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Music Theory

All musicians, regardless of age, experience, or goals, encounter theory throughout their musical studies. Adding music theory classes to your studies will enhance your understanding of music. You’ll learn what is beyond the “notes on paper” and how to approach and interpret music on a more substantial level. Major areas of study include: notation, ear training, dictation, solfège, rhythm, harmony, form, and much more. Students enrolled in private lessons and who have an understanding of basic notation, rhythm, and listening, are great candidates to further their studies with the addition of music theory.

Tuesdays, 4:45-5:30 pm or Thursdays, 4:15-5:00 pm
Dan Shaud, instructor
Recommended for years 1 and 2 of instrumental or vocal study

This introduction to music-making offers a thorough exposure to and review of the basics: reading in treble and bass clefs, basic rhythmic notation and divisions, intervallic ear training and the rudiments of dictation.


Wednesdays, 4:45-5:30 pm | Stephen Halloran, instructor
Fridays, 4:30-5:15 pm | David Tobin, instructor
Recommended for years 3 and 4 of instrumental or vocal study

This expanded course will include the alto and tenor clef reading; expanded reading in the treble and bass clefs, fixed Do elementary solfège, major and minor scales, circle of fifths, triad construction, elementary cadential movement, expanded rhythmic patterns, and melodic dictation.

Ear Training

Tuesdays, 4:15-5:00 pm | Stephen Halloran, instructor
Saturday, 1:30-2:15 pm | David Tobin, instructor
Recommended for years 2 and above of instrumental or vocal study. This course may be taken at the same time with or after Fundamentals I or II.

This introduction to ear training represents an expansion of the skills gained in intervallic ear training and melodic dictation in the Fundamentals series. Topics covered include: treble clef solfège in fixed Do, stepwise tonal dictation, triad and scale recognition, and notation; basic two-voice harmonic cadential movement.


Recommended for years 3 and above of instrumental or vocal study

This course is designed for those with strong music fundamentals who wish to expand their abilities to modal and atonal solfège and dictation, two-clef solfège and dictation, 3- and 4-part singing, and movable Do.

Form & Analysis

Mondays, 3:45-4:30 pm | Dan Shaud, instructor
Thursdays, 5:00-5:45 pm | Stephan Halloran, instructor
Recommended for years 4 and above of instrumental or vocal study. This course should be taken only after Fundamentals II.

Musical forms and analysis are the areas of study that move away from details and begin to take a look at how music is put together. This introductory course will discuss basic harmonic progressions in major and minor keys using Roman numerals, recognizing and harmonizing melodic patterns, creating and recognizing melodic structures, introduction to binary and ternary forms, and modulation. Study of student’s current repertoire will be included whenever possible.


Expansion of skills learned in Form & Analysis I. Contact RSC for information on more advanced classes.

AP Music Theory Prep

Saturdays, 12:30-1:30 pm | Stephan Halloran, instructor
Recommended for those who intend to take the AP Music Theory test as well as those wishing to complete a comprehensive review of all material presented in RSC’s Theory Department curriculum. Students should plan on 1 to 2 years of study and should have already completed the Fundamentals series, Ear Training I, and Form and Analysis I-III.

Keyboard Skills for non Keyboardists

Mondays, 5:00-5:45 pm or Fridays, 3:45-4:30
David Tobin, instructor
Recommended for all instrumentalists and vocalists who need a tutorial in keyboard playing. This course can be taken at the same time with or following Fundamentals I.

This specially designed piano course for those who do not play a keyboard instrument will familiarize students with the topography of the instrument, introduce the playing of scales, arpeggios and chords, chord progressions, and simple two part/two hands reading and playing.

Theory One-on-One

Recommended for those who need a quick brush-up on a particular aspect of music theory; for those who prefer to set their own learning pace; or for those encountering a particular challenge in their rhythm, ear training, reading or analysis understanding. This course can be taken anytime


This is offered as a private lesson to interested students who have studied Theory or an equivalent course. Students explore various 20th-century techniques with a firm background in traditional musical forms. Private lesson rates apply.

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