Preparatory Program Music Theory

The music theory courses at the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program are designed to support our private teaching curriculum and serve as electives to enhance the student’s musical knowledge and enjoyment of music.  Our theory electives aim to give students the additional tools as they approach an unfamiliar piece of music so the students can learn to recognize and analyze any piece of music on their own.  Since the Shepherd School of Music specializes in classical music, our theory curriculum applies music theory to the classical music repertoire and showcase special resources that are available at the Shepherd School of Music.

All music theory courses are taught at the Shepherd School of Music building. Music theory courses are offered for fall and spring semesters, with 12 weekly group classes, 55 minutes in length each, during each of the semesters (We observe all Rice University holiday and break schedules). Courses are registered on a semester –basis, although courses are sequels to each other and are designed to last at least a year or more in length for completion of the entire sequence. Theory courses are not offered in the summers and are all non-credit courses.

The Shepherd School of Music graduate students, who are recipients of the Brown Scholarships, teach music theory courses in the Preparatory Program. Theory courses are taught in classroom settings with a combination of lectures, discussions, and classroom activities. Aural Skills courses are hands-on extension of music theory thus regular course participation is mandatory. Private lessons in Music Theory are also available for those preferring one-on-one instructions or need flexibility to move at his/her own pace.

Students and families participating in theory courses are subject to the same rules, policies, and procedures as the Preparatory Program private lesson students.