ABRSM has recently launched its newest online tool- Melody Writer. Melody Writer is a online tool, free to use. This tool was made to help students practice their music composing skills. From Grade 5 theory examination onwards, students are required to compose their own basic music for 1 of the questions.
How to use melody writer?
You can compose music anywhere, anytime. As long as you have your tablet or your laptop, you can make music on the train, in the office, anywhere in the world. With Melody Writer, you are able to start new melodies, or finish existing melodies.
Before sharing your melody with your teacher or friends, you can also hear your work, and make adjustments easily. In addition, Melody Writer allows one to learn more about music theory, especially since there is a big jump from Grade 4 to Grade 5 music theory examination.
How melody writer can help you
When taking Grade 5 music theory examination, our students often complain of the difficulty of the paper. As you move up, there will be more musical terms to memorise (Italian terms, French terms etc.) However, the biggest problem faced is- composing your music.
Students have only been required to learn and play their examination pieces and scales. When asked to make their own music, students face problems as they do not know how to start and use the correct symbols. In addition, students must be able to visualise the sound and tune in their head.
Melody Writer is to help students with making music. When preparing for their music theory examination, students can hear the melody they have written out loud, and look out for the common mistakes made. This will help them feel confident and prepared when doing the composing music questions in the examination.
Why is music theory important?
Many students only want to focus on playing the pieces and passing examinations. However, music is not all about playing the instrument. To sight read pieces and read them correctly, one must learn music theory. Music theory not only builds up one’s foundation, but makes it easier for them to learn other instruments in the future too.
When come across with an unknown piece, a student will need to use all his knowledge of music to play the piece. If he has just been thought how to practice and practice without really reading the notes, he will not be able to pass his sight reading examination. Hence music theory is important and must be taken seriously by students.
Tips to making beautiful melodies
In the examination room, there are no tools or teachers to help you. You will have to rely on everything you have learnt. We have summarised several tips for you to take note when composing music during your examination:
- Take note of the time signature.
It is important to note the correct beat from the start of the song.
- Keep the dynamics in mind.
Dynamics refers to the volume of the song. Will it be a quiet or loud song? In order to compose a beautiful song, the notes and beats must be in coordination with the dynamics.
- Use symbols in your song.
Always have symbols in your song such as dots above notes to represent ‘Staccato’ which means that the notes of the song are detached sharply.
- Use pauses in your song.
There must always be a pause in the song, to create a feel or change the dynamics of a song.
Always remember to play the piece in your head. Imagine the dynamics, flow and melody in your mind. Keep your composition short and simple, not too long with too many symbols and terms. A long and complex composition will only cause the marker to feel confused.
Melody writer is free!
There is no harm trying. Register for a free account and start making melodies! Our violin teachers will also start using Melody Writer in our music theory classes. We wish you all the best to your melody making!