Learning about music theory can help performers at all levels to get the most from their music making. We asked some of our ABRSM scholars, studying at our partner Royal Schools, to tell us what music theory means to them and share some tips. This week we hear from Huw.
Let’s start easy - what’s your name and what country are you from?
Huw Boucher. Wales (Cardiff)
What are you studying?
I study classical Harp.
How has music theory helped you along your musical journey?
Music theory has helped me to broaden my horizon and delve more into the analytical side of music. This has allowed me to understand what I am playing at a much deeper level, therefore improving my approach to the pieces I am playing. Understanding music at this enhanced level has strengthened my enjoyment of classical music.
Why do you think it’s important to study music theory? What are some common misconceptions about music theory?
It’s important to study music theory as this allows you to analyse and understand music at a much greater level. Therefore enhancing your playing and being able to show exactly what the composer intended when writing their music. Some misconceptions about music theory could be that young children may think it is boring, however, there are lots of things that make it engaging. Understanding what you’re playing will only make playing your instrument more enjoyable.
What’s your music theory superpower?
My favourite thing about music theory was the musical terms as I always found learning new ones very interesting and extremely useful. I’ve always remembered all the terms I’ve learnt so when learning new music I’m always able to translate instantly.
Do you have any top tips for someone studying for a music theory exam?
Practise a lot of past papers. This will really help you get a feel for what the exam will be like. Also, make sure you time yourself so you do it in the appropriate time.
Finally, if you could be any musical term, what would you be and why?
En dehors, I guess I’m usually one of the louder one of my friends so I think this suits me very well.