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All-In-One to Grade 5. A Fast Track from Beginner to Grade 5 Music Theory (All-In-One Series) Paperback – Illustrated, 10 Jun 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Aaron publications; Revised edition edition (10 Jun. 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0956199402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956199409
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 21.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rachel Billings graduated with Honours in music from the University of Manchester in June 2000 followed by an upper division diploma (2001) 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 since then has proved very popular amongst weekly lunchtime theory classes taught at a nearby local Girls' grammar school. Rachel has a love for art which has naturally influenced the All-in-one series (which includes no less than 130 illustrations). Personal favourite 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.

Product Description

Review

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.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By fordmax on 18 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I ordered this based on previous reviews and ordered several more 'traditional' theory books as well. This, in my humble opinion, is the holy grail of theory books. Yes, it costs a little more, but there's over 250 pages. Everything is broken down into it's simplest form, with lots of humorous quizes/puzzles to work through to make sure you can put what you've learnt into context. At no point do you feel you've been over-faced with a concept unlike the more traditional books. My aim is to work through this with my daughter and then go on to the more formal books; not because anything is missing from this book; far from it, it's just the more formal ones train her to what the actual exam is like and what the examiners are looking for. This book is more about the initial learning of theory and presenting it in an accessible form. When i say the 'initial learning', that in no way is meant to indicate this book does not go up to grade 5, because it does. I mean it more in a way that if, like my daughter you have managed to get to grade 5 theory without having done any theory before and are having to start from scratch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kabbalah maven on 16 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Rachel Billings deserves much praise for this book. I live in the United States, and used her method with a 9 year old boy. Perhaps we've forgotten how intimidating a piano score is if you've never seen one before. There is so much to learn. One thing that sets this method above all the others are the illustrations and exercises. Seeing the humorous drawings makes the subject less intimidating. For example, she uses illustrated stories, in which blank letters in words have to be added from musical notation to complete the story. Very clever and engaging. There are dozens of other very clever illustrations in her book.

The emphasis on intervals is most welcome, as I believe this is the key to performing music.

The book seems to be preparing students for some form of examination that we don't encounter in the US. There are also differences in terms. We use fractional names like quarter or eighth notes, rather than minims or crotchets. So those areas were a bit confusing for the student. There are other "Britishisms" in the book, but not so many to discourage American students.

The exercises in the book are very well done. Each concept is explained, and then the student is given enough exercises to reinforce the concept. The last chapters include composing for various instruments. So in one book the student is taken from learning the notes to orchestration.

Perhaps the best endorsement comes from the fact that my test subject is thriving, and progressing rapidly. He is absorbing the material quickly, and is enjoying the journey. Thank you Rachel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By wanderer on 28 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
I've been teaching piano and theory for twelve years. Motivating children and young people to master music theory can be challenging. But this book may well be the answer! It's simply outstanding - thorough, attractive and imaginative. And it's also very reasonably priced for what it is. I'd recommend every music teacher to give it a try - I don't believe you'll regret it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Glambertino on 2 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Such a disappointment that it doesn't provide the model answers! So the parents who bought this to help their children are left in limbo!

Also such a pity that it's supposed to be used with the other corresponding books (see the grade 1-5 series) and they are not available!
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Format: Paperback
What a great music theory book. I am a music teacher and can tell you this book is easy to understand, concise yet very thorough. Covers all info you need to know from beginner to grade 5 music theory - more indepth infact than the exam board books themselves, and has helpful memorisation techniques. My students have taken their Grade 5 within a year of receiving this. Contains a useful accompanying Reference Booklet/insert, though make sure Amazon sends this since sometimes they haven't (Perhaps safer to get the new edition which incorporates the material within main book so that you can be sure you have all material since it'll cause confusion if you don't have this; See http://www.amazon.co.uk/All-In-One-Grade-Music-Theory-EDITION/dp/0956199488/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1346161332&sr=8-3 ). It is excellent and works well as a 'fast-track' due to its simplicity, memorization techniques and patterns which apply across the grades thereby making theory easy to learn. Helpful graded checklists are an added bonus plus option to complete papers in alternative orders gives the book great versatility. Great that an Answer Booklet is now available for students who do not have a teacher to mark their work. Clear explanation, examples and LOADS of exercises/practice to test understanding of topics which have been explained. This book can be supplemented with the Revision Booklets (which are optional) if some students wish extra practice. Certainly a 'must-have' for any teachers library and for all students learning music theory.
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