Musicianship Class Levels
As part of the core curriculum, all students take a Music Theory or Improvisation class.
We are very excited to offer teacher lead, self-paced learning in laptop computer labs using written theory and ear-training software. To ensure students receive the most effective experience, the following minimum levels have been defined. These levels refer to theory skills and are not necessarily related to reading levels.
Please consult with your teacher to determine your child’s appropriate level and indicate it on the registration form. Your teacher will also be asked to submit a confirmation email.
If you are unsure whether a student is ready for a certain level, register your student at the lower level. Do not split levels, such as B/C or B+ or C-.
Students at this level are new to music notation symbols or have had little introduction to music symbols. This musicianship class level focuses on learning note names, note lengths, rhythmic relationships, pitch-matching, drawing musical symbols and other introductory music theory activities.
The skills listed below are taught in Level B; if your student is still mastering any of these skills, they should enroll in Level B. If they can easily perform all of these skills, move on to Level C.
Ear-training/aural skills include the ability to match pitch vocally and to hear and accurately echo short melodic patterns vocally.
Reading skills include an ability to visually recognize note and rest values, identify notes on a staff and recognize skips and steps on the staff.
Students at this level are also developing the ability to demonstrate a steady beat in a variety of tempi, understand the difference between beat and rhythm, and be able to transition from half to quarter to eighth notes.
The skills listed below are taught in Level C; if your student is still mastering any of these skills, they should enroll in Level C. If they can easily perform all of these skills, move on to Level D.
Ear-training/aural skills include the ability to recognize intervals including unisons through perfect fifths, as well as differentiating between major and minor chords and tonality.
Reading skills include visual recognition of different interval sizes on the staff, different note values in simple meter, including dotted rhythms, and recognition of notes on the staff and two ledger lines above and below as well.
Students at this level are also developing the ability to follow a steady beat with a metronome and conductor’s beat pattern, understand time signatures and major key signatures, as well as be able to identify and name different dynamics and articulations.
This is an improvisation class. It is the only musicianship class that is instrument specific. Small groups of students will work on improvisation skills based on previous theory experience.
In order to be comfortable in this class, students must have the following theory skills:
Ear-training/aural skills include the recognition of intervals within one octave by size and quality, and identification of major, harmonic minor, melodic minor, natural minor and chromatic scales.
Reading skills include understanding of note values and syncopations in simple and compound time, note names on the staff multiple ledger lines above and below and ability to recognize intervals on the staff by size and quality.
Students should also be able to understand the concept of phrasing, identify major key signatures, understand the names of famous composers and be familiar with musical style, genre and era.