Grade 5 Theory

Why take it?

Grade 5 theory is a requirement for students wanting to take instrumental examinations beyond Grade 5 with the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM).

A thorough knowledge of the theory of music helps all instrumental and vocal performers. Grade 5 theory is also supportive of the current Music GCSE, AS and A-Level examinations. An understanding of the theory of music is essential for higher grade aural tests.

What is available?

Classes run throughout the whole of the school year. An initial assessment takes place in the first lesson to determine the existing level of knowledge, and to estimate the timescale required for each pupil. In cases where a student already has a high level of knowledge, it may be possible to take the exam in one term. However, it would be more usual for pupils to build up their knowledge gradually over 2 to 3 terms. The tutor will continually assess pupils’ progress and let parents know when they are ready.


Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre
Trinity Avenue
Northampton, NN2 6JW


Tuesday evenings
Preparation class is 6.30pm to 7pm
Examination class is 7pm to 8pm


There will be at least 8 sessions each term.


The cost of the course for members of county music groups, Regional Centres or students in receipt of individual lessons is £90 for the first term and £50 for subsequent terms. The course fee includes:

  • tuition costs
  • examination entry fee
  • ABRSM work book
  • past test papers

The cost for students not registered with NMPAT is £130 for the first term and £90 for the subsequent terms

Please note that payment for the course is required in advance and will be requested when your place is confirmed. Payment can be made via the Parent Pay shop.

What equipment do you need?

You will need to bring these with you to every lesson:

  • pencils (2B or 3B)
  • pencil sharpener
  • eraser
  • manuscript paper

How to apply

Please complete the form below and return it to the Music Trust office as soon as possible and you will be contacted before the course starts. Places are limited for each term and pupils will be taken on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis so you do need to plan ahead if you need to have passed your theory exam.

"All children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument"

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