Are you finding it hard to get started with notation? Maybe you have already begun to read sheet music, but you just feel you’re not moving quite as fast as you would like to?
Music Theory lessons
Music is generally thought of as being in two parts, practical and music theory. The practical element of musicianship involves the playing of your chosen instrument, be it guitar, piano, flute, drums or singing. The theory part relates to how and why music works. For example, you may have learned to play three chords on your guitar at home, ‘C Major,’ ‘A minor’ and ‘G Major’. That would work perfectly well until you wanted to know what scales could be played along with these chords, and why do some scales sound like the right fit and others don’t? There is only so far that a musician can go without studying music theory, it is the gel that holds everything together and brings everything in music to make sense.
All of our teachers at Morningside School of Music are qualified experts in music theory, and each teacher holds their own particular strand of interest. For example, our drums tutors are experts at rhythm, timing, polyrhythms and percussion notation, whereas our piano teachers are leaders in the field of classical notation, harmony, cadences, and scales.
It is quite common for clients at the music school learning a musical instrument or voice to have music theory lessons along the way. That said, we also have musicians who are teaching themselves at home who attend Morningside School of Music for theory tuition. You can only go so far in music without recruiting music theory into your repertoire at some point.
There are two approaches to learning music theory. The graded method and the casual way.
Graded Music Theory
Similar to formally learning a musical instrument using graded syllabi, like The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) or Trinity College London (TCL), you can also carry out music theory graded exams. These work in the same way, grades 1 through to 8, although most of the work is written, rather than performance. Some exam boards, such as the ABRSM, insist that you have Grade 5 theory before you are permitted to apply for the Grade 6 performance exam, so it is worthwhile starting early on in music education.
ABRSM and TCL have a more classical approach to music theory, which is very beneficial indeed. However, if you are a guitarist in a band or a musician who sticks strictly to a more popular music style, then Rockschool (RSL) offer Popular Music Grades which are of equal academic merit.
Non-Graded Music Theory
If your child plays an instrument and has a lot on, maybe school exams for example, and just wants to get better but isn’t too keen on the graded music exams, it is possible to learn music theory in a more relaxed fashion. We can tailor a learning plan that suits how much time you want to study, what style of music you are interested in and what level you would like to reach. Although there are no exams, we can make this every bit as rigorous or relaxed based on your preferred requirements.
Our teachers at Morningside School of Music make theory fun and exciting, and although most people enjoy the performance part of music, as opposed to theory, we believe we can win you over to enjoy both. We teach complete beginners, children, and adults, who haven’t looked at theory at all, through to degree, masters degree and even PhD students. Some of our staff are Doctors of Music and lecture within top university music departments, such as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Morningside School of Music provides the most exceptional standard of music educators so that our clients get the finest in music education. A great many of our former clients have gone on to study music at universities across the world, graduating and becoming touring musicians, teachers, lecturers and leading out numerous other careers within the music industry.
For more information on Grades, please see the links below.
Below are some reading materials that we recommend for music theory related study.
The AB Guide to Music Theory – Part 1
Taylor, E.R. & Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, 1993. The AB guide to music theory. Part 1 Revised 1993.., London: Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. ISBN-10: 1854724460
The AB Guide to Music Theory – Part 2
Taylor, E.R. & Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, 1992. The AB guide to music theory. Part 2 Revised 1992.., London: Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. ISBN-10: 1854724479
If you would like to book an appointment with one of our specialist music theory teachers, please contact us and we will do everything we can to assist.