I was talking to a parent after teaching a lesson yesterday, and she told me that her older daughter (who plays a few different band instruments, but is not currently taking piano lessons) is attending a band camp for high schoolers this week. Upon arrival, the camp gave her daughter a theory placement test, and she scored a 2B (I’m not sure what leveling system they were using, but her mother had expected her to score higher). Her mother was a little perturbed because she has paid for many years of lessons for her daughter, but only a few of her daughter’s past teachers taught theory as component of taking private lessons. She wondered, shouldn’t my daughter have gotten more theory training than this? What have I been paying all this money and time for?
This conversation got me thinking about our responsibility as teachers. A basic definition of music theory is the study of how music works. A student having little understanding of theory is missing a huge piece of the pie. Continue reading “Teaching Music Theory: Our Responsibility”