Music theory explains how things work – it connects the dots. Whatever the instrument you play, music theory will help you make sense out of things and understand what’s really going on.
Yet, many students of music think music theory is a tedious task that is more similar to Mathematics than the art it attempts to define.
I thought hard about why music theory so often felt like a boring chore, and that’s when I realised that there were some key ingredients to its practise that when missing, the real beauty of music theory gets lost.
The first ingredient is Listening to the things that you’re learning. When you’re just writing notes on a manuscript you will soon start thinking of those notes as the numbers and letters you use in algebra.
This pattern gets broken when you actually hear every note you are studying. The magic happens when those dots come alive and make a tune, a scale, a chord or whatever pattern you are trying to achieve with them.
In this theory course you will hear everything you have just learnt on music notation software. You will learn, for instance, that changing one note will turn a chord from major to minor, but you will also hear how that note changed a happy-sounding chord to a sad one.
It is only when you listen to those notes being played that you understand what’s really going on.
The other ingredient is applying what you learn. After a few lessons, you will start writing your own melodies using the theoretic concepts you would have learnt, reinforcing that knowledge and exercising your creative juices at the same time.