Piano keyboard and sheet music

Theory, History, and Composition

The Conservatory is privileged to have several composers among its faculty members and offers individual lessons in 30, 45, and 60-minute lengths, depending on student need and teacher recommendation.

Music Theory for Kids

Students will be required to take a placement exam unless enrolling in Music Theory Prep.

Theory Prep

Young students just starting lessons and not yet proficient at reading music. Topics include: treble and bass clefs, time signatures, rhythm, famous composers.

Theory 1

Building on the skills learned in Prep 1, students will learn about accidentals and enharmonics, measures and simple time signatures, whole tones and semitones. Introduces major scales and key signatures. Course includes reading about and listening to works by great composers.

Theory 2

In this course, students expand their knowledge of key signatures to include relative, as well as the concept of harmonic minor.  They continue learning the constructs of good melody writing, and begin to study the great composers.  This level introduces tonic chord symbols.

Theory 3

Students expand their knowledge of key signatures to two sharps and flats and are introduced to melodic minor.  They play these scales on the piano and on their own instruments.  They learn about major and perfect intervals and begin octave transposition.  This level adds dominant triads and chord symbols to their repertoire.

Theory 4

In this level, students study key signatures and scales up to three sharps and flats.  They learn how to transpose a melodic line into another clef, and are introduced to minor intervals.  This course adds subdominant triads to the mix, and students now progress to writing four-measure melodies outlining specific harmonies.

Visit the Fees page for more information about tuition and registration fees.

Sign up for a music theory class online!

Fall 2019 Adult History Courses

Register for music history courses here!

Piano Chamber Music

Instructor: Dr. Sarkis Baltaian
Schedule: 10 Weeks (Sept 10-Nov 12)
Tuesdays: 9:30 – 11:45 a.m.
Tuition: $300

This class examines and explores piano chamber music repertoire from the Classical period through 20th century. Representative works include piano trios, quartets and quintets by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Dvorak, Faure, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Messiaen, Bartok, Elgar, Shostakovich, Babadjanian, Schnittke, and Schoenfield.

Register here.

100 Years of Musical Theater

Instructor: Lindsay Dodoras
Schedule: 10 weeks (Sept 6-Nov 8)
Fridays: 9:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
Tuition: $300

Each week, the class examines musicals from a specific era in musical theater history (i.e. the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, etc.). In addition to learning about the historical context, singing styles, and accompaniment of each work, the class features performances and participatory sing-a-long opportunities for the students.

Register here.

Nothing But the Blues

Instructor: Dr. Ray Briggs
Schedule: 10 Weeks (Sept 20-Nov 22)
Fridays: 1 – 3:15 p.m.
Tuition: $300

Known by its practitioners as “The Truth” set to music, the blues have spoken for and to generations of Americans. While it began as a type of African American cultural expression in the post-bellum South, the music has transcended its racial, regional, and stylistic boundaries to greatly influence may other national music forms and even reach global acclaim.

Covering a span of more than one hundred years, this course will survey the rise of the blues from its rural, working class roots in the 1870’s to the British Invasion of the 1960’s and beyond. Particular attention will be placed upon noteworthy performers, the socio-political setting of the blues, and the impact of technology and commercialization.

Register here.

Group Class Offerings

Call 626.683.3355 for more information.

ensemblePROVA *NEW OFFERING* January 2020

Instructors: Dr. Susan Svrcek and Dr. Nic Gerpe
Saturdays | Begins January 2020
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Tuition: $360

Ages 10 and above

ensemblePROVA is a new-music performing ensemble and class. This class is for students who are willing to be adventurous, take risks, and explore musical sounds in wild and experimental ways. The class will introduce students to many contemporary performance techniques such as group improvisation, spontaneous composition, crazy rhythms, and ways of playing their instrument that they never thought possible. Students will discover through the exploration of modern sounds and compositional techniques how our contemporary performance practice links us to the great composers of the past. Instructors will provide students the opportunity to work with living composers to continue the tradition of musical creation, and to compose new works of their own.