CMS Theory Classes - Overview

CMS Music Theory classes range from beginner to advanced. Music Theory provides a basic understanding of the language of music and how composers and performers use this language to communicate. Knowledge of the elements of Music Theory is essential for all areas of performance study. Classes will include lessons on notation, musical terms, ear training and dictation, basic harmony, sight singing, analysis, and the basics of composition. The curriculum is designed to help students apply these skills directly to their performance study.

One Semester includes 10 one-hour classes, beginning one week later than the regular CMS session. Each theory class will be offered only if there are four or more students in it. Tuition is due on the first day of class and is nonrefundable.


Beginning Elementary Theory

1. Become familiar with both treble and bass clef. This includes all note names.
2. Learn rhythmic figures names and durations up to the 8th note (i.e. quarter note= 1 beat).
3. Learn basic dynamic and articulation markings.
4. Learn simple meter and how to properly count within a given meter.
5. Begin basic interval training (2nds, 3rds, 4ths, and Classes5ths).



Intermediate Theory

1. Begin building Major and Minor scales.
2. Learn how to apply Solfege syllables to each scale.
3. Expand the knowledge of intervals and how Solfege can help.
4. Begin learning basic formal models (AB, ABA, and Rondo)
5. Expand rhythmic figures to the 16th note (this will include the understanding of triplets and various subdivisions of compound meter)



Advanced Theory Classes

1. Building chords up to secondary dominants.
2. Beginning roman numeral analysis and how it applies to real music.
3. The expansion of other scales (church modes, whole tone, octatonic)
4. Part writing with four voices.
5. 20th century theory and how it applies to music (serialism, modality, minimalism).



Theory for Adults

The content of this class will be adjusted according to the students' level of previous experience.