About Rachel Billings
Rachel Billings is author of the All-In-One music theory series of books. Rachel graduated with Honours in music from the University of Manchester in June 2000 followed by an upper division diploma (2001) and postgraduate degree in performance (piano) at the Royal Northern college of Music in 2003. Rachel was awarded a Fellowship of the Victoria College of Music (FVCM) in 2018 (reasons why are explained below).
Rachel was born and brought up in Lincolnshire, but moved to Manchester at age 16 after gaining a place at Chetham’s music school where she owes much to the teaching of Nigel Pitceathly. Since then, she has received tuition from internationally acclaimed pianists such as Ronan O’Hora, Murray McLachlan, Stephen Hough, and Paul Janes. Rachel has a wide experience in the fields of chamber music and solo performance and has performed at various venues throughout the UK. Personal tastes range greatly from Bach to Percy Grainger, Poulenc and Scriabin.
The complete All-In-One series of books (ten in total) evolved from the first edition of All-In-One to Grade 5 which is an accumulation of five years work, published in 2009. Since then, for the past fifteen years, the book has been continually refined as Rachel discovers what works best with her own students. The Third edition, which was published July 2016, is now available in a ‘REVISED’ format (titled Third Revised edition’) which was published in December 2019 see https://aaronpublications.co.uk/blog/). This most recent edition is fully up to date with ABRSM exam requirements and, more significantly, incorporates a Victoria College Examination Board (VCM) Graded Checklist. Rachel was asked by Victoria College Examination Board to write a new Music Theory syllabus for VCM’s lower Grades; First Steps to Grade 5 (which they call ‘Grade V’) based upon her All-In-One music theory, and was awarded a Fellowship for this work in 2018 (FCVM). Victoria College of music’s Music theory Syllabus was published recently in December 2019 however the first exam session (planned for Spring 2020) is yet to take place due to coronavirus.
All-In-One Music Theory was originally written for the benefit of Rachel’s own private pupils but soon proved very popular in weekly lunchtime theory classes taught at a nearby local Girls’ grammar school. Rachel has a love for art which has naturally influenced All-In-One (All-In-One to Grade 5 itself includes no less than 130 illustrations) yet Rachel is a firm believer that drawings/paintings should always aid tuition and never be trivial decorations. Illustrations throughout the book reinforce important concepts learnt (a few examples of Rachel’s drawings can be seen on Facebook or here on this website ). Personal favourite artists include Shirley Hughes (author and illustrator) and Salvador Dali.
Rachel Billings taught in the North-West until she married in 2013 and moved to Warwickshire where she is now the busy mother of two young children. Rachel welcomes comments/ feedback (good or bad) about the All-In-One series from either teachers or students. All messages are carefully considered and help Rachel to improve each edition.
Rachel also offers online piano and/or music theory lessons. Please see https://aaronpublications.co.uk/online-piano-and-music-theory-lessons/ for details