Getting Started with Theory
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Also available: Getting Started with Aural
These books do exactly what they say on the cover - get you started with some basic principals in both aural and theory. The very first topic in the theory book uses graphic notation and encourages the pupil to experiment with either the voice or an instrument to link the sound with the symbols on the page. The aural book kicks off with some really basic (but often overlooked) listening exercises and then uses the CD to shape listening patterns. This systematic approach is taken right through both books. They are not linked directly to an exam syllabus but the relevant subjects are all started on here. Worth trying, I think.