The Maestro Online

Aural, Musicianship, Theory

Musicianship Lessons Online and Theory Lessons Online

Robin has the most positive, encouraging and enthusiastic teaching style. He’s taken my aural perception skills and organ-playing technique to a much better level, and over Zoom to boot. I would recommend him to students of all ages and levels. Above all, his lessons are a fun way to explore all kinds of musical avenues.

Anne, Hong Kong, an adult advanced level aural lessons, Kodály and Musicianship student, currently working on modulations and hearing 2 parts at once


Robin is a truly inspirational teacher, constantly exploring new and innovative ways to complement musical study at all levels. His holistic approach combines all the skills that are vital for every musician, whatever the instrument, culture or genre. Lessons with Robin are challenging, motivational and immense fun.

L, an adult advanced level aural, Kodály and musicianship student, currently working on hearing two parts at once and singing a range of cadences, improvising vocal harmony.


Following your years of tuition I have been singing hymns to solfa – in my head as I go to sleep. I have found this really good for pitching.

Adult Kodály Solfege Aural Student


I can highly recommend Robin – my 15 year old son is having online musicianship and theory lessons, working towards rock school electric guitar grades – he loves it! The lessons are dynamic and tailored to my son’s musical tastes and interests and he said he learned more from his first lesson than he had all year in school.

Emma, Mum of a Home-schooled Son.

Aural Lessons Online, Aural Training Online and Musicianship Lessons

Online Aural Lesson Courses are appropriate for ages 4-99 and involve numerous games, movement and activities. Expert aural lessons enhance the inner ear, improve sight-reading, enable sight-singing and create an all-round musician. All examination board aural tests are supported. Aural awareness can be developed, ear training for cadences can be taught and online ear training works!

Aural lessons teaching can be very strategic and planned and my aural lessons online are relevant for all instruments and levels. The idea that people ‘can’ or ‘cannot’ when it comes to aural tests is not true. It is true that some people find high grade aural tests and music diploma aural exams easier than others, but it is also true that they can all make great progress through good teaching, methodology, pedagogy and a planned programme. Aural training is a skill that should be developed through a carefully planned aural and musicianship course. These days taking separate aural lessons and musicianship skills lessons online is a great route.

Aural Lessons Online: How do I train my ear for Aural Exams?

How to improve aural skills

Advanced aural lessons are about internalisation and an holistic approach that trains the whole musician, making all of the neurons fire to create many different connections. For instance, two common chord progressions that in ‘music theory’ seem very different, only have one note different: IV-V-I and iib-V-I. To spot only one note difference in a progression by ear is not easy, but through improvisation, as well as playing back and copying in a form of instant dictation, the sound is absorbed by the memory. This doesn’t happen through traditional theory tuition.

Aural Lessons Online:

Aural Training and Musicianship Lessons for Children and for Fun

Aural Lessons for general musicianship training involve songs, activities and games that internalise pulse, rhythm and specific pitches. The result is a person with a stronger rhythmic and melodic understanding that becomes better at singing and whatever instrument they play. Movement is a key element of these online aural lessons making them lots of fun! Yes, I do them with adult choirs too!

Sample Articles on Advanced Aural Skills Training & Ear Training Online:

Details about my article published by Routledge and how that connects to training the whole musician

Musicianship, Aural and Theory inspired by Kodály

Advanced Aural, Theory and Improvisation

Beginner Aural Lessons Online:

Aural Training to Re-Awaken your Ears

√ I’m not sure, is that note going up or down?

√ I guess it goes higher, just not sure how far.  A step or leap?  I’ve no idea…

√ “Sing the next note”, but can’t I just play it on my instrument first?

If you hear someone play many wrong notes or they sing really out of tune or completely out of time, can you tell?  Yes, of course you can.  Therefore your ears and aural skills are absolutely fine and you can do aural, you just need a structured aural lessons online course to support you that utilises strategic aural lesson teaching methods.

‘Hone in’ your ears from wherever you are currently at aurally.  My aural lessons online pedagogy is inspired, but not specifically limited to, the teachings of Kodály, a widely respected (on a global scale) Hungarian composer and musicianship, aural lessons pedagogue. We will:

  1. Include rhythmic concepts and adapt them to make them useful for your instrument or voice and sight-reading or sight-singing as well as aural tests.

  2. Start with singing and solfege hand-signs, begin with just two notes and gain confidence here, be confident with aural lessons for 2 notes first.

  3. We will then learn to hear those notes in our heads (“inner hearing”).

  4. We will improve our aural awareness of ‘intervals’ through ‘games’.

  5. We will work on being able to see printed notes and having a good idea of how they sound without playing them on an instrument, aural in our minds.

From Beginner Aural lessons Online You Will:  

  • Have beginner aural lesson strategies that you can employ yourself to further develop.

  • Know how a printed rhythm and melody would sound by using your mind rather than an instrument, inner hearing aural technique.

  • Identify different time signatures by ear and invent your own rhythmic patterns in different time signatures, using aural lessons to improvise.

  • Be able to identify simple pitch/rhythmic differences between performances and notation for aural tests.

  • Clap or sing things back and have a good idea of how they would be written down for sight-singing, sight reading and aural tests.

  • Relate pitches to the tonic and understand how the same pitch will ‘sound different’ in different keys, developing relative solfege aural training.

  • Sing some things using different pitches to those around you, elementary harmony, aural training in harmony.

  • Begin to develop a practical aural understanding of cadences.

More Advanced Aural Lessons Online:

Music isn’t made for eyes, It’s made for Ears

At this point,

√ you can sight-sing short simple phrases. 

√ You see a rhythm and you know exactly how it will sound. 

√ You could cope with simple rounds. 

What would diploma aural lessons online do for you?

  1. Enhance extended sight-singing, inner ear aural development.

  2. Separate lower pitches from upper pitches in your mind.

  3. Develop an aural understanding of chord inversions.

  4. Aurally recognise and sing cadences.

  5. Sing lower parts or bass lines, aural lesson 2 part counterpoint.

  6. Further develop your ability to sing and hear in more than 2 parts.

  7. Develop vocal sequences, aural technique melodic development.

  8. Add melodic embellishments such as appoggiaturas, acciaccaturas, mordents etc., aural melodic decorations.

  9. Develop an aural understanding of modulation.

From More Advanced Aural Lessons Online You Will:

  • Have advanced aural lesson strategies that you can employ yourself to further develop.

  • Be better able to identify differences between printed scores and notation.

  • Be more able to separate notes in a chord or piece in your head.

  • Be more able to follow individual lines within a homophonic or contrapuntal texture.

  • Be better at identifying chord inversions, simple progressions and cadences.

  • Be more able to identify compositional melodic embellishment and structural techniques.

  • Have strategies to help identify modulations.

  • Be well prepared for aural examinations in high level grades and diplomas.

    Even More Advanced Diploma Aural Lessons and Musicianship Lessons

  • Robin has taught Undergraduate degree programmes, set examinations and marked them. He can deliver advanced aural, harmony, musicianship lessons to all levels. This can include 16th Century counterpoint, Bach harmony, writing fugues, piano accompaniments, French Italy and German 6ths, 13th chords, analysis of forms and features of composers with a programme going from Binary via Rounded Binary to Ternary, to Sonata Form to Symphonies. He can deliver the whole package and far better than the likes of Harvard, at a much reduced cost, interactive, fun, practical and bespoke to you. Whatever you need for your advanced aural, theory, analysis and musicianship lessons, it is all here in one place.

Developing Musicianship through Aural Skills

Theory Lessons Online Connected with Aural Lessons and Performance

Wherever possible, theory lessons explore the concepts through your instrument or voice so that you connect them with what you hear (aural lesson), not just what is printed on a page. Theory then comes to life through performance and is not purely academic.

  • Read here for more on advanced aural training lessons and integration with theory and performance. Bespoke aural teaching is the way for top level performances, not pre-taught certificate courses. Kodaly derived courses make for early stepping stones only.

Aural and Theory for Singers and Choral Award Scholars

Why is aural and sight-singing that important? Why can’t you just play the melody on the piano to check how it sounds? Inner hearing aural teaching allows you to see printed notation and hear the music in your head. Now, if a whole choir had advanced aural training classes and knew not just how their part sounded but also the parts of others simultaneously, if they are a choir who could also all ‘feel’ the chord progressions, sense the cadences and shape (dynamics) the phrases according to the harmonic progressions, this would be exceptional. A choir who then connected the meaning of the text with the quality of their vocal tone for soulful expressive connection because their advanced aural training went beyond notes and rhythms would be sensational.

Composition Lessons Online

Robin holds a Fellowship Diploma in Composition and offers coaching for all composers as well as examination support for GCSEs and A Levels. Composition lessons are not in the library and are only available one-to-one (online or face-to-face).

Advanced Analysis for Music Diplomas, Undergraduates & Postgraduates

Robin has taught Reti, Schenker and other techniques to first and second year undergraduates at the Royal Northern College of Music. He set and marked their examinations. He has taught 16th century harmony, Bach chorale harmony, writing fugues, piano accompaniments, analysis of sonatas, fugues, history of music, advanced aural, and more, all at the highest level.

Paperwork (Diploma, Undergraduate and Postgraduate) Teaching Holistically Integrated with Aural Lessons

Whether you need to complete harmonisations in a Sixteenth Century style, figured bass, a piece in the style of Bach, a Romantic era piano accompaniment or write a fugue, Robin will use practical techniques that enable you to ‘hear’, ‘feel’ and improvise exactly what you need. He has examined undergraduate end of year examinations for the Royal Northern College of Music and examined music diploma papers for the Royal College of Organists.

“Robin was a fantastic teacher in preparing me for my FRCO. In particular, he helped me improve my harmonic analysis skills. He really improved my exam technique by encouraging me to think about how to get to the answers by asking pertinent questions. Robin helped me pick out tasks I could work on each week leading up to the exam to strengthen my aural skills. He was very generous with his time, helping to fit in extra lessons as I needed and working with my time zone while I was in Australia.”

— Alana Brook FRCO, Assistant Organist, Lincoln Cathedral

“Robin is an intuitive and empathetic teacher who uses inherently musical approaches to develop the student as an all-round musician. I have studied advanced harmony with Robin for almost 4 years, and he has enabled me to develop my understanding and fluency and relate such skills to my wider playing and performance. Whereas other teachers tend to take a detached, academic approach to harmony that I have found daunting and confusing, Robin used my existing strengths at the keyboard to improve both my technical and psychological approach to harmony exercises. This person-centred, holistic approach is characteristic of Robin’s teaching style, as he takes into account all aspects of the student’s experience beyond the mechanics of getting a sound out of the instrument. This has resulted in improvements not only in my playing and ability to respond to harmony tests, but my confidence as a performer and emotional connection to my music-making. I cannot recommend Robin highly enough to students seeking support in any aspect of music performance, including those areas less readily taught such as harmony, keyboard skills and improvisation.“

— Anita Datta ARCO, former Organ Scholar Sidney Sussex Cambridge, former Assistant Organist at Beverley Minster

Your Aural Lessons Online, Musicianship Lessons and Theory Teacher

Aural Lessons publications: Robin is a co-author for the Routledge Companion to Aural Skills Pedagogy: Before, In, and Beyond Higher Education (Routledge, March 19, 2021). He is Kodaly inspired and was on the Education Committee for the British Kodaly Academy. He has used relative solfege (the “do-re-mi” system) aural training extensively in workshops, masterclasses, individual and school teaching. Solfege and Kodaly’ style aural training is just one of many tools in the toolkit, where the ultimate aim is to train the “inner ear” (the ability to hear music in your head and therefore perform it more musically, advanced aural lesson training technique). Certification is available for aural, musicianship and theory courses.

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