Music Theory and our approach to understanding music

Teaching Music Theory could be a valuable artistic experience comparable to performance and even composition. The way in which teachers adapt their pedagogy to different learners is the key to success in a discipline that otherwise could be at least not-very-friendly… Music Theory is to Music as Grammar is to Language. In spite of the fact that music learning can certainly happen without a specific Music Theory preparation, the more we understand what is behind all those notes, which are the rules of harmony or what makes a good melody line, the more controlled and confident we will feel about making music. I strongly agree with all the leading Musical Institutions of this country on the importance Music Theory has in the development of competent musicians. The ABRSM itself has made Grade 5 compulsory for any student willing to go for any advanced Music qualification. This kind of preparation will encourage students: 1) to start developing a reasonable understanding of music when performing or composing; 2) to work on the abilities needed to start dealing intelligently with complex musical passages; 3) to start acknowledging the basics of interpretation -articulation, phrasing, dynamics, pedalling, balancing, tempo…- and 4) to make their interpretative choices according to different styles and composers.The way that leads to music understanding is different and unique to each individual. As tutors we can only give them a compass and, most important than anything else… some guides on how to use it.Juan Rezzuto


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