Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Evolution of Theory

I often tell prospective music students that music is a two-part discipline. To truly become proficient at any instrument, music students not only have to develop the athletic skills associated with playing that instrument (finger independence and strength, breathing and proper posture to name a few), but they also have to understand the language of music (how to read, write and even think in musical notation). This musical language – called “Music Theory” by teachers – is an ever-expanding library of “rules” and “best-practices” that our musical history has given us and it forms the foundation for every student’s understanding of music as a whole. Thus, it’s critical that we find a way to motivate the Video Game Generation to study Music Theory with some of the same enthusiasm they bring to their Xbox.

In the Age of Instant Gratification, it seems harder and harder to keep a music student’s attention. Also, as music is removed for our schools, private music teachers find that they have less and less time in their 30-minute lessons to cover basic concepts that used to be “common knowledge” to beginning students. …so how do we find time in only 30 minutes a week to help our students unlock the power of the musical language? (Imagine trying to study Latin in only 30 minutes a week!)

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