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Theory

AMEB offers graded written examinations in four music subjects - Rockschool Popular Music Theory, Theory of Music, Music Craft and Musicianship - as well as Speech & Performance. These subjects cover the theoretical aspects of the craft, complementing and enriching students' practical studies.

Students can do an online written exam at any time or place where there is a computer, an internet connection and appropriate supervision. With the purchase of an exam, students also have access to unlimited practice sessions.

Why is theory important? It helps us understand the inner mechanics of our practical studies and produce a better performance based on deeper level of understanding.

The higher practical Grades include a corequisite theory achievement prior to certification being obtained so it's worth getting started early and pairing your practical knowledge with the theoretical.

What are the different Theory Exams?

Theory of Music is Tasmania's most popular AMEB theory syllabus and we have recently published our first ever tutor books for Grades 1 to 3 (check out the AMEB Shop to order yours today). You can also undertake the online course for Grades 1 through 3. Theory of Music exams do not include an aural component. Diploma exams can be taken in three specialisations: Musicology, Harmony & Counterpoint, or Orchestration & Arrangement.

Musicianship develops a broad knowledge of musical aspects such as pitch, tonality, rhythm, and composition and history across orchestral, choral, vocal and chamber music.

Music Craft focuses on the rudiments of music and a basic understanding of diatonic harmony. Elements include pitch, rhythm, pulse, tempo, amplitude, articulation, expression, and timbre.

Rockschool Popular Music Theory complements the Rockschool instrumental and vocal syllabuses to support learning of contemporary theory and practices. This includes the usual notation and harmony but also delves into the knowledge of band interactions and ensemble functionality. This further expands to include brass and string instruments from Grade 6. The Rockschool Theory Syllabus also includes some great tips for sitting your exam.

Speech & Performance explores knowledge of dramatic performance, oral interpretation, and spoken interaction across a variety of communication situations and the syllabus perfectly complements the Speech, Drama, and Voice practical courses.

Aural assessments
Music Craft assesses both written and aural components throughout the syllabus.
Musicianship introduces an aural section from Grade 4 onwards. 
Theory of Music, Speech, and Rockschool exams do not include an aural component.

Exams can be undertaken online at your convenience. After purchasing an online exam, you have the flexibility to sit your exam any time within the next 12 months, during which time you can practice, learn and sit mock exams. Please note that paper-based theory exams will be available only on request to cohorts of students.

Benefits of Online Theory Exams

Flexible and convenient
Private teachers can have students complete the exam at home or in the music studio. Students studying in a class can complete the exam individually in their own time or at the same time as the rest of the class.

Practice exams
Each exam comes with a practice exam for the student to complete at any time, as many times as they would like, up to a year after the exam is purchased. Candidates can use the practice exam to learn how to use the exam software before sitting the official exam online.

Immediate results
Results for Theory of Music Grade 1 and 2, Musicianship Grade 1 and 2 & Music Craft Preliminary Grade and Grade 1 online exams are available immediately. Higher-level exams are manually marked by an examiner with results available within 3-5 business days.

Online tutorials & support
AMEB ONLINE has information and FAQs for students, teachers and parents to become more familiar with the online exam system. In addition, technical support is available to all users.

Past Theory of Music and Musicianship papers (traditional format) are available as digital downloads from the AMEB Shop online. The aural recordings that accompany Musicianship and Music Craft aural exams are available from digital music outlets such as iTunes, Amazon.

Resources

To help you along your theory journey, our Federal Team has developed lots of resources.

Analytical Notes
For set works in Music Theory and Musicianship, the hard work has been done for you! Download the Analytical Notes for Grades 5 and 6, and Beethoven's Eroica Symphony.

Downloadable Practice Exams
There are a host of past exam papers available for checking students' progress, preparing for exams, and becoming familiar with the process.

Integrated Course and Workbooks
Printed editions of various theory syllabuses are available from our online shop - they're a great resource for teachers and those wanting to teach themselves and include lots of great examples and practice questions.

Online Theory of Music Courses
If you're preparing for your Theory of Music Exam, or simply want to learn online at your own pace, these are for you. Each Course comes with unlimited access for 12 months, including practice exams and lots of examples to help you in your studies.

Online Practice Exams
Did you know that when you purchase an online exam, you have access to unlimited practice exams for 12 months, or until you take your official test? Just one of the perks of an online exam!

Online Access Troubleshooting
We have a step-by-step guide to getting started. There are also some handy videos to walk you through the process. Don't forget to keep your software up to date - Score will give you a reminder to download new releases. You can also contact our support team through Score, or via our normal customer service channels.

Video Explanations and Walkthroughs
Our in-house guru, Andrew Raiskums, has done a series of great videos, introducing many aspects of music theory. The Ask Andrew series is available on Youtube, as are some great walkthroughs for signing up to Score and how to access your Course or Exam.

Paper-Based Theory Exams

Our Online Theory Exam suite is continuing to expand with more grades and syllabuses than ever, all available for our online candidates. If you'd still prefer to do a paper-based theory exam, we have a new delivery model aimed to make exam dates more flexible and better support regional candidates.

This new model allows you to host your own exam session in your school or studio, at any time of year. You can choose the time of year that best suits your students. We also understand that some candidates simply prefer working with a pencil. Nationally, we’ve created this ON REQUEST process to provide greater flexibility for teachers and learners, and in response to feedback requests for more session dates.

What Teachers Need To Know

  • 5 candidate minimum. This can include any grade or syllabus with the minimum being the total number of candidates you're entering (not per grade).
  • Any combination of Grades and Syllabuses can be included in your cohort from: Theory of Music (Grades 1 through 6); or any other all syllabus (Musicianship, Music Craft, and Speech & Performance) where online exams are not yet available.
  • Don't have 5 candidates? Let us know and we’ll work to pair you with others in your area.
  • You provide the venue and supervise your candidates – this could be you, or a parent, or a trusted local adult.
  • We schedule your theory exam day to suit you.
  • The number of unique exam papers across the year is limited so we’ll be aiming to schedule common dates across the state. The usual August date (19/8/2020) will be set as an available time for you to hold your exams. We’re aiming to provide some flexibility around when your students sit their exams and this may end up becoming session-type windows or dates in future. Let us know how this works for you so we can continue to best support you.
  • The more notice you give us, the better we'll be able to get you your preferred date and time.
  • We'll send you all the instructions you need to ensure the integrity of the exam is upheld, along with the exams themselves in a separate, sealed envelope. This pack will include a return envelope so that you can get the exam papers back to us for marking.
  • As this is a new, flexible feature for theory exams, we're in the process of building this capability into Score. For now, enrolments will need to be submitted via a separate form (link below). We'll be working to have all of your details uploaded to Score so that you'll be able to maintain the history of your enrolments and results.
  • The form must be completed by persons aged 18 and over - this may be the teacher, parent, or candidate.
  • We will need to process your payment for these exams manually. This will be done once your exam day has been confirmed - we'll give you a call to take a credit card payment over the phone. We can provide a tax invoice to you in due course.
  • Please note that we will require applications to be submitted at least two months prior to your preferred exam date. This will assist us in supporting all teachers in your area, and ensure that scheduling, appropriate notice periods, and the unpredictable and untimely nature of the postal service, are able to be factored.