A welcome addition to theory education...really excellent material...[contains] foreign word puzzles, worth every penny just for this section alone... Imaginative...good psychology to encourage and inspire pupils. The book is always clear, with concise language so that pupils of any age should be able to work through it with minimum dependence on the teacher. --Rhinegold Music Teacher magazine February 2009
This book by Rachel Billings, who studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, is written in a clear and inviting manner which should appeal to all ages other than the very young.There are many graduated exercises, puzzles and word games, and I particularly like the section that gives an illustrated study of orchestral instruments, their capabilities and range, which prepares the student for the closing section on transposition and simple composition. There are graphs in the opening pages that illustrate the parts of those sections appropriate to each grade and on which page to find them, and boxes to tick off when the student (or teacher) thinks he or she knows that particular feature well enough... Chapter 1 - Notation - begins with intervals as pattern recognition defining the relationship between notes on a stave. Recognition of the shape of intervals is very important for faster note reading and this is very laudably given prominence here. Also very sensibly, the intervals are defined as odd; -line to a space, space to a line - and even; -line to a line and space to a space, a concept that many of use but seldom see written down. Another good feature here is that in order to emphasize that intervals remain the same shape wherever they are on the stave, they have been shown without reference to clefs, so that the student's attention is not deflected to working out which notes they are, rather than simply recognising the shape. There are thirty pages referring to Italian, French and German terms, all punctuated with small drawings, hints on remembering them, tests, games and puzzles, stories where the terms can be fitted in with the text, and several crosswords. This is very well done and extremely thorough; also entertaining enough to encourage all but the most obstinate....In the chapter on Tonality, scales are very sensibly introduced with a large diagram of the Circle of Fifths. I find this always fascinates my pupils - they seem to love the logic of it all - and it's good to find it so clearly explained by Rachel Billings. ...the more I read through this All In One book of theory the more I like it. Even when all the many exercises are completed, it is not a book to be thrown away as we frequently dispose of other completed exercise books.It will remain as an excellent source of reference and one which I can warmly recommend. --EPTA Spring 2011
It really is a fantastic book and long overdue! The fact it is so beautiful is a real bonus... I've never been in love with a theory book before. -- --Anna Winton Mills, Head of Music, Cherry Trees Preparatory School, Risby
About the Author
Rachel Billings graduated with Honours in music from the University of Manchester in June 2000 followed by an upper division diploma and postgraduate degreee in performance (piano) at the Royal Northern college of Music in 2003. She was born and brought up in Lincolnshire, but moved to Manchester at age 16 after gaining a place at Chetham s music school where she owes much to the teaching of Nigel Pitceathly. Since then, she has received tuition from internationally acclaimed pianists such as Ronan O Hora, Murray McLachlan, Stephen Hough, and Paul Janes. Rachel has a wide experience in the fields of chamber music and solo performance and has performed at various venues throughout the UK. Personal tastes range greatly from Bach to Percy Grainger, Poulenc and Scriabin. The All-In-One series is an accumulation of 5 years work which was originally written for the benefit of Rachel's own private pupils but later was successfully tried and tested in theory classes which she teaches at a nearby local Girls' grammar school. It is now owned in shops and schools throughout the UK. Rachel has a love for art which has naturally influenced the All-in-one series (which includes no less than 130 illustrations). Personal favorite artists include Shirley Hughes (author and illustrator) and Salvador Dali. Rachel continues to teach in the North-West and welcomes comments/ feedback about the All-in-one series from either teachers or students.