Publication Date



School of Music


Commercial Music




Music theory is currently taught in a classroom setting through lectures, worksheets, tests, and limited amounts of praxis, or applied learning through playing one’s instrument. However, musicians in these classes often struggle to comprehend concepts, maintain good grades, and view music theory in a positive light. This thesis proposes the teaching of music theory in an applied setting—specifically, an ensemble setting. In such a setting, praxis through immediate hands-on application of concepts to the student’s instrument would be just as prevalent a part of the curriculum as lectures, worksheets, and the like. Songs specifically crafted to impart both the theoretical and the pragmatic types of knowledge would be learned by the students and utilized by the professor as teaching tools. It is possible that the implementation of such a curriculum would increase both students’ understanding and their enjoyment of music theory.

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