Friday Competition: Improve Your Theory! Grades 3, 4, & 5


This is the second competition featuring Faber Music’s Improve Your Theory! books, written by expert educator Paul Harris. I know many of you enjoy these competitions, and If you recently entered for the Grades 1 & 2 competition, you’ll be pleased to hear this weekend you have a chance to win Grades 3, 4 & 5; three books for three lucky winners.

These volumes are designed to prepare students for theory exams (such as those by the ABRSM) and provide a wealth of information on all aspects of theory. They are useful additions to any music library.

To take part, just leave a suitable comment in the comment box at the end of this post and I will select the winners on Sunday evening (British time). Good luck!


Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.

For more information, please visit the publications page, here.

52 Comments Add yours

  1. Sarah Arnold says:

    Have started this series with a student trying for level 5 – again, it saves lost photocopies – if he remembers to bring the book. XX (fingers crossed!)

  2. amylouwright says:

    These books would be ideal! Trying to encourage all my pupils who are studying GCSE Music to get to grade 5 theory before their school exam but teenagers are sometimes hard to motivate!

  3. amylouwright says:

    These books look great! I’m trying to encourage my pupils who study GCSE Music to get to grade 5 theory standard by the time their school exam comes round but teenagers can be hard to motivate!

  4. Jane says:

    Would be interested to see them!

  5. mfrgolfgti says:

    The Grade 4 book would be brilliant for me – as an adult learner, starting again at age 50 (a few years ago now), I passed my Grade 5 practical at the end of last year and have just taken my Grade 3 theory, planning on taking my Grade 4 theory next. I could do with any help I can get and would love to win!

  6. Rhoda says:

    They look very interesting!

  7. Ceris says:

    I’m a fan of Paul Harris’ books and indeed his whole simultaneous learning philosophy, which is refreshing and relevant. It is great that he has directed his attention to theory and I’m sure my pupils will enjoy this approach.

  8. Allen Huxley says:

    I very much appreciate all of you fine teachers who not only love music, but also devote your time and talent to help others to love it ever more deeply. This is noble work, and I thank you. I would be so pleased to win this contest; the Paul Harris “Improve Your Theory” books would make a useful and appreciated addition to my “toolbox” of music knowledge and reference. And thank you Melanie for your excellent website as well, very fine… Hope I win!

  9. paulinekwiat says:

    These books look great, I often think that students would benefit from supplementary theory materials in addition to what is provided by the exam boards. If the ‘Improve your sight reading’ series is anything to go by these books must be really good.

  10. Julie says:

    I love trying new theory books, and have not used these yet!

  11. Mary Kay Warner says:

    These books look great and I would love to add them to my students’ weekly assignments. They especially look like they would be more appealing to teen students. I’ll definitely be looking into these as I put together my fall plans!

  12. Noreen says:

    I would love to look at them.

  13. I could definatly do with knowing my music theory more as I am nervous about taking exams.

  14. Clare Spencer says:

    I would love to add these theory books to my teaching library. I already have Paul Harris’ Improve your Sight Reading and Improve your Scales books, which I use with all my students, so I know how effective and well-presented his books are.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Looks great! I’m always looking for ways to get my students to learn theory.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    This looks great! I’m always looking for ways to get my students to learn theory.

  17. Sheri says:

    These theory books look wonderful! I am always on the look out for new materials and ideas to use in my studio. I would love to have these books to use with my students. Thank you for sharing them!

  18. Dixie says:

    These look interesting. I would love to give them a try in my studio.

  19. Lynne Hall says:

    These look very interesting. I would like to see if they are more engaging for students than what I am currently using, to see if students will be more independent with their theory assignments.

  20. Irma Khouw says:

    I would love to try this with my student.

  21. I use a variety of theory books at all levels to prepare my students for yearly exams by the Music Teachers national association in the U.S.A. However , I’m always looking for challenging questions and new challenging exercises for all my students.
    If these books are on I’ll buying them since I don’t have them in my book shelf.
    Thank you for sharing.

  22. Bethanne says:

    Would love to see these and try with my students. 🎹

  23. Bethanne says:

    I would love to try these with my students! 🎹

  24. Laura says:

    I would be very interested in giving these a try with my students!

  25. My 15 year old student and I were just talking about rounding out her theory. I mean, really. How often does a teenager WANT to work on theory!! She’d love these!

  26. Courtney says:

    I have some students that could use this!

  27. Kay Pelham says:

    I’m not familiar with this series and would love to have a look at these 3. I’m currently in the hunt for additional theory books to go deeper than what comes with the regular method series.

  28. I love Paul Harris sight reading materials but didn’t know about the theory. Would love to try it.

  29. Valerie Gathrigjt says:

    Would love to check these out!

  30. Ruth Michaelis says:

    We’ll, of course I would love to try these!

  31. Jennifer Lynne says:

    I’m a theory fanatic and would love to try these with my students!

  32. Joanie Fitzgerald says:

    Hello! Thanks so much for being willing to give someone a free copy of the Faber theory books. πŸ™‚

  33. Michelle Williams says:

    My 9 year old daughter is keen to move forward with her theory education and has asked me enter the competition for her. Sunday can’t come soon enough!

  34. Mary Jane Jones NCTM says:

    I am always interested in finding new ways to present theory to my students. I would love to review these books!

  35. Mel Dean says:

    I’ve never heard of these particular books before. I’m considering Theory Time for fall lessons among others. I’d be interested in checking them out.

  36. Karen Housby says:

    I bought the grade 1 book recently to check it out, as I do like Paul Harris’ books. It has some great activities in it which really breaks up the written theory. I passed it on to one of my younger pupils so I could do with a replacement!

  37. Mariza R Barbosa says:

    First of all, I would love a peek, then then again I’m sure they are great!
    It’s good to change up ideas on Music Theory and most important work on making it FUN, which in turn will makec a good reader. I hope I win!
    Thank you for the opportunity!

  38. Esther says:

    I’d love to give these to my daughter’s piano teacher !!

  39. Karen Swan says:

    Hi Melanie, I love your blog for technical help. I am doing grade 5 in Australia and it is hard to find good theory books at the higher level. I would love to go into your draw for the grade 5 book. Karen

  40. Lisa P says:

    Would love to try these out!!

  41. Vicki Spooner says:

    Looking forward to learning new ways to teach theory! I didn’t get much when I was learning as a child, thus, it was difficult for me in college. I vowed to make sure that ALL my students (48 this coming year) would learn their theory in a fun way, and not have to struggle like I did.

  42. Anya says:

    This is the first time I have seen these books. Are they available in the US? Would definitely like to explore them. Thank you!

  43. Gloria Busman says:

    I would to try these with my students!

  44. Gloria Busman says:

    …love to try these with my students

  45. Anya says:

    Finding a great theory book is extremely important. I have tried many myself and with my students but have never seen these. Are they available in US? Thank you!

    1. Hi Anya, Thank you for your comment. I’m not sure if these books are available in the US, but they are published by Faber Music, so if you go to their website, I am sure you can order them. They are for sale on Amazon too.

  46. Clodagh says:

    A definite fan of Paul Harris here. Haven’t seen these books before you posted them here in the previous competition. Very interested to see these books. Look like a great resource.

  47. Vera says:

    I’m excited to see these books. Leaving and teching in Saudi Arabia now, I don’t get a chance to pop in to a local music shop to see what’s new. This is my favourite past time when I’m on holiday in the UK. Having said that, I only use Paul Harris “I improve your sight-reading” books with my pupils when preparing for ABRSM exams and, therefore, have high expecations of these theory books. Hope to find many new inspirational books before I’m back to the land of sand.

  48. These look interesting!! Thanks πŸ˜„

  49. Therese says:

    I’m a new teacher looking to build up my stock of go to books and these look super. I have one pupil transfer to me from another teacher that is at that level and she needs some serious theory lessons. These would be exactly what she needs.

  50. This competition is now closed. Many thanks to all who took part.

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