Returning Music Theory Class Can Help Students Prepare for Futures in Music

Julia Steinberg, Staff Contributor

This 2018-2019 school year, students at Windsor High School have the opportunity to take a course in music theory, taught by choir teacher Ms. White, in order to further their musical education and prepare them for future careers in the music field.

The semester-long course starts with the basics of music, such as clefs and key and time signatures, as well as how to play an octave on the piano. As the class goes on, students advance to the point to where they can write their own musical selections for their final project. With these tools under their belts, students can better their understanding of music and even use what they have learned to prepare for a career in the field.

When applying to music programs at colleges, applicants have to complete a placement test based on music theory to determine what classes they will take. These tests usually include questions based on clefs, key signatures, scales, intervals, and chords, all of which are taught in Ms. White’s class. “Former students have told me that taking the class has really helped them pass the test,” said Ms. White in an interview. By already having the knowledge taught in basic classes, students majoring in music can take higher level music theory classes and apply the information to other courses.

The information taught in the class will come in handy for Ben Levesque, a senior at Windsor High School. Levesque began playing the alto saxophone in the fourth grade, picked up tenor and baritone sax along the way, taught himself guitar and ukulele, and is now taking piano lessons. He aspires to become a music teacher, saying, “I like teaching and learning about music, so it fit the bill for a job.” When asked about the placement exams to apply for a music program, Levesque said that the material taught in Ms. White’s Music Theory class “gives you a leg up” of preparation. “You’re able to learn more since you already know more to begin with.”

Most of the students in the Music Theory class share Levesque’s love for music. There are students from band, orchestra, choir, and the recording tech classes who each bring a unique background in music to the group. Ms. White likes to mix things up, and she plans to invite the students to bring their own instruments in for their peers to learn about and experiment with. The creative teacher tries to “do little things that kinda help, you know, keep it interesting and keep them wanting to continue with it.” The preparation that the Music Theory course provides students with as well as the exploration into the richness of the music world is what makes this class a great opportunity for Windsor High School students.