This seven-week online course will improve your knowledge of musical theory, equipping you with the skills necessary to sit the ABRSM Grade 5 theory exam. Please note, exam entry is not included in the course fee. For further information about the exam please see Course Outline.
This class will be taught online using a mixture of MS Teams and Zoom – you can take part from the comfort of your own home from anywhere in the world!
Held over seven weeks, you will be encouraged to apply your learning in a practical context using your instrument/voice.
By the end of this course, you can expect to have:
- learnt all the necessary concepts to sit the Grade 5 theory exam
- improved your composition skills, including how to set words to music
- developed your score reading
- applied many of the concepts practically to tie in with the higher grade aural tests (e.g. aural recognition of chord progressions, singing back a melody, etc
Please note, on application you will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood our Online Teaching Policy – please read this in advance of applying.
Courses you may be interested in
We run a variety of different courses throughout the year, and update our programme regularly – you can find all courses by clicking here.
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If you have any questions about this course before you book it, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see our FAQs for more information about all aspects of choosing, booking and attending your course.
Throughout the course you will cover the following areas of study:
- clefs — treble/bass revision plus alto and tenor
- key signatures up to 6 sharps/flats, how to construct a circle of 5ths
- constructing scales
- diatonic and chromatic intervals
- chord recognition
- cadential progressions using roman numeral chord notation
- writing a melody for instrument & voice
- complex rhythmic notation (tuplets, double dots etc.)
- Italian vocabulary
Booking/Taking the exam
The ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory exam is online and is changing to be ‘on demand’ – this means that students can book the exam at a time to suit them.
You can find out more information by visiting the ABRSM website directly. Further information about booking the exam will be sent to students during the course.You can choose when to book and when to take an online Music Theory exam. Once the exam is booked, candidates have 28 days to take their exam. You can choose any date and time during this period.
Who is the course for?
This course is designed for students, teenagers and adults alike, who hope to sit the Grade 5 theory exam in order to progress to higher grade practical exams, are preparing for the Royal Conservatoire’s Bachelor of Education Music degree programme theory entrance exam or who wish to simply advance their theoretical knowledge.
Students should have a reasonable grounding in musical theory which includes knowledge of:
– treble/bass clef pitch notation
– rhythmic notation including semiquavers and dotted rhythms
– key signatures up to 4 sharps/flats and ideally the circle of 5ths
– some major/minor scales
Students should obtain a copy of Discovering Music Theory – Grade 5 (currently priced at approximately £8.95) — the exercises in the book will be completed as part of the course.
You will need access to a device such as a desktop computer, laptop or tablet which allows you to access the internet with a screen large enough to see the group members during online sessions.
You will need internet connection which is fast enough to take part in live teaching sessions.
You may also want to consider whether you have a space you can use where you can work without interruption. Please keep in mind that the other students taking part in the course will be able to see what is behind you when you are online.
If you have any questions in advance of booking, please contact us at email@example.com
Choosing a course
Q) Which course is right for me?
Most of our courses are open access meaning that anyone can attend. We ask that bookers check the age range for the class. Our Adult classes are for ages 16+, our Children and Young People courses are generally split by age/school group.
If your child or young person is not based in Scotland please see the general age equivalents below.
School Group /Age Range in Scotland
Primary 1 – 4/5 years old
Primary 2 – 5/6 years old
Primary 3 – 6/7 years old
Primary 4 – 7/8 years old
Primary 5 – 8/9 years old
Primary 6 – 9/10 years old
Primary 7 – 10/11 years old
Secondary 1 – 11/12 years old
Secondary 2 – 12/13 years old
Secondary 3 – 13/14 years old
Secondary 4 – 14/15 years old
Secondary 5 – 15/16 years old
Secondary 6 – 16/17 years old
Q) I have no previous experience, can I take this course?
Most of our courses are open access – meaning that anyone can take part. If there is an entry requirement or specific previous experience is recommended for the course, there will be a tab on the course webpage to specify this.
Generally, if you have no experience, or have been away from your study for a number of years – we would encourage you to look at courses with Beginner or Introduction in the title.
Q) I’m an adult learner – am I too old for this course?
Never! Our adult classes are for anyone 16+. We often have a range of people aged from their late teens/early twenties to their late sixties and above. Our tutors are adept at creating a comfortable learning atmosphere for all the people in the group. We can’t predict the ages of the people on the course – but we can assure you that now is the right time to learn something new!
Q) Are the courses accredited?
Several of our courses for young people and adults aged 16+ offer an optional credit-rated choice. You can find out more about the credit-rated accreditation we offer on the credit rated courses page, or clicking on your chosen course page for further details.
In general, our courses are unaccredited however you can request a certificate of attendance on completion of your course, if required. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request this 2 weeks prior to your course end date.
Q) English isn’t my first language, can I still take the course?
Yes! Our courses welcome students from across the world. You do not need a certificate in English in order to take Short Courses at the RCS. However, as all classes are delivered in English we do ask that you are comfortable following instructions, discussing ideas and sight-reading English aloud within the class.
Bookings/Booking a course?
Q) What is Schooble? Why do I need it?
The first time you book a short course you will need to set up a Schooble account – this is your customer account for our online booking system, Experios. You need a Schooble account to book your course, change or update your personal information, and check when payments are due/make a payment. Details of all the courses you have attended or are attending can be found on your account.
Q) I’ve not been sent a verification code?
If you are trying to set up a Schooble account or change your password, you might see that you have been sent a verification code. This code will be sent to the email associated with the account and often goes to your junk mail. Please check there first, and then email us if you cannot locate it.
Q) I haven’t received my course confirmation?
You will receive an automated email from our booking operator, Experios, to confirm that you have been successful in booking your course. This may get filtered to your junk mail – so please remember to check. If you are in any doubt – you can email us for further confirmation.
You will receive your course welcome information from us 1 to 2 weeks ahead of the course start date. This includes all the information you will need to attend the course including details of advance preparation is this is required.
Q) How do I update my email/password/address?
Log into your Schooble account by going to rcs.paritor.com. From there click the Clock icon on the left-hand side, and then click My Details. You can click Change Sign-in or Change Password as required. If you are changing your address, click Update.
Q) I’ve forgotten my password?
Go to rcs.paritor.com and click the Forgotten Password button. Enter the email address you used when you set up your account to receive a verification code. Once you have verified your email address you will be able to follow the steps to change your password.
If you are struggling with this, please email email@example.com for assistance.
Q) Why do I need to put an emergency contact down?
We offer classes to people ages 1-100, and during our courses our student’s safety is our priority. By giving us emergency contact information, you can ensure that should anything happen to you/your child during our courses – we will be able to contact someone to make them aware.
Q) Why are you asking for my age and school?
Our booking form accommodates a wide range of classes, and is the same for children, young people, and adults. As an adult you can click, I’m an Adult to avoid some of these questions.
As a young person, we ask for your age and school to ensure that you are in the correct age group for your class.
Q) Why do you ask for my medical information?
We take our student’s safety and wellbeing seriously and want to support everyone to learn in a way that suits them. If you have listed a medical condition or disability, we will contact to you to ask if there is any specific support we can put in place for you.
Q) What email address should I use for Microsoft Teams?
During your application you will be asked to select an email address to use when we add you to the course Teams group. Microsoft Teams is an online classroom where materials will be posted for your class and you will access the Zoom codes for each session.
Microsoft Teams gets upset by switching emails on a device – so if you already have an account registered for Teams, you should enter that email to avoid confusion.
If you are booking the course for someone else, you should ask them what email they use to access Teams, as only the participant will have access to the Team.
Teams is used by many schools across the UK – so if your child has been accessing Teams for school work, they should use the email already associated with that account – usually their school email address.
Some schools or workplaces do not allow accounts to be used for outside activities, please check, and email us if you wish to change the email address for Teams.
Q) It says the course is full – what do I do?
Courses have a limited number of places available. You can book onto the waiting list by clicking the Book Now button on the webpage. This will take you to the booking form to register your interest but without taking you to the payment page – it does not cost anything to book onto the waiting list.
We encourage all bookers to register for the waiting list if you wish to take the course. We try to respond to demand, and if we have enough people on the waiting list to run another course – we will! So it is worth booking on to register your interest.
Q) How will I be contacted if a space becomes available?
You will be contacted on the email associated with your account. We ask that you respond to your invitation as soon as possible as it allows us to process your application and get you set up for the course. If you no longer wish to take the place, please email us to confirm.
Q) I’ve been invited from the waiting list – do I need to do anything?
Yes! If you have received an automated email saying you have been invited from the waiting list, please log onto rcs.paritor.com and click Accept. This will take you to the payment stage of the booking form to confirm your space. After completing this you should email us so we can confirm your booking and send you over the relevant welcome information.
If you no longer want your place – please email us! We would love to offer the space to someone else and the more notice we are able to give people the better.
Q) Can I pay by instalment?
Yes, you can. When you reach the payment part of your booking form there are different payment options. We do request that all course fees are paid in full before the end date of your course.
Full – paying the course in full at the time of booking.
By Term – paying the course in three instalments, one for each term (only available for full year courses)
Monthly – this will split the course cost over the remaining months until your course completion date.
Please note these options will depend on how much time there is between the booking date and end of the course.
Q) I’m paying by instalments. Can I change my payment date?
You can log onto your Schooble account by visiting rcs.paritor.com. On your home page you will find your Account Balance. By clicking Pay/Review you will be able to see your current payment schedule and below you are given the option to change your payment day. Please note the options are from the 1st to the- 28th of each month and if you change it to a date beyond the course end date your payments might increase. This is because payment for courses must be complete by the last class.
e.g. – your course finished on the 18th April. You currently pay your fees on the 10th of each month, so you are due to complete your payment for the course on the 10th April. You change it until the 28th of each month. Your instalments will increase to ensure you have paid for the course by 28th March, as the course will already be complete by the 28th April.
Q) How do I change my card details?
You can log onto your Schooble account by visiting rcs.paritor.com. On your home page you should find your Account Balance then Pay/Review. By clicking Amend Schedule you will be able to Make a Payment, which will redirect you to our secure online payment Sagepay and you will have the option to amend your card details at that stage.
Q) Is there any financial support?
Yes! We have bursary and scholarship programmes which all students can apply for. Please see the Financial Support page on the website for more details. Please check your eligibility for each prior to applying.
Q) How do I withdraw from the course?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with to confirm in writing that you wish to withdraw. You can read our Cancellation and Refunds policy online to see if you will be eligible for a refund.
You are entitled to a 14-day cooling off period from the date of booking the course in which you will be entitled to a refund (unless the course has been complete in this period).
You should be aware at the time of booking that, out with the statutory 14 day cooling off period, there is no automatic right to cancel, and there will be no refund of fees.
Accessing my course
Q) How do I access my course?
Our online courses are delivered through Microsoft Teams and Zoom. You can read about each of these platforms on their webpages. We advised that all bookers download the desktop versions of the applications for easy access.
Q) What is Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a virtual classroom. Your Team is your RCS course and will be comprised of the other students on the course, your tutor, and Short Courses staff.
Q) Do I need Teams account?
Yes! Our online class are delivered through Teams and Zoom, and we require bookers to have access to both these platforms to participate.
On Teams you will be able to view materials the tutor has posted, ask questions, upload any tasks the tutor has set, and access the Zoom codes for each class.
Your Teams account is linked to the email address you supplied in that section of the booking form. To read more about setting up your Teams, please see below.
Q) How do I set up Teams?
Before the course, you will be sent an invite to your Team to the email address you supplied in your booking form.
If you have never used Teams before:
- Click the purple Open in Microsoft Teams box in the email.
- Your internet browser will take you to a Microsoft page that offer to Create account – with the email listed below. Click Next.
- Create a password – and click Next.
- Fill out the remaining account information (date of birth).
- Follow the information to verify your email. Enter the code into the box.
- Fill out the captcha and click Next.
- You will then be taken to an RCS page. Read the permissions and click Accept.
- Once you have clicked Accept, you will be redirected to a page. On the page there will be two options: Download the Windows/Mac app or Use the web app instead. We advise all users to download the app. Follow the steps to do so.
If you have already downloaded the app, a pop up will appear on the screen and you can click Open Microsoft Teams.
- Once you have done this you will either be directed to the online version or the desktop version as selected. You will then be asked to enter your email to sign in. This is the email you received your Teams invitation to, and the account you have just created.
- Enter the password you just created for this account.
- You may have a ‘Welcome to Teams!’ page. Please select Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Guest) if not already shown. Click Continue.
- At this point – you are in Teams. You should be automatically taken to the RCS Course Team. You will see a General tab, and a Zoom Codes tab. These are channels where the tutors will post the relevant information.
Q) Where is my RCS email account?
As a Short Courses student you are not a matriculated student of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (other than Introduction to Actor Training). You therefore do not have an RCS email account. If you are asked to select the type of Teams you will be using, please click Personal.
Q) Where do I find the Zoom codes for my class?
You will find the codes in the Zoom Codes channel of Teams. You will see it on the left-hand side of your screen, and by clicking on that Channel you’ll see where the Tutor has posted the Zoom code and password for the session.
Please note that the Zoom codes are different for each week. In order to keep all our customers safe online, we require bookers to log into Teams to access the codes. This limits the amount of people who will see the codes and stops them getting forwarded via email. For this reason, we cannot send you the Zoom codes via email.
Q) When will I have access to my course Team?
Once you have been sent the Welcome Information, you will be added to the Teams group. You will receive an automated message from Microsoft Teams notifying you of this. We will aim to send this information out 1 to 2 weeks ahead of the course start date.
Q) Where is my Teams invite?
If you have received your Welcome Information, you should have received your Teams invite. Please check your Junk Mail before emailing us. Remember that the Teams invite will go to the email address you entered for Teams – this may be different to the email address you have listed for communication from us.
If you have not received an email, it may be due to an error in the email provided to us.
Q) I can’t see my RCS Team?
Sometimes Microsoft Teams can get confused. Please sign out and sign back in by clicking your initials at the top right-hand corner. Try clicking the Open Microsoft Teams in the invitation email again. Try logging in via the Microsoft Teams website. If you are unsuccessful, please email email@example.com with screenshots and we will endeavour to help you
Q) How long will I have access to the Team?
You will have access to the Team for up to a week after the course ends. On the day of the final class, we ask that you download any materials and save any links you wish to keep from the Team. One week after the course, we will remove all members from the Team and delete it.
Q) How do I upload something to the Team?
You can either upload a file by posting a message in the General Channel, or you can upload it to the Files section, by clicking the Files button at the top.
You need to wait until the full file is uploaded. For video files this can take a number of minutes. You need to keep the Teams page up while your file uploads. You will see a green line crossing the bottom of the File – only once that has completed is the file fully uploaded – and then you are ready to hit post. Remember to check your file works once it has been uploaded.
Please note that anything you upload to Teams can be seen by your classmates – this is great as it offers the opportunity for peer review as you would in a usual classroom setting. If you would rather send something directly to the tutor, you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass it along.
Q) Is Teams private?
Your RCS Course Team is an invite-only group. The only people who have access to the Team are the participants, the tutors, and the Short Courses staff.
Please be aware that anything you put on Teams – much like the rest of the internet – can be accessed by other members of the Team. If you are uploading a video for feedback from the group, this can be downloaded by other members. We kindly ask students to only download RCS materials and not those uploaded by classmates.
Your classmates will only see your username on Teams. Many of our classes choose to set up Whatsapp groups or share emails to stay connected outside class times – however this is up to the booker if they choose to share that information.
Q) The password isn’t working on Zoom?
If you are copy and pasting the password, please remember not to include spaces either side. It is best to type the password in manually if you are in doubt.
Remember to check that you are entering the password for the correct date. Each week there is a new Zoom code and password.
Q) The Zoom link won’t open?
If you are using the Zoom link the URL should be hyperlinked. This means that the Zoom link will be underlined and in a different colour. For example: https://zoom.us/. If it is in the same colour as the general text, and isn’t underlined – https://zoom.us/ – it has not been hyperlinked. You need to copy and paste it into your internet browser.
To do this highlight the text – and right click, click copy. Open your browser, go to the search bar, right click, hit paste.
Q) Is it a new code each week?
Yes! This helps ensure the privacy of the code and makes the link more secure. Please check that you have the most up to date code. If you are struggling, please ask for help by posting a message on your Teams page or emailing email@example.com.
Q) Can I do my course on a phone or tablet?
We have found that our online courses work best when you have a screen big enough to see the whole class at once, and the ability to see any shared screens clearly. This generally means that a phone is too small, some tablets might be suitable, but for best participant experience you should use a laptop or desktop computer.
Q) Can I download stuff from the Team?
Please ask your tutor before you download any materials. Any materials downloaded should not be shared without the permission of the tutor. We kindly ask that you do not download the work of other students without their permission.
Q) The tutor shared a class performance – can I put it on social media?
No – as part of our Online Teaching Policy which you agreed to in your booking form, we specify that all performances are for the eyes of the class and their families/friends only. Much like a live ticketed, performance – only those on the day are able to see the work.
This is to respect participants who do not want their image, work, and name shared without their permission.
Q) Are the classes live?
Yes! All our classes are live, and you must participate in real time. We do not record classes, and although there may be tasks to complete off screen/between classes – all our teaching is live.
Q) Can I participate in a different time zone?
Yes, although all our classes are live and in the GMT zone. Please check when the course takes place in your time zone before completing your booking.
Q) Are the classes recorded?
No. Due to GDPR we do not record our classes. If you are going to miss a class, you can ask classmates to recap the class on the Teams page for you. You should also read through the Teams page to see any tasks that have been set, and/or materials from that lesson.
Q) How much space do I need?
If you are attending a Drama course, you will need enough space to lie flat on the floor uninterrupted. This space allows for any breathing exercises or movement work you might participate in. Dance courses will require more space. Film and Production courses are generally desk based. Music courses will require a suitable space for playing your instrument/singing.
We ask students to be aware of their surroundings – make sure there are no trip hazards, and that you are able to take part in any physical activity safely. Additionally, be aware that your background can be seen by the rest of the class – so be sure to hide any personal items you don’t want other to see.
Q) How much noise am I going to make?
This depends on your course. As our classes are live, you are encouraged to participate in conversations much like in person classes. This shouldn’t be louder than an everyday phone conversation.
If your course involves any acting, singing or playing musical instruments, then you will be making more noise.
Q) Do I need any specialist equipment?
Generally, no. All our classes require you to have a device with a working webcam and microphone, and with internet speeds high enough that you can participate in class.
Beyond that, you should have a device capable of recording videos (with audio) and taking pictures. A smart phone is usually sufficient for these tasks.
Q) Is there anything I should be preparing for a course?
Please check the Course Preparation tab of your course webpage. If there is no course preparation tab, then there is generally nothing to prepare. We will also include any course preparation in our Welcome Information email – so make sure to read it thoroughly.
Q) Is my course online or in-person?
If you go to your course web page you will see the course name states ‘online’ or ‘in-person’. Additionally, if your course is in-person it will have the Renfrew Street address listed as the venue.
Q) I am flying to Scotland to attend a course, is there accommodation available?
We do not currently have accommodation on offer to Short Courses or Summer Schools students. Our campus is located in Glasgow city centre with lots of hotels, hostels and Air BnBs nearby.
Q) Can I bring my child in to class? Is there somewhere I can wait?
At the beginning of each class, staff and tutors gather all primary age students and escort them to their room through the secure KABA doors, as well as bringing them back to the collection point at the end of each class to ensure they are safely collected by a parent or guardian.
Staff will provide secondary and adult students with access through the secure doors prior to the class start time, and they are not required to be collected by an adult at the end of the class.
You will be provided with details about where and when to gather in your Welcome Information.
The building has a café/bar located on the first floor, which is open to all visitors. Our Renfrew Street campus is ideally located in the city centre, which provide easy access to other amenities while you wait.
Q) Who can enter the building?
The Renfrew Street Campus is a public building, however only those with allocated access are permitted to enter certain areas of the building. This includes going beyond our secure KABA doors which lead to studios and classrooms. This is for the safety of everyone in the building, and we ask that parents and guardians do not attempt to enter these areas. We always have Short Courses staff on hand to allow for young people to gain access to their classroom during class times.
Q) What do I do if I am late?
If you are an adult or secondary school student, please report to the Short Courses office (to the right of the Client Services desk at the ground floor entrance) to be in contact with a member of staff before going to class.
We ask that all absences or latecomers send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of time to allow for our team to absence monitor accordingly.
As part of our Child Protection Policy, we operate an absence monitoring system, which means that if we have not had contact to authorise an absence for a young person under the age of 18, a text message will be sent to the contact number provided to confirm their absence.
Q) I have tested positive for COVID-19 – what do I do?
Although there are no restrictions surrounding COVID-19 guidelines now, we do ask that if you test positive that you do not attend class and try to stay at home as a way to prevent the virus spreading to others.
Q) Why do you ask for my medical information?
We care for our students and want to make sure we have all the information needed to assist you should you require medical attention in class. Once you list your medical information in the booking form, a member of our team will be in contact to check if we can put any additional support in place for you during class.
Q) I did online classes last year and they were booked termly – why can’t I do that this year?
Most of our weekly classes are designed as year-long programmes that run from September until June. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we opted to offer bookings term by term to offer more flexibility. Due to the easing of restrictions, we feel confident that we can return to our usual programming which is why we are returning to year-long bookings for in-person classes. You can find our Cancellation and Refund Policy within our full Terms and Conditions.
Attending the course
Q) I am going to be absent/late – who do I tell?
Please email email@example.com to notify us of an absence. You should do this as early as possible so we can assure our administrative staff have updated the registers and made the tutor aware so they can adjust their lesson plans, as necessary.
Please do not private message your tutor or other Short Courses staff on Teams (or email) to notify them of the absence. Most of our staff work varying hours and we cannot guarantee that the person you are messaging will be available to pick up the message in time.
Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org assures that your message will be picked up by staff who are working.
Q) Why do I need to tell you if I’ll be off?
We want our classes to run as smoothly as possible. By telling our staff if you are going to be absent or late, you are ensuring the class can start promptly. If you are regularly late or have multiple absences, it interferes with the work that your tutor and class are working towards and knowing ahead of time, means that the tutor can plan accordingly.
Being aware of absences also stops tutors wondering if you are late, or not coming, and means that Short Courses staff won’t send an unnecessary absence text or tag you on Teams or email you.
Q) Why am I being asked to turn my screen on?