Music Theory

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Music Theory

Whether you are studying privately with one of our bART teaching artists or studying privately outside of our school, our Music Theory classes are open to young musicians of all levels. Our advanced students regularly test out of their first year of Musicianship in college.

The study of musicianship is indispensable to the development of literate, well-rounded musicians. Additionally, the study of music history provides students with a sense of artistic chronology, repertoire, and an awareness of varied styles and style periods.

Music theory develops the “seeing ear” (the ability to hear music and know how it should look in notation) and the “hearing eye” (the ability to see music and know how it should sound.) The music theory curriculum begins with fundamentals including note recognition in treble, bass, and alto clefs, in addition to general keyboard orientation, scales and key signatures, intervals, triads, simple and compound meter, elementary composition, and transposition. Basic conducting, 4 part voice writing, tonal and atonal dictation and group sight seeing is also a part of this curriculum. After learning the fundamentals, students progress to the study of music analysis, form, diatonic harmony, and part writing. By the end of the seven-year program, conservatory students will have completed the equivalent of the first year of the undergraduate college music theory sequence.

Music theory also includes the study of ear training. Students learn both diatonic and chromatic solfege in the “Fixed Do” system. Sight Singing and dictation exercises are given regularly.

Music Theory classes are group classes taking place either one afternoon a week or twice weekly. A short consultation with one of our theory instructors will be required to determine your placement/level.

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