Music Theory and Composition


About Music Theory, Ear Training and Composition
The Mason Gross Extension Division offers excellent music theory and ear training instruction to children, teens and adults.  
Classes are oftentimes difficult to form due to participant's individual scheduling needs. This year, we will assess student interest and availability prior to setting a final schedule for classes. Classes listed below will be offered during the Fall 2015 semester pending adequate interest.
Please complete the survey linked to classes below to indicate your class interest and availability. Completing this survey in no way obligates you to follow through with actual class enrollment.  
We will contact respondents with information about which classes will form (based upon survey results) and let you know when, where, and how you may enroll should you wish to.  

What is music theory?
Music Theory, the study of the language and structure of music, is critical to the development of essential musicianship skills in  aspiring artists of all ages. Students are challenged to make creative application of theoretical concepts through composition and musical performance. Please contact the Extension Division if you are uncertain which class best suits you.

Fall Semester Dates
Our fall 2015 semester for all music classes & lessons is 14 weeks long followed by a makeup period of 2-4 weeks.
      Semester Begins: Wednesday, September 9, 2015
      Semester Ends: Saturday, December 19, 2015
      Makeup period: Monday, December 21, 2015 – Friday, January 22, 2016 (excluding vacation dates)

Music Theory for Adults
Structured to meet the specific interests of adult participants, practical and creative applications of music theory are emphasized. Basic note-reading ability in at least one clef is a prerequisite for this class.

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Composition Seminar
This class provides an open forum for the presentation, discussion, performance and analysis of new music. Repertoire will be drawn from student compositions, as well as works by major contemporary composers. Issues to be discussed include  orchestration, form, harmony, melody, counterpoint, texture, timbre, rhythm, meter, and performance practice. Composition Seminar is open to all high school and adult students who have completed at least one semester of High School Theory, Advanced High School Theory or Music Theory for Adults.

Composition Seminar may be taken repeatedly, as the subject matter varies widely from class to class.
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Private Music Theory/Composition Instruction (ages 6-adult) 
Private composition and music theory instruction is available to students of all ages and levels of advancement. Students explore various compositional techniques through a variety of exercises, as well as through listening and analysis.

Please contact the Extension Division office for scheduling information. Lessons billed at same rate as private instrumental and vocal instruction.

Private Lesson Tuition (through summer 2015)

  • 30-minute weekly lessons: $450 
  • 45-minute weekly lessons: $675 
  • 1-hour weekly lessons: $900
There is a surcharge for private study with Mason Gross School of the Arts faculty members.
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Sonata Class
For adult students and advanced precollege students (ABRSM level 8; RCMDP level 8).

This class covers the evolution of the sonata from its origins into the form we recognize from the Classical and Romantic Era.  This will be a combination of instructor lecture/performance and student performance/participation.  Those who take the class have the option to observe the class only or to perform/participate as arranged with the instructor in advance.  This will be offered as an 8-session class with the performance at the end as listed above (performance is optional). 

Day/Time: Not offered during AY 2015-16.

$360 tuition
$15 registration fee