Grade 1 to 8 in 6 months?

Here’s an inspirational story for anyone who’s struggling with that necessary obstacle of passing Grade V theory before going on to Grade VI practical.

Last mid-September I began teaching Dan, a young man from Tel-Aviv. The lessons were initially over the internet and later at my home. His aim was no less than going from zero to grade 8 theory in order to qualify for admission to a UK university.

Although Dan is a pretty impressive guitar player, he knew very little about formal theory, not even rhythm grouping and bass clef notes. This, however, was no deterrent and in 2 weeks he got to Grade 3. Then he came to Leeds to study with me.

We got to Grade 5 by Christmas. By end of January we were on Grade 7, but had to skip most of the bit about chorales in order to get to Grade 8 as soon as possible. We spent a month doing trio sonatas and figured basses, a bit of composition and plenty of examples of the last two “general” types of questions.

The exam was on 3 March 2011 so altogether he had less than six months to get up to scratch. He duly did the exam and recently informed me that he had passed the exam, sending me a copy of his certificate back from Israel!

So congratulations to Dan and a clear message to anyone else that if you set your mind to it and follow up good intentions with a plan of action and hard work, then you can achieve your ambition. Naturally, upon his success Dan was well pleased and kindly wrote a testimonial. If you’d like to read it just click here.

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