Publication Date



School of Music


Music: Instrumental--Teacher Certification


Music Theory, Music Education, Aural, Education, Private Lessons


Art Education | Education | Music Education | Music Performance | Music Theory


Music majors often struggle in first-year music theory and aural skills coursework. These struggles have lead to increased dropout rates among music students. Even those students who succeed in music theory course work often are not able to apply theory concepts to music literature. Some universities have identified this problem and sought to rectify it through offering remedial course work, however the universities should not bear this burden. Success in theory and aural skills is linked to mastery of music fundamentals and basic aural skills. Pre-college studies should focus on these subjects and not place too much emphasis on advanced music theory or performance skills alone. Performance studies represent a relevant and readily available platform in which to gain fundamental theory and aural skills. Performance teachers must take the responsibility to purposely integrate music theory and aural skills into their lessons and rehearsals. The ability to put theory into practice contributes to the making of a whole musician. Students studying theory and aural skills through repertoire will gain a more holistic understanding of music and these skills will have practical meaning for the student.