Music Theory Lessons London

Music Theory and our approach to understanding music

Teaching Music Theory could be a valuable artistic experience comparable to performance and even composition. The way in which teachers adapt their pedagogy to different learners is the key to success in a discipline that otherwise could be at least not-very-friendly. 

Music Theory is to Music as Grammar is to Language. In spite of the fact that music learning can certainly happen without a specific Music Theory preparation, the more we understand what is behind all those notes, which are the rules of harmony or what makes a good melody line, the more controlled and confident we will feel about making music.  

I strongly agree with all the leading Musical Institutions of this country on the importance Music Theory has in the development of competent musicians. The ABRSM itself has made Grade 5 compulsory for any student willing to go for any advanced Music qualification. This kind of preparation will encourage students: 1) to start developing a reasonable understanding of music when performing or composing; 2) to work on the abilities needed to start dealing intelligently with complex musical passages; 3) to start acknowledging the basics of interpretation -articulation, phrasing, dynamics, pedalling, balancing, tempo- and 4) to make their interpretative choices according to different styles and composers.



The way that leads to music understanding is different and unique to each individual. As tutors we can only give them a compass and, most important than anything elsesome guides about how to use it.

Our students have a 100% rate of success in their music theory exams 

ABRSM Grades 1-8

Guildhall Trinity Grades 1-8

London College of Music Grade 1-8 + Diploma


Entrance to Bachelor in Music (performance, composition and teaching)

Entrance to Masters in Music Composition

Our team of music theory teachers

Gisela Paterno

Senior Piano and Music Theory Teacher / coordinator

Gisela is a specialized piano and music theory teacher graduated from the renowned Santa Ana Conservatoire (Buenos Aires - Argentina). She is a superb musician, specialized in delivering high quality piano lessons, capable of playing piano, cello and guitar at concert standards. Her piano mentor and muse was Mercedes Vinci, a renowned Piano Maestro in Buenos Aires. In Argentina we are lucky to have a large tradition of high profile Concert Pianists like Bruno Gelber, Martha Argerich and Daniel Baremboim who are inspirational to the new generations world wide and who inspire and direct the study plans in our main national conservatories. Her concert repertoire includes pieces like: Beethoven Sonata No. 6 in F Major Op. 10, No. 2; Mozart Sonata No. 283 and Prokofiev Sonata No. 1, Op.1Gisela is also an established composer whose pieces have been premièred by renowned orchestras and ensembles around South America. He has been played at: Teatro Cervantes -Buenos Aires-; Universidad del Norte de Paraguay -Asuncion, Paraguay- and many other academic institutions.You can find some of this perfomances at her own composition-profile website: Qualifications:2008 - 2012 Masters in Composition. National University Institute of Arts -Buenos Aires Argentina-2006 - 2008 Bachelor with Honours, National University institute of Arts.1998 - 2005 Bachelor with honours in Music Pedagogy specialized in Piano teaching, Santa Ana Conservatoire -Buenos Aires, Argentina- Experience:13 Years of experience as Piano Teacher at the Republica Oriental del Uruguay School, Excelsior Private School and many other respectable institutions around Buenos Aires.

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Student Resources


Group Music Theory Lessons

After careful consideration and taking into account some of our beginner-to-GRADE 5 students are in need of radical development over the music theory subjects we have decided to open one Group-Music-Theory-Course on the weekends. These courses are going to be taught to 6 students at a time maximum.  


The main purpose of this option is to provide support for Music Theory to students in need of theory development and aiming to eventually go for grades beyond GRADE 5 for which GRADE-5 theory is an unavoidable requirement.



  • Note values: semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver and semiquaver; their equivalent rests (candidates may use the terms ‘whole note’, ‘half note’, etc.); tied notes, single-dotted notes and rests. 

  • Simple time signatures of 2 /4,  3 /4 ,4 /4 , bar-lines and the grouping of the notes listed above within these times 

  • Composition of a two-bar rhythm in answer to a given rhythm starting on the first beat of a bar. 

  • The stave: treble (G) and bass (F) clefs; note names, including middle C in both clefs; sharp, flat and natural signs, and their cancellation.  

  • Major scale: its construction, 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 (by number only), and intervals above the tonic (by number only). 

  • 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. 




 GRADE 2  

  • As in Grade 1, with the addition of: 

  • Simple time signatures of 2 2 3 2 4 2 3 8 and the grouping of notes and rests within these times. Triplets, and triplet note groups with rests. Questions will include the composition of simple four bar rhythms starting on the first beat of the bar and using a given opening. 

  • Extension of the stave to include two ledger lines below and above each stave.  More terms and signs in common use. 

  • Construction of the minor scale (harmonic or melodic at candidate’s choice, but candidates will be expected to know which form they are using). Scales and key signatures of the major keys of A, Bb and Eb, and the minor keys of A, E and D, with their tonic triads (root position), degrees (number only), and intervals above the tonic (by number only). 


  • FINAL TEST (all topics seen on the course)


As in preceding grades, with the addition of:

  • Compound time signatures of 6 8 9 8 12 8 and the grouping of notes and rests within these times. The demisemiquaver (32nd note) and its equivalent rest. Questions will include the composition of a simple four-bar rhythm which may start on an upbeat.

  • Extension of the stave beyond two ledger lines. The transposition of a simple melody from the treble clef to the bass clef, or vice versa, at the octave.

  • Scales and key signatures of all major and minor keys up to and including four sharps and flats, including both harmonic and melodic forms of minor scales, with their tonic triads (root position), degrees (number only), and intervals above the tonic (number and type).

  • More terms and signs. The simple questions about a melody may include one on its phrase structure.