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Making grade 5 music theory fun

A new course for music theory students aims to bring the subject – and its teaching methods – into the 21st century

Often a pre-requisite for furthering students’ musical journeys through practical instrumental exams, grade 5 music theory can cause apprehension for parents, teachers and students alike.

Lightbulb, a UK start-up founded in 2021, wants to change all that. Launching in August, the company’s Achieve Grade 5 Music Theory course ‘has the convenience of [language learning app] duolingo with the tailored programme of a personal trainer, but for music theory’, according to founder and director Naomi Lewis.

The course is designed to enable students to learn in the format of new online exams like ABRSM’s, covering the full grade 5 theory syllabus. Quizzes and assessments allow Lightbulb to track the advancement of each student and process regular progress reports.

‘Learning an instrument is interactive and exciting, so why can’t music theory be the same?’, Lewis says.

Lightbulb has designed a course reflecting different learning methods and speeds, timescales and other commitments, by allowing students to start when they need to and achieve their grade 5 music theory pass within the timeframe that works best for them.

A special feature of the course is its combination of online, on-demand learning with one-to-one coaching support from Lightbulb’s team, to enable students to tackle the areas that they are struggling with. Lightbulb will continue to support all students until they pass their exam.

Course information

Lightbulb is offering two launch courses for European and Asian time-zones, with a limited number of places available on each: