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Prelude to College Music Theory

“Prelude to College Music Theory” is a six-week, hybrid-format seminar designed for students in grades 7-12 seeking exposure to music theory and aural skills principles. This course functions as a way for students to garner essential theory skills either before entering college music theory or taking AP Music Theory.  This course is also for students wishing to enhance their understanding of the mechanics of music to better inform performance practice. During their six weeks in PtCMT, students will engage with a variety of lessons and skills-building assignments, ranging from realizing melodic contour to species counterpoint workshops to singing on solfège syllables with their peers. While this course will involve some peer collaboration, it will also solidify and strengthen each student’s unique skills and start them on an independent journey to knowing their own ear. By the end of the course, we want to have students fluently writing/reading in 4 clefs, dictating small melodic segments, recognizing harmony, analyzing simple scores, and singing sheet music that is presented to them. Most importantly, this content will be taught with the utmost attention to why we study music theory and why it helps us as musicians. We designed this course because we recognize a need in the community for early theory exposure and engagement with aural and singing skills. For the students who do not want to commit to a year of AP; who do not know where to turn for theory before entering music school; who are intimidated to take a theory course without prior exposure; or who simply want a low-commitment, low-stakes way to learn music theory; this is the course for you. While it is quick, the seminar will be dense and extraordinarily enriching. We hope to see musicians of all skill and interest levels in class, and we could not be more thrilled to offer this to the community!

M Finn headshot

This course was designed by and is taught by second-year undergraduate music theory major and classical saxophonist, Maddi Finn. Alike in scholarship and performance, Finn’s work focuses on analysis and interpretation of tonal music. She is equally passionate about scholarship and pedagogy, and plans to attend graduate school for music theory so she can pursue a career in academia as a college professor. Her lessons and pedagogical principles are overarchingly influenced by the work of Steven G. Laitz and his textbook, The Complete Musician. Finn is currently involved with the Society for Music Theory, and she tutors both UGA and high school theory students. Before UGA, she completed her theory studies at the Eastman Community Music School under Dr. Stephanie Venturino.

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