Why learn theory?

 Why do I have to do theory?

Students often wonder why they need to learn theory.  Theory is basically how we write down music- it's the shorthand for all those ideas that composers (including you!) have so without knowing any theory, it makes it hard to interpret other people's ideas or to express your own to share with others. Theory is relevant whether you want to be a classical pianist, play jazz or compose.

I urgently need to pass my grade 5 theory- what can I do?

I offer separate theory lessons to piano lessons,  for instance, if you need to get through Grade 5 theory in order to take higher exams.  I encourage all my students to learn some theory, and for some, who like certificates or taking exams, I will encourage them to take exams so that the grade 5 isn't the first one they take!

Grade 5 really isn't something to be scared of- but the only way to pass is to work consistantly with me- I'm afraid theory doesn't get learned just by sitting in the same room as me!

I try to link all learning to music you are studying, or have studied, so whether you play piano, sing or another instrument, I will want you to bring along to your theory lessons music you know and love so we can look at it from a theoretical point of view, and hopefully, you'll understand and appreciate it better because of those lessons!

Can I learn theory on-line?

I will also be offering theory lessons via this website, so if you're interested in learning on-line please let me know and I'll keep you informed of developments here.


Theory doesn't have to be scary- it's just how to make sense of music- so please don't be put off by all those frightening stories or previous experiences!  Most theory is learnt "in situ" during lessons as I explain what Italian terms mean, how to think about a new key or time signature, how to play a trill.... It should be part of becoming a musician in the same way that developing your musicianship and aural skills are part of it!


Theory is fine- it's how you learn to read and understand music, like you can read a book!

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