First, you might be asking “what is theory?” Music theory is the foundation of how music is created; it is the “rules” of how we read and make music. As musicians and of course teachers, we believe that theory lessons are always a good idea! Whether you have been taking lessons for a short or long period of time, knowing more about the foundations of theory is always a good idea. Below, we’ve outlined three of our major reasons we believe theory lessons are always a good idea to take as a co-requisite to your primary instrument. Whether you have just started lessons or have been taking lessons for a while, these all apply to you.
The three main reasons we believe theory lessons are always a good idea are:
1. Learning basic music theory makes you a stronger musician. As with anything we do, if we understand why a rule exists, instead of operating by blind memorization, worlds of opportunity open to us. This applies to a game between friends or driving a car! It also applies to music. By learning the rules and giving the music context in terms of history and human advancement, we have automatically become better musicians. We aren’t simply memorizing a series of notes anymore; we have an understanding of the rules which gives us the freedom to interpret with a strong foundation of knowledge.
2. There isn’t enough time in your primary music lesson. A regular 30-45-minute lesson (depending on your level) is great for covering technique and pieces, but just doesn’t quite cut it when we also try to bring out the theory book! We find that by extending a regular lesson by 15 minutes or having a specific theory lesson on a different day usually works the best for students. This gives them ample time to understand the new concepts without rushing or feeling pressured, as well as working on a few questions together. Theory is a lot like math; it works well when you have someone around to answer questions as you go!
3. The lesson books do not include all the theory rudiments. Piano students often end up with more theory exposure due to the fact that many lesson books are broken down into units which contain explanations of concepts as they move through the book. Singing books are not laid out in this way however, which means that singers do not have the same explanations clearly laid out for them. While we always try to include theory into our lessons, nothing lays it out in as user friendly a way as the Royal Conservatory of Music’s theory books, or the Sound Advice theory books.
If you are thinking that theory lessons sound like a great co-requisite to your child’s or your primary music lessons, you are probably wondering what the next step is! We recommend talking with your lesson teacher to find out which would be appropriate, if you have any leniency to extend your current lesson time, or if you can find another time throughout the week that you can dedicate to just theory. If you are not currently taking a primary music lesson at Forte and are still interested in taking theory, that’s okay too!
Our lesson prices for a 30-minute theory lesson is the same as our regular 30-minute lesson. Scheduling permitting, we are also able to do a group theory class for 60 minutes.
Find out more or schedule your first theory lesson today by contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org