Alternatively you can give me a phone or an email, and I can sign you up. I’m looking forward to an exciting week of music making!
See you at lessons!
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