New Interactive Online Course Brings Music Theory Home for Students

August 4, 2014

More Information:
For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057,
For The Public: Institute for Music Leadership, 585-274-1113,

High school students interested in enhancing their music studies can ramp up their knowledge of music theory through a new interactive online video course offered by the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music.

Developed and taught by internationally known music theorist Steven Laitz and offered through the School’s Institute for Music Leadership, eTheory LIVE is a 32week interactive course that takes students from beginning concepts such as basic notation through counterpoint, musical analysis, and aural skills. The course is designed for all musicians wishing to expand their musicianship, and may be particularly valuable for high school students wishing to add music theory to their course of studies.

“eTheory LIVE is a comprehensive course for students who have a passion for and curiosity about music,” said Laitz. “Studying music theory gives them a deeper understanding of the way music works, prepares them for collegiate music studies, and helps them become a better musician.”

The course exceeds New York State requirements for Music Theory 1 credit. Each weekly lesson includes an overview of the topics to be covered; an in-depth 90-to-110-minute lecture by Laitz, which can be viewed whole or in segments; and a series of assignments and assessments. Eastman School of Music teaching assistants will provide one-on-one interaction with students, reviewing their work, giving feedback, and holding virtual review sessions.

“eTheory LIVE lets students learn music theory from Eastman faculty at home,” said James Doser, who will oversee the teaching assistants. “It’s rigorous and on the level of an AP course. Students should expect to spend approimsately 40 minutes per school day ‘in class’ and two to four hours of homework each week.”

The eTheory LIVE website will also offer additional resources, such as a glossary and links to YouTube videos of performances that illustrate the discussion topics. Each student will have an online gradebook with grades and feedback on assignments.

The course starts Sept. 1, 2014. More information is available online at  .

Laitz is professor and chair of music theory at Eastman and associate chair of theory and analysis at the Juilliard School. He is director of the Gail Boyd de Swolinski Center for Music Theory Pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma, editor of the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, and executive editor of Music Theory Pedagogy Online. He has lectured and held master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and China, and is the author of two textbooks. eTheory LIVE is the fourth course Laitz  has created for Eastman’s Institute for Music Leadership.

Doser is a musician, entrepreneur, and New York State certified educator who serves as music administrator in the Penfield Central Schools. He has taught at all levels of public school as well as various undergraduate and graduate classes at Eastman. He received degrees in music education and in jazz and contemporary media at Eastman, earning the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. Doser is the recipient of the Smithsonian Award in Education for his work on the institution’s traveling exhibit The Jazz Age in Paris.

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