Why is Music Theory Important?

Why is Music Theory Important?

What is music theory?
It is a group class in which we study all the basic principles of music to help you understand it better.

Why should I take music theory?
Music theory allows you to learn everything you need to know about reading music outside of your instrument lesson. This way, when you get to your lesson or to orchestra, you will be able to take the most advantage of it to really focus on playing your instrument. On the long run, you will get better faster AND get to play more pieces! We know your parents will also be very happy to know it is more economic to learn all these concepts in a group setting than to take time out of your individual lesson to do it.

What do we do in this class?
A lot of different things!

1. We learn about all the symbols that allow us to read sheet music: the staff, the clefs, the notes, how to count note values, how accidentals work, how to count different meters (like 2/4, 4/4 or 6/8). Eventually, as we progress, we will also learn how to find out how major and minor scales work, ornaments, syncopations, irregular groups and even how to transpose and modulate.

2. We do ear training. Ear training includes solfege, rhythmic solfege, dictation, recognizing intervals, recognizing chords and much more. It allows you to become better at sight reading (which makes learning music a lot more fun, since you can focus on playing the piece!!). It also allows you to get better at finding the right pitch on your instrument.

3. We learn about music history and literature. That means we learn about important composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Brahms. We learn what makes their music different from other composers’ and we discover some important pieces they wrote. We also learn about all the instruments of the orchestra, the piano and the voice. Basically, we learn everything you need to know so when you listen to a piece of music, you can understand what is going on and what it is about.

When are the classes?
Theory classes meet for one hour on Saturday mornings. There is a possibility to open some on Monday nights if the registration warrants it.

Who teaches the classes?
The Saturday classes are taught by Geneviève Leclair. She has been teaching theory and ear training for 15 years. She has taught in many schools in Montréal, Canada and in the Longy Community Programs until they closed. She is also an orchestra conductor who works as Assistant Conductor for Boston Ballet and as Music Director of a community orchestra. Pianist and composer Cindy Giron who has been on faculty here at Powers teaching piano and keys for kids will be teaching our weekday classes.

Want to register for a Music Theory class? Email Spencer Aston, Director of Music, at saston@powersmusic.org, or our Registrar at registrar@powersmusic.org.


PO Box 398 Belmont, MA 02478  |  Phone: 617.484.4696  

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