From sight-reading to aural skills: how to excel in your AMEB theory exams

When it comes to acing your AMEB theory exams, there's more to it than just sight-reading. While being able to read the music in front of you is certainly important, it's also crucial to have strong aural skills.


Why aural skills are important

Aural skills are important for music students because they help with pitch and rhythm recognition. By being able to identify pitches and rhythms, students can sight-read music more easily and accurately. Aural skills also help with composition and improvisation, as well as dictation.


There are a few things that students can do to improve their aural skills. First, they should practice singing or clapping rhythms regularly. This will help with both pitch and rhythm recognition. Second, they should listen to a variety of music, including classical, pop, and jazz. This will help them become familiar with different styles of music and improve their ability to identify pitches. Finally, they should practice dictation exercises, which will help them with transcription skills.


Improving aural skills takes time and practice, but it is worth it for music students of all levels.


What is sight-reading?

When you sight-read, you are looking at a piece of music for the first time and trying to play it. This can be a difficult skill to master, but it is important for your AMEB theory exams. Here are some tips to help you excel at sight-reading:


1. Don't try to learn the piece by heart before you start playing. Just look at the notes and try to play them as accurately as possible.


2. Take your time. If you make a mistake, don't worry about it, just keep going.


3. Listen to the music as you play it. This will help you get an idea of how the piece should sound and will also help you stay on track if you make a mistake.


4. Practice sight-reading regularly. The more you do it, the easier it will become.


How to sight-read effectively

Sight-reading is a skill that all musicians need to develop in order to become better sight-readers. Here are some tips on how to sight-read effectively:


1. Start by reading slowly and then gradually increase your speed.


2. Try to keep the rhythm in your head while you're sight-reading. This will help you stay on track and not get lost.


3. Pay attention to the dynamics and other musical markings in the piece you're sight-reading. These can give you clues as to how the piece should be played.


4. If you come across a section that you're having trouble with, take a few deep breaths and relax before trying it again. Don't get too frustrated if you can't get it perfect right away - practice makes perfect!

What are aural skills?



When preparing for your AMEB theory exams, it is important to focus on both sight-reading and aural skills. While sight-reading ability is important for being able to read and play new music quickly, aural skills are just as important for being able to understand and remember what you hear. By focusing on both of these areas, you can ensure that you will be well-prepared for your exams.


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