Written Theory

Theory is the key to understanding how music works! Theory and history are incorporated into all piano programs, and students are assigned written work from their first lesson. For students requiring theory co-requisites for the Royal Conservatory of Music program, I currently offer instruction and exam preparation in the following courses.

Subjects and Levels

These levels are co-requisites for RCM instrumental levels 5-8. The topics covered provide the foundation for music writing: rhythm and time signatures; scales, triads, and key signatures; intervals; transposition; basic analysis; musical terms; and an introduction to history/music appreciation.
Keyboard harmony incorporates all the principles of written harmony, but is played on the piano instead of written on an exam paper. Students benefit from being able to hear what they are creating, while also learning how to play by ear and improvise. Please note: Students preparing for an RCM exam take their exam during the practical sessions in June.
Harmony is a co-requisite for RCM levels 9 and up. Harmony takes the elements learned in Intermediate Theory and uses them to write and harmonize melodies, with a focus on the four-part writing style of J.S. Bach. Students learn the principles of chord voicings and good voice leading, as well as how to analyze various musical structures.
Students learn how to provide harmonic and structural analyses of fugues, sonatas, art songs, and several other musical forms. This course works very well when studied concurrently with ARCT Harmony as many concepts from ARCT Harmony are used in Analysis.
History is a co-requisite for RCM levels 9 and up. Level 9 is an overview of Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern eras. Level 10 focuses on the Middle Ages to the Classical eras. ARCT History focuses on the 19th century to present day, including Canadian composers. Students will study composers' lives and times, as well as listen and study selected works from each composer.

Related Articles

Want to know more about keyboard harmony?

ORMTA-Ottawa Scholarship Winner 2018

RCM Gold Medal Winner 2018

ORMTA-Ottawa Scholarship Winner 2016

ORMTA-Ottawa Scholarship Winner 2013