Music Theory is a semester-length fine arts elective for high school students. The course requires no prior instrumental, vocal, or music theory study. Using the piano keyboard as a visual basis for comprehension, the course materials explore the nature of music, integrating these concepts:
- rhythm and meter
- written music notation
- the structure of various scale types
- interval qualities
- melody and harmony
- the building of chords
Throughout the series of assignments, ear training exercises are interspersed with the bones of composition technique, building in students the ability not only to hear and appreciate music but step-by-step, to create it in written form as well.
This highly interactive course culminates in the students producing original compositions, which while based on standard notation, demonstrate facets of personal expression. As the students’ ability to perform increases in the future, they will better understand music and therefore better demonstrate its intrinsic communication of emotion and ideas.
Anna Gilbert, Casey Mulvihill, Dawn Tornquist, Mandy Cramer