Theory Rudiments

Can’t tell the difference between andante and adagio? Does sheet music appear as misterioso as hieroglyphs? Learn the language of music from da capo to al fine, whether your prior knowledge is alla breve or even niente. Learn at your own tempo, whether you prefer taking the course un poco a poco, or studying everything presto before an exam. Navigate written music with grazioso, attaca conservatory exams senza worrying,and find more appasionato and amore in the music you hear and play. Don’t let strange Italian words leave you furioso, when you could decipher them with your brilliante mastery of the terms and symbols of written music.

Music Theory and History

If you have ever wondered, “what makes music tick?” then you know what it is like to be a musicologist. Musicology is the study of music, and musicologists investigate both the history of a piece of music and the theory describing its notes and rhythms, in order to understand why and how it was created. The words “theory” and “history” might suggest boring lectures, tedious homework, and textbooks as dry as the bones of the composers they discuss, but in reality, they are about the story of music. Beethoven’s heroics, Wagner’s villany, ancient Catholic traditions, and even wave physics all play a role in this millenia-old drama between science, passion, and the human spirit. Whether you’re studying for a conservatory exam or just curious about some of the world’s greatest cultural legacies, a close study of these intertwined disciplines will attune your ears to the mechanisms of music, improve your sensitivity as a performer, and perhaps even grant you a glimpse of the sublime.


The dark, woody tones of the clarinet ooze like melted chocolate from a fine recording, but somehow the real thing refuses to produce anything except hoarse whispers and the occasional stubborn squawk. If you have ever felt this way, you are not alone! At every level of experience, clarinetists engage in an endless struggle with their body and instrument to produce pure tone, develop clean articulation, and expand their range. Learn about breathing from the diaphragm for strong tone, setting a firm but relaxed embouchure for effortless range, coordinating fingers and tongue for dazzling technique, and the dark arts of reed adjustment so you never lack a reed to play. Play with a band for camaraderie, play duets for fun, or play concert solos where you are free to display your expressiveness – perhaps with a piano to back you up! By performing you will discover how to create excitement in your phrasing, drama through dynamics, when to exaggerate or use restraint, and all the other ingredients of a fine musical instinct.


From the hands of Mozart and Chopin to those of Duke Ellington and Elton John, the piano has stood center stage in the popular music of its age. Get your own hands on the action and learn to find your way around the keys. Start by learning how to read music while coordinating ten fingers and two feet to play the right notes. Then, bring the notes to life by applying proper wrist motion, touch, and articulation to your playing. Discover a vast keyboard repertoire handed down from generations of master composers, or break out your favorite movie tune and “comp” the chords. Whether you end up taking piano, another instrument, or just your ears as your lifelong musical companion, familiarity with the keyboard will always be a useful guide.