AP Music Theory
On-Line for the 2020-2021 School Year
Teacher: Hannah Jackson
Congratulations to our 2018-2019 class for earning an average score of 4.5 on the AP Music Theory exam!
COURSE DATES: Sept 1-May 21, with the following breaks: Nov 23-27, Dec 21-Jan 1, and a Spring Break (TBD).
The 2021 AP exam will take place on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 12:00 noon.
COURSE FEE for Credit:
- $725 (before July 1st)
- $750 (on or after July 1st)
COURSE FEE for Audit:
This course offers the equivalent of a first-year college course in music theory and aural skills. As such, it provides students with a thorough grounding in the core concepts of music theory, including harmony, counterpoint, chorale-style voice-leading, and musical structure, as well as training in musicianship skills such as sight-singing, interval and chord recognition, and melodic and harmonic dictation. Students will learn to analyze written and recorded music, to understand the composer's techniques as they relate to melody, harmony, phrase structure, and texture, and to describe these phenomena with a sophisticated musical vocabulary. We will focus on Western tonal music of the common-practice period (the Baroque through early-Romantic eras), as this music generated and best exemplifies the theory concepts covered in this class.
Along the way, this course will prepare students to take the College Board AP Music Theory exam. Students who score well on this exam may be eligible to receive college credit, and/or placement in a higher-level music theory class in college (depending on the policy of that institution).
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
- High school students who are prepared to do college-level work, have a background in music, and are currently engaged in formal music instruction (private instrumental/vocal lessons, choir, orchestra, etc.)
- Students who succeed in this course are disciplined and self-driven, detail-oriented, and motivated by a hunger for understanding.
- Music literacy—proficiency reading music in at least one clef—is an essential prerequisite for this class.
- Access to a piano, though not required, will be very helpful for students as they take this course. Basic piano skills (at a minimum, the ability to play scales in different keys) are highly recommended.
- We do a lot of singing in the aural skills labs (scales, solfege drills, sight-singing melodies, etc.) I try to make this as fun and comfortable as possible, but willingness to sing for the group is expected.
- Prior to registration, students must submit an entrance exam and an application. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive these documents.
This class is structured around two core components:
- Written theory: coursework/materials include prerecorded video-lectures, reading assignments, and various types of homework assignments (worksheets, listening/analysis assignments, composition, discussion board posts). Students will access and submit assignments through our class Canvas website.
- Aural skills: ear-training, singing, and critical listening skills are practiced in small-group, live lab sessions each week. (Students are placed in a group based on their preexisting availability, schedule TBD once registration is finalized.)
Material for both components is reinforced and tested via quizzes, module exams, aural skills workshops, and midterm/final exams. Students also complete a final project (focused on analysis or composition) in the spring.
- Time commitment: The workload for this class averages around 8-10 hours/week.
- Attendance: Students are required to attend and participate in their weekly assigned lab session. Three "free" absences per year are permitted.
- Timely submission of work: Due to the cumulative nature of the course material, I do have a strict late-work policy. Extensions must be requested before the assignment deadline. For any extension longer than one week, I require a notification from the parent. After two weeks, unsubmitted work automatically receives a 0%.
- Feedback and Communication:
- As a rule, I grade and return assignments to students within one week.
- I usually communicate directly with students regarding their assignments, but I welcome communication from parents. Please feel free to contact me with questions and concerns.
- I send students a weekly update with the upcoming week's assignments and other useful information; parents may opt to receive this email as well.
- Clendinning, Jane Piper, and Elizabeth West Marvin. 2016. The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis (Third Edition). New York: W.W. Norton. (New or used is fine.)
- Clendinning, Jane Piper, and Elizabeth West Marvin. 2016. Workbook for The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis (Third Edition). New York: W.W. Norton.
- Buonviri, Nathan O. 2015. Building Better Dictation Skills. (If you buy used, make sure the accompanying CD is included.)
- High-speed internet is a must for our weekly live lab sessions, held via Zoom, a free video-conferencing program.
- Webcam and mic are required for participation in these sessions.
- Ability to scan and convert homework files to PDF format.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
I hold a degree in music theory from Temple University, where I also studied viola performance. This year will be my fourth teaching AP Music Theory with Pennsylvania Homeschoolers. I'm grateful once again for this opportunity to share my favorite subject with the enterprising performers, composers, and thinkers of the homeschool community.
My background in the homeschool world extends to my own student years, as well as to my work as a tutor in various subject areas. Out of that experience comes my goal for this course: to help families realize their vision for crafting a superior and singular home-education experience.
Other than teaching and grading, my hobbies include consuming strong coffee, hiking the trails along the Susquehanna River, agility-training with the family dog, and playing board games.
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