Music Theory

Music Theory

Ages 7 - Adult

Learn the building blocks and the language of music

Spring Semester begins February 2!

Creative Music Theory Classes

Creative music theory classes are musicianship classes complementing instrument instruction. The ultimate goal of creative theory is to produce a literate musician, able to understand, read, write, analyze, and compose music. The ideal age to start music theory is 7 - 8 years old when children are able to read and write, but students benefit at ALL ages and stages!

Students will learn about...

  • improvisation and composition
  • ear training using solfège (do-re-mi) and how to hear and recognize pitches, intervals, and chords
  • scales, key signatures, basics of harmony, and rhythm
  • basic piano literacy
  • pieces of music from different periods and genres of music history

Theory is taught in small groups and classes meet once a week and last 55 minutes. Students are placed after meeting with the theory teacher, and grouped according to their age and skill level.

Test your knowledge and have some fun with these music theory videos, jokes, and exercises.

Private Music Theory Lessons

Interested in learning theory in a private setting? We also offer private lessons for advanced theory students. Private lesson rates apply - please visit our lesson webpage for more information about registration.


Spring 2019

Ages 7 - Adult

Instructor: Rebecca Sacks

Fall Semester: 15 weeks

Tuition: $275 per semester + $25 materials fee + $20 fall registration fee

Discounts/Scholarships: Powers private lesson students receive 10% off theory tuition. If you plan to register for private lessons and an orchestra or ensemble at Powers in addition to theory, please check our Merit Scholarship page for information about the Powers Conservatory Program.

Spring Class Times:

  • Theory Level 1 (beginner): Saturdays, 11:00 - 11:55 am  Begins 2/2/19
  • Theory Level 2 (intermediate): Saturdays, 12:10 - 1:05 pm  Begins 2/2/19
  • Theory Level 3 (Intermediate/Advanced): Saturdays, 1:20 - 2:15 pm  Begins 2/2/19

Ready to Register? Use the button below to register online.


Theory Level 1 (Beginner)
Level 1 theory is a beginner level course. The students learn to identify and use properly all the symbols for defining pitch and duration in music notation. The students also develop their ear – a musician’s most important tool! – by learning to sight-read simple melodies and recognize basic intervals, such as major and minor seconds and octaves. The students also have been developing experience improvising on their instruments in every class. This class is designed to provide beginner musicians with the necessary tools to quickly improve their musicianship through better reading of musical notation, by learning to improvise, and by sharpening their ear thus allowing for better tuning on their instrument.

Theory Level 2 (Intermediate)
Level 2 theory is an intermediate level course. The students continue their exploration of music notation, adding new symbols to their vocabulary, such as triplets, sextuplets and dynamics. They further their comprehension of the syntax of music by studying the composition of diatonic major scales and diatonic harmony, as well as new time signatures of simple meter. They also tackle more challenging ear training exercises, and they learn to recognize new intervals. The students have been composing short melodies with piano accompaniment, and they have been learning to compose their own 8-bar periods. They have also been learning to compose variations on a simple theme.

Theory Level 2 (Intermediate/Advanced)
Level 3 theory is designed as an intermediate-advanced level course. These students are already capable of reading and understanding written music. The students familiarize themselves with compound meter, syncopations, backbeats, minor scales, diatonic harmony and the identification and qualification of all intervals. Ear training includes sight-singing more complex melodies in different keys. The students have also been learning to compose their own 8-bar periods and 8-bar sentences. Their composition assignments are more advanced, and they have been learning to compose variations on a more complex theme.


PO Box 398 Belmont, MA 02478  |  Phone: 617.484.4696  

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