Theory Class
An exhilarating journey into the world of music for adult students of all ages!

Take your musical experience to the next level!

Why Music Theory?
Whether you are an accomplished musician or someone aspiring to begin his or her journey into the world of music, this course is for you! It is designed for adult students of all ages to acquire a better understanding of the language of music, in a group class setting. Learning to read music, write music, and understand music, is invaluable and of utmost importance in becoming an eloquent communicator of this universal language. Music theory is the foundation upon which musical creativity & expression flourishes. Every musician needs to know the basics of music theory, and it is even better to understand more than just the basics. Understanding how music is constructed; how scales are formed; the relationship between major and minor keys; how music is composed through melody, harmony and chord progressions; exploring the "whys" behind the "what" of music; and having a trained ear, enhances every students' musical experience and enables them to have a personal breakthrough in quality musicianship. As Shelton Berg states, "A study of theory is not merely a dry analysis of technical functions, but rather an exploration of how the elements can provide fuel to the creative process, an energizing activity toward the goal of meaningful music making." Theory gives you the tools that you need for ultimate musical expression!


"If you're going to make music, you'd better understand it."
Joan Oliver Goldsmith


Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a specific link below to be taken directly to the question of your interest, or scroll down to read all of the questions and answers.

What curriculum is used?
What level is best for me and what will I learn?
Why and how is ear training incorporated?
How long is the course and what is the tuition?
Where and when are the classes?



What curriculum is used?
Stacy's choice of instructional material is the highly acclaimed Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory, which is comprised of six Levels. In her courses, which take place in a classroom setting, she incorporates weekly Lectures with student participation, Lesson Pages that are completed during class with her guidance as you learn the material, Ear Training development with a CD (as well as live musical demonstrations), take-home Exercises, Tests, and much more. The primary course is divided into three consecutive levels: Level 1 (Beginners), Level 2 (Intermediate), and Level 3 (Advanced). And now available is Alfred's Essentials of Jazz Theory; an exhilarating journey to musical freedom (Levels 4 ~ 6)! Each level is comprised of six units that include four to five lesson pages, an ear training page, a review page and a unit test. The course is flexibly designed where you may choose to complete only one level and come away with a good handle of that material, or you may progress through each level consecutively and come away with a wealth of musical knowledge. The choice is yours! No matter which track you choose, you will benefit from the personal enrichment acquired through this fast-paced and fun Music Theory course of study. Upon the completion of each level you will receive a certificate of achievement, recognizing your accomplishment and your graduation to the next level. Students completing all 6 levels receive a professional and beautifully personalized Plaque for their Completion Award!


"Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine.
It brings us near to the Infinite."

Thomas Carlyle


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What level is best for me and what will I learn?


* Note: You may exempt levels through testing out of them. *

Level 1 (Beginners)
is for the student with no previous music theory training or who needs to brush up on basic concepts. When completed you will understand:
  • The Grand Staff
  • Note Values
  • Time Signatures
  • Dynamics
  • Tempos
  • Flats / Sharps / Naturals
  • Ties / Slurs
  • Whole Steps / Half Steps
  • And More...

"A painter paints pictures on canvases.
But musicians paint their pictures on silence."
Leopold Stowkowski


Level 2 (Intermediate)
is for the student who has completed Level 1 or already has a thorough knowledge of the basic fundamentals and is moving toward more advanced fundamentals and concepts. When completed you will understand:
  • Tetrachords
  • Major Scales
  • The Chromatic Scale
  • The Circle of Fifths / Key Signatures
  • Primary Triads
  • Solfege
  • Transposition
  • Syncopation
  • Advanced Note Values
  • Advanced Time Signatures
  • Intervals (Perfect, Major, Minor, Diminished, Augmented)
  • Scale Degrees (Roman Numerals & Names)
  • And More...

"Music is the art of thinking with sounds."
Jules Combarieu


Level 3 (Advanced)
is for the student who has completed Levels 1 and 2 or has already had extensive training in music theory and desires to take it to an even higher plane. This level will equip you with the tools needed to begin to write music. When completed you will understand:

  • Chords (Major, Minor, Diminished, Augmented, & more)
  • Inversions
  • Figured Bass
  • Chord Progressions
  • Broken Chords
  • Arpeggiated Accompaniments
  • Modes
  • Minor Scales (Natural, Harmonic, and Melodic)
  • Motive
  • Phrase
  • Forms
  • Blues Scale & Chord Progression
  • Basic Song Analyzation
  • Neighboring Tones
  • Harmonizing and Composing Melodies
  • And More…

"There are still so many beautiful things to be said in C major."
Sergei Prokofiev


Level 4 (JAZZ THEORY I)
Now available for students who are well versed in basic music theory concepts and ready for a musical adventure! Students must have completed or exempted Levels 1-3. When completed you will understand:

  • Swing Groove
  • Jazz Melody & Improvisation (Bebop, Syncopation, Lick, Line, Melodic Soloing)
  • Four Note Chords (7th, 9th, etc.)
  • Applying Modes
  • Jazz Language (Grace Notes, Scoops, Turns, etc.)
  • Blue Notes
  • Bluesy Chords
  • Scalar Melody & Non-Harmonic Tones
  • Texture
  • Counterpoint
  • And More…

"A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges."
Benny Green


Level 5 (JAZZ THEORY II)
Now available for students who have completed or exempted Levels 1-4 and are ready for an exciting harmonious exploration! When completed you will understand:

  • Counterpoint—Bass & Melody
  • Walking Bass Lines
  • Comping & Comp Rhythms
  • Brazilian Bass Lines & Comping Patterns
  • Minor Four Note Chords (7th, 9th, etc.)
  • Dominant 13th Chords and Voicings
  • Passing Minor Major 7th Chords
  • Chord Inversions, Voice Leadings, Progressions, Turnback, and Resolution
  • Jazz Language (Arpeggios, Licks, Chromatic Leading & Passing Tones, Enclosure Tones)
  • Tonicisation
  • Bebop Scales, Modal Scales, & Chord Extensions
  • Diminished 7th Chord, Scales, & Melody
  • Standard Song Form
  • Jazz Blues Progression
  • Melodic Soloing & Finding the Chromatics
  • And More…

"If a composer could say what he had to say in words,
he would not bother trying to say it in music."
Gustav Mahler


Level 6 (JAZZ THEORY III) Now available for students who have completed or exempted Levels 1-5 and are ready for an exhilarating and rewarding journey, plunging deeply into challenging jazz concepts! When completed you will understand:

  • Afro-Cuban Jazz (Clave, Tumbau, Cascara, & Montuno Rhythms)
  • Drop-Two Voicings
  • Resolutions and Voice Leading
  • Step-Down Progression
  • Minor 11th Chords & Suspended Chords
  • Minor Tonic Chord
  • Half-Diminished Chord & V7b9 Chord
  • Altered Dominant Chords
  • Slash Chords
  • Jazz Language (Melodic Soloing & Sequence, Scales for Half-Diminished Chord, Harmonic Minor Scale & Lick for & V7b9, Diminished Scale for Dominant Chords & Altered Dominant Cell, Altered Dominant Lick & Scale)
  • Jazz Turnarounds, Turnbacks & Cadences (minor ii-V Turnaround, Turnaround to iv in Minor Keys, Turnarounds to III, VI & VII in Minor Keys, Minor Turnback, VI7-V7(b9)-i Cadence, Minor Turnarounds in Major Keys, Deceptive "Backdoor" Cadences)
  • Jazz Minor Scale
  • Blues Scale in Minor Keys, Minor Pentatonic & Pentatonic/Blues Scales
  • Minor 12-Bar Blues Progression
  • Standard Song Form
  • And More…


"All music is folk music.
I ain't never heard no horse sing a song."
Louis Armstrong


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Why and how is ear training incorporated?
Music theory is quite simply the study of how music is put together, or the study of the elements of musical composition. Studying theory in music, therefore by definition, does not include hearing what is being learned. However, hearing music is of utmost importance since music is all about organized sound. Thus, Stacy incorporates in her syllabus a special time of ear training with a CD during the class-- a method which not only allows the students to hear the musical elements discussed, but offers them opportunities to test their listening skills and further develop them. Multiple musical examples are played by a variety of instruments on the CD for broader and better ear training. The simultaneous visual (sight) and aural (sound) instruction is imperative to acquiring a balanced music theory education; training both the mind and the ear. Hearing the concepts that have just been learned is an important step toward enabling the student to translate the head knowledge into developed ear recognition and then eventually into applied performance. Stacy's giftings in music also enable her to demonstrate vocally or on the piano what is being learned. Students have found this in-class live demonstration to be invaluable in their training.


"All the sounds of the earth are like music."
Oscar Hammerstein


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How long is the course and what is the tuition?
Each level is an 8-week session, meeting once a week for two hours. The total cost of the 16-hour course is $300. A non-refundable $50 deposit is requested to reserve your place in the class, and the balance of $250 is due at the first class. This price does include all of your books and materials for the course, which will be provided at the first class.


"Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world."
Martin Luther


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Where and when are the classes?
The classes began in January 2005 and are currently being held at the International House of Prayer, in Lawrenceville. Stacy offers the group classes at other locations as well, with a minimum of three students per class. The day and time of your class, typically afternoons or evenings, will depend on your level. Stacy plans the times to accommodate her students' schedules. There are approximately four "mini-mester" sessions offered per year. Please contact her studio to find out when the next session will commence, or to arrange her Music Theory classes at your facility.


"For me, music is always the language which
permits one to converse with the Beyond."
Robert Schumann



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770.722.2735 (music studio)
info@stacymarie.net (email)
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