Enroll in MYSO’s Music Theory Classes!

How can the writing on a piece of paper turn into the powerful expression of music? Unlocking the musical “codes” gives you special access to the riches of the music you play. The exciting world of music and how it works unfolds the first day you start a MYSO Music Theory class. Understanding the inner workings of music, training your ear to hear what you’ve never heard before are part of this exploration. Taught by James Burmeister, Assistant Dean of the UW Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts and Senior Lecturer in Music Theory, these engaging enrichment courses will take you from the very basics of note reading to complicated harmonic analysis and original composition.

Why should MYSO musicians enroll in a Music Theory class?

The knowledge you gain in Music Theory will help you develop into a musician ready for the challenges in MYSO and beyond. Your musicianship and understanding will make you a tremendous asset to your ensemble. Beginning Music Theory is a great way to create a solid foundation for all future music study. If you plan to study music in college, MYSO’s High School Music Theory classes will place you ahead of the curve.

Two Levels:

  • Beginning Theory (Grades 4-8) Music fundamentals including: note reading in treble, alto, tenor and bass clefs, major and minor scales, intervals, triads, chords, sight singing, ear training, error detection, rhythm exercises, conducting, harmony, composing music, and more will be explored.
  • High School Theory (Grades 9-12) Following a brief review of music theory fundamentals, the class will continue with an in-depth study of analytical music theory including: analysis of musical excerpts from the repertoire, four-part writing, original composition, counterpoint, musical structures, sight-singing, and ear training.


  • Beginning Music Theory: Online via Zoom, Wednesdays 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm, beginning Wednesday, September 30.
  • High School Music Theory: Online via Zoom, Tuesdays 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm, beginning Tuesday, September 29.
Both MYSO music theory classes will start online and will run the duration of the MYSO 2020-21 season, and they may be moved back to their normal Monday afternoon meeting time at MYAC when in-person instruction can resume. In addition, MYSO is planning to offer short, stand-alone music theory mini lessons to all MYSO musicians on a bi-weekly basis throughout the 2020-21 season. These classes are designed to provide in-depth music theory instruction to our most serious musicians.

Cost and Materials:

There is a $200 enrollment fee for either course, plus textbook costs.  The Beginning Music Theory textbook cost is approximately $15 plus shipping.  The High School Music Theory textbook cost is approximately $60 plus shipping, and includes access to an interactive eBook, online recordings, video tutorials, and an online workbook with Noteflight.  Details on how to order textbooks will be sent after enrollment is complete.

How to Sign Up:

Complete this form by Monday, September 14, 2020:

Please email danduffy@myso.org with questions.

To pay for Music Theory, click here.

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