Music Theory & Ear Training for Musicians, FULLY INTERACTIVE ONLINE this WINTER 2024: LEVEL 1 Start Any Time for Class 1; LEVEL 1 Starts Monday 2/5/24

The next Level 1 begins NOW! Watch class 1 on your own time. Class 2 is the first live meeting over zoom, MONDAY 2/5/24, 7:30pm PT (and on-demand). Class features 8 meetings total: one pre-recorded and 7 live meetings to get all questions answered and receive feedback on weekly songwriting assignments in this small-group interactive class to write songs.

The next Level 2 section will begin in the late Winter. Please CONTACT US to let us know you're interested. 818-848-7664 / info at the songwritingschool dot com

Designed to dovetail with THE ROOTS songwriting curriculum, Music Theory & Ear Training Level 1 equips the songwriter with a foundational understanding of harmony, melody, rhythm, and phrasing in the construction of songs. Learn to recognize chord changes and intervals by ear and come to understand how the songs you love fit together and how the songs you write might better become the songs you love.
  • Want to understand why certain chords and notes of melody create the feelings they do?
  • Want to better understand how the music in songs you love moves you?
  • Want to learn to more reliably make moving choices in your own music?

These are some of the goals and outcomes of Music Theory & Ear Training for Songwriters, the companion curriculum to The ROOTS songwriting class.

Level 1 is all “diatonic harmony”—notes and chords in the key--all about how to build strong, emotional, impactful harmony/melody/phrasing choices in our songs.

And then in Level 2 we get to relative major and minor and then use 7th chords as the doorway beyond the key. Level 2 takes you far beyond the key into secondary dominants, parallel major and minor, modes and modal interchange, etc.

There are assignments to get you writing/composing/creating each week, with the chance to get feedback in this small-class setting. All materials are archived for you in a private site--video, audio, and all handouts.

ONLINE STUDENTS: Class includes regular homework feedback opportunities and individual and small group video conferencing to get feedback on your songs and have your questions answered.



LEVEL 1 Sample Curriculum:

  • The Major Scale: construction, intervals, building blocks of chords
  • Understanding and recognizing Intervals
  • Chords & Chord Function: forming Diatonic Harmony
  • Developing Effective Chord Progressions
  • Cadences
  • Melody as comprised of 4 Component Parts
  • Writing from a Motif: 4 Strategies Once You Have a Simple Idea
  • Melody-Harmony Relationship: Creating emotional, strong melodies and chord progressions
  • Rhythm, Time Signatures, Feel, & Phrasing
  • Scansion & Prosody in a Lyric/Melody
  • Major & Minor Relationships
  • 7th Chords
  • Hinting at Level 2: What Lies Beyond the Key
  • Regular assignments with feedback to integrate concepts of class

LEVEL 2 Sample Curriculum:

  • 7th chords
  • chord tensions and extensions
  • secondary dominants
  • parallel major and minor
  • modes and modal interchange
  • multiple songwriting assignments and critical listening designed to expand your harmony/melody capacities as a writer and composer

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