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!

Winter 2019 Adult History Courses

Register for music history courses here!

Sounds of Heaven: The Story of Gospel Music

Instructor: Dr. Ray Briggs
Schedule: 10 Weeks (Dec 6-Feb 14)
Fridays: 1 – 3:15 p.m.
Tuition: $300

African American religious expression is a rich cauldron of life experience, musical innovations, and aspirations for a better tomorrow. While the continuum of music associated with the black church goes back to colonial period, gospel is the most recent form to arise. This course will survey the development of gospel from its incipiency in the early 20th century to the contemporary era. Important aspects to be covered are significant composers, compositions and performers, as well as their connections to African American theology and social-political consciousness.

Register here.

Another Ten Great Pianists of the Past and Present

Instructor: Dr. Sarkis Baltaian
Schedule: 10 Weeks (Jan 7-Mar 10)
Tuesdays: 9:30 – 11:45 a.m.
Tuition: $300

This class examines and explores performance styles and legacy of some of the greatest pianists of the past and present. The body of work of such pianists as Wilhelm Backhaus, Edwin Fisher, Clara Haskil, Maria Yudina, Rudolf Serkin, György Cziffra, Samson Francois, Van Cliburn, John Ogdon and Vladimir Ashkenazy is studied through examination of representative recordings.

Register here.

Music in Film

Instructor: Dimitris Dodoras
Schedule: 10 weeks
Fridays: 9:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m. (Jan 10 – Mar 13)
Tuition: $300

This class is a survey of great film scores from the silent film era to the present. The function of music in film is considered as well as the use of various genres including classical, jazz, and popular music.

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.