Welcome to the ABRSM Grade 1 Music Theory start page!

If you (or your child/pupil) are just starting out on your music theory journey, this is the right place to start!

You can learn with MyMusicTheory in different ways, depending on your specific needs. We have:

  1. Free website based lessons
  2. PDF downloads (paid)
  3. Video courses with PDFs included (paid)

Use the ABRSM Menu to find lessons for this grade. (Menu is on the right, or scroll down on phones or tablets).

The free website lessons cover the whole syllabus, but there are only limited audio examples and you can only do the exercises on your screen. You might prefer this option if you are learning on the go, or don’t want to pay anything.

The PDF downloads are the next level up – the lessons are mostly the same as those you can find for free on the website, but they are in a printable format. This means that you can print out the exercises to complete with a pencil (as you would in an exam) and also make your own notes on the pages. It also means you can easily search for information within the book using the command ctrl+F, and use the whole course off line.

Finally, the video courses are the most expensive option, but give you the most benefits. The video tutorials are about 5-10 minutes long each, totalling around 3 hours per grade/course. The video courses allow you to listen to the sound of what you’re learning, and you can also follow step-by-step demonstrations. You get access to your teacher (me!) if you have any questions or problems. All video courses also include the course PDF which is available separately. You need an internet connection to watch the videos, but can download the PDFs to use offline. There is no time limit for using the video courses and it’s a one-off payment.

ABRSM Syllabus (Grade 1)

    1. Note values of semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver and semiquaver*, and their equivalent rests (candidates may use the terms ‘whole note’, ‘half note’, etc.). Tied notes. Single-dotted notes and rests.
    2. Simple time signatures of 2/4, 3/4 & 4/4, bar-lines and the grouping of the notes listed above within these times.
    3. The stave. Treble (G) and bass (F) clefs. Names of notes on the stave, including middle C in both clefs. Sharp, flat and natural signs, and their cancellation.
    4. Construction of the major scale, including the position of the tones and semitones. Scales and key signatures of the major keys of C, G, D* and F in both clefs, with their tonic triads (root position), degrees (number only), and intervals above the tonic (by number only).
    5. Some frequently used terms and signs concerning tempo, dynamics, performance directions and articulation marks. Simple questions will be asked about a melody written in either treble or bass clef.

 Read the complete ABRSM music theory syllabus