Music theory offers learning benefits to students that transcend the obvious. Music notation and concepts of duration, pitch, and amplitude not only help with the learning of a music instrument, but also reinforce math, writing, spelling and spatial skills that impact positively on the literacy and numeracy of the child.
Music theory is a core aspect of learning at the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas, and as such is one of the three main activities of the program (Private lesson, Group and Theory)
Students start theory when they have the ability to hold a pencil correctly. At this stage they are always accompanied and assisted by one of their parents in the theory class. In some cases the presence and help of a parent continues to be the norm until the student is several years older. Parents often profit by learning alongside the child.
Students are encouraged to prove their skills by writing the twice-yearly Texas Music Teachers Association (TMTA) theory tests, which are run on a statewide basis. These tests run in tandem with the school grade of a student. SMID students routinely excel in these tests.
The date for the Fall 2017 TMTA Theory exam is November 12th, 2017. The location is SMU, Owen Fine Arts Center.
The theory program uses a three-pronged approach to the learning of theoretical skills. Students utilize and enjoy:
- book work and the use of additional, compatible materials
- computer programs designed to reinforce theoretical concepts and improve aural and intellectual skills
- music games which challenge the child through fun activities.
The theory and composition laboratory at SMID is equipped with up-to-date iMacs installed with cutting-edge music programs, including Sibelius 7, Musition, Auralia, Music Ace and Garageband.
SMID uses a variety of materials in the teaching of music theory. The “Theory Time” series has proved to be exceptionally popular with students but some students are more comfortable with the “Music Theory in Practice” series of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.