Codebreaker: using the new ABRSM music theory online exams

I have always loved teaching ABRSM grade 5 music theory. I find it has such a positive overall impact on progress and helps students become more rounded musicians. As one student remarked recently, “I understand the music I’m playing so much better now!”.

So it was with great interest that I read about a new online trial taking place in August 2020. One of my adult students happened to be ready for entry and agreed to try it out. We had already gone through a lot of past exam papers and tried questions in an online format using my challenge pack, Codebreaker Five.

Apart from some technical difficulties on the day (which seemed to happen to a lot of candidates), it was a great success and my student achieved a well deserved Distinction!

So what is Codebreaker Five?

Students take online quizzes for an online exam to prepare for their grade five theory. Codebreaker is organised in a logical order by topic and students move up the levels to complete the challenge. Topics are aligned to the syllabus covering areas like ‘pitch’, ‘rhythm’ and ‘intervals’ amongst others.

Every quiz reveals a musical ‘code’ to unlock, but the clue to the code is only revealed if the student passes (if they fail they must take the quiz again!). All the codes are based on the required Italian, German or French music terms in the grade 5 syllabus, which is a great way to learn them!

Codebreaker Five is playable on a smartphone, tablet or computer and keeps track of what you have completed so far with a progress bar. Correct or incorrect feedback after each question is instant and it often helps you improve for next time by revealing the answer so you can see where you went wrong.

Many of the quiz question types follow the same format as the ABRSM exam. There are also a lot of interactive questions such as drag the note on the stave to make a given interval, or tap where the bar-lines should go in a line of music.

If you are a music teacher, set up a teaching group using the facilities in your teacher account so you can see when a student has unlocked a code in your activity stream. It is free to set up a teacher account and there are special discounts for packs like Codebreaker not available in the main shop. Simply pass on the cost to your student.

Once you add a student in this way, they are automatically sent log-in details so they can access Codebreaker for themselves and start playing the quizzes. If students are already registered with the site it will be added to their existing account.

Find out more about Codebreaker Five here and let me know if you have any questions.

Mystery of the Lost Diamond

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s