Why Should I Learn Music Theory?

FAQ: How Many Lessons A Week Do I Need?

Why Should I Learn Music Theory?

Music is so much more than just picking up an instrument and making a sound.

If you were asked to give a speech in a foreign language, how important would it be to understand the words you were speaking? Yes, you could learn to imitate the sounds of each word, but if you didn’t understand what you were saying, then the speech would come across as flat and uninteresting…and you wouldn’t have a clue about what you’d said!

Learning music theory is the equivalent of learning this foreign language. Music notation is made up of signs, symbols and words (quite often in Italian) which give musicians the appropriate instructions on how to play their piece – How fast should it be? Which parts should be loud/soft? When should there be silence? Should it sound happy or sad? And, probably most importantly – which notes do you play?! There’s a reason musicians refer to “reading music” – it really can seem like a whole different language.

If you understand music theory, you will understand the building blocks of music. This means you can go away and pick up new music on your own initiative, rather than always just relying on your Teacher to show you what to do. Our job as music teachers is to provide you with the tools you need to be able to do this. Imagine, as a Parent, if your child’s school teacher simply showed your child how to write individual words – no spelling, grammar or punctuation. Would you be happy with the level of education they’d received? No, we guess not. It’s exactly the same with music. You need to learn the basics in order to be able to progress.

We’re aware that some music teachers choose to “skip” music theory and instead just focus on the more exciting parts of music lessons ie. playing new pieces each week. But we feel we wouldn’t be doing our jobs properly if we did this. We won’t lie – music theory usually isn’t the most exciting part of your lesson. But it is so important to understanding the concept of music as a whole. And when you begin to understand these basic building blocks, your playing ability will really begin to pick up pace.

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