Eastside Academic Studies


Music Theory I

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Teacher: Kristi Helfen
Date/Time: Thursday - 10:45 AM to 12:15 PM
Room: Youth Room
Department: Art and Music
Grade Level: High School (9th-12th), Middle School (6th-8th)

Music Theory I

Instructor:  Kristi Helfen
Grade Level:  6th – 12th

One weekly class at LAC, 90 minutes in length

Music Theory I is for students, whether listeners or performers, who want to have a better understanding of the language of music.  In this course they will learn the essentials of music by developing competency in music reading and writing and by improving listening skills with ear training exercises. 

Items covered:  All major scales and key signatures, chromatic scales, identifying intervals by number and quality, circle of 5ths, time signatures 2/2, 3/8, 6/8, triplets, incomplete measures, syncopation, primary and major triads, scale degree names, triplets, dominant 7th chords, and more.  We will also be learning about various composers (life and music) and studying the five musical periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, Contemporary).  Students also have the option of taking the Georgia Music Teachers Association Theory Test in February 2020.


  • Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory - Complete (Books 1, 2, and 3) (Cost is around $15. Available on amazon.com and may be in stock at Opus Music in downtown Decatur.) Students do not need to purchase the accompanying CD.  
  • "Piano Explorer," a monthly periodical which provides valuable information on composers and their music, terminology, listening guides, and much more (The teacher will provide these.)  
  • three-ring binder for staff paper and additional worksheets
  • Bastien Music Flashcards (Cost is around $5. Available on amazon.com and may be in stock at Opus Music in downtown Decatur.)  

Important:  Once the student has signed up for Music Theory I, he/she should go ahead and purchase Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory - Complete (Books 1, 2, and 3).  Before class begins in September, the student needs to complete the first section of the book (Book 1, pp. 1-40), excluding the Ear Training pages.  On the first day of class we will begin by going over their completed work.

Special Note:  Students do not need to have previous experience on an instrument or in a choral group to take this course.  On the other hand, students who have had some musical training, even though they may already know some of the terminology mentioned above, will find it helpful to review these concepts and obtain more practice with their music writing skills. 

Short homework assignments will be given each week to reinforce concepts covered in class.  A final grade will be given based on assignments (good preparation), class participation, tests, and attendance.

Tuition:  $45 per month (September – May)

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