Verbs, nouns, adjectives… remember all those things you learned as you tried to really comprehend the construction of language? Well, there’s a whole different set of components to understand to comprehend the construction of music. Things like pitch, rhythm, melody and harmony. And that’s where music theory comes in.
“Theory class is where we sit down and make sense of this beautiful thing called music,” says MCMA faculty member Haley Marie. “I hear things like, ‘oh, now I understand what my teacher was talking about the other day!’ from many of the students who come to study music theory with me. From others, I’ve heard that they’re learning things they weren’t aware they didn’t know… but things they really needed to know.”
There are a lot of reasons to study music theory. Some come to study as they prepare to enter post-secondary schools. Others may want to teach and need the foundations to be able to confidently explain music concepts. And some want to produce music, whether that means recording or writing, and need theory to help them excel in their craft.
But for many, theory class beckons because they want to fulfill exam requirements for the Royal Conservatory or Conservatory Canada. Often students wait until the last minute to do this but – as Haley explains – it is so much better to do it ahead of schedule!
“Learning the matching theory makes tackling your instrument easier,” she says. “Also, once you write a practical exam, the exam will actually expire if you do not write the corresponding theory exam in time. But the opposite is not true! Your theory exams will never expire. Perhaps the most interesting reason to take theory ahead of time, though, is that you are eligible for a gold or silver medal for your exam if you complete the theory co-requisites by the end of the same year. And who wouldn’t like a medal around their neck?”
Haley believes that summer is an excellent time to study theory.
“Most of us have a lot less on our plates in the summer. And while it may be cumbersome to drag your piano out to the lake to practice for your exam, your theory book doesn’t weigh all that much.”
And if you’re hesitant about beginning something as “heavy” as theory over your summer months, think of how Haley describes it.
“Theory is really just a good chance to uncover some secrets and behind-the-scenes information about one of humankind’s best achievements… music.”
Learn more about the Summer Theory Intensive Courses at the Conservatory this summer by CLICKING HERE.