Why should I study music theory?

music-theoryWhat is music theory?
Music Theory is the study of the language of music and typically includes written and listening-based study. The musical notes in a composition are so much more than indications of what to play and when!  They constitute a language in and of themselves.  When read by musicians trained in harmony, counterpoint, and analysis (all elements of music theory), the written music reveals details of the composer’s emotional and intellectual intentions.  Ear training (a.k.a.- aural skills) refers to the skill of identifying key elements of music by ear, rather than from the written page.  This includes identifying scales, modes, harmony, musical structure, and even learning to write down what one hears (a.k.a. – dictation).

Studying music theory doesn’t sound… fun.
If you think playing an instrument is fun, then you’ll find our music theory class fun. Our faculty members strive to make classroom instruction engaging and encourage exploration and creativity. Students may be asked to bring instruments to class so that they can make the connection between theory and music practice.  Or students may be asked to compose and learn music by ear.

When should I start studying music theory?
Now!  The study of music theory – including ear training – should start at the youngest possible age.  However, students of any age or experience level can start – or resume – their study of music theory at any time.  For students unable to attend a scheduled music theory class time, we recommend adding an additional time to your private lesson to work with your instructor using a music theory workbook.  We recommend using workbooks from the Royal Conservatory Music Development program.  These are available for purchase online and in our office.

For those wishing to pursue collegiate music study….
Students planning to study music in college will be required to take years of music theory and ear training to obtain a music degree.  Those who train adequately now may be able to pass out of required music theory and ear training classes during in-coming student placement exams!

Fall semester music theory classes are on sale!
Sections are available for students of all ages and experience levels.
Classes begin in October 2018. 

We have created 10-session theory classes at unbelievably low prices starting on Oct. 8.  Sections are available for middle school students (upper elementary students may participate in these classes), and for high school students/adults. Fall semester tuition starts at only $160.

Course descriptions, schedule, fees, and online registration
masongross.rutgers.edu/Music_Theory

Questions?  Please call us at 848-932-8618 or email extdiv.office@mgsa.rutgers.edu

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