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Music Theory Classes for Adults

Understand the big-picture of music theory: fill in the gaps in your musical knowledge

Musicianship These intensive music courses will take you through the grades of AMEB Musicianship, an internationally-recognised music theory syllabus. Added course material shows you how the theory applies to both classical and contemporary music. Learn the secrets of music, and how to use them. You may take the exams through AMEB after each grade if you wish. The courses provide a background to the understanding of music for adults who are learning to sing or play a musical instrument, and lay foundations for courses in higher grades. An excellent opportunity to cement new skills or refresh old ones.
“I have learnt so much!! And I understand so much more about music...”
- read more comments about Susan's music theory courses

Classes starting early in 2018

Grades 1-2 Thursday mornings

See course content of Grades 1-2

8 February - 29 March 2018, 8 weeks

10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Susan Deas Music, Jarrett St Leichhardt
Early Bird Discount:
$385, enrol by 8 January 2018

Price after 8 January: $415
Enrolments close 5 February 2018.
Eventbrite - Music Theory for Adults Grades 1-2 (8 weeks)
Contact Susan if you prefer to pay by another method.

Grade 5 Monday mornings

See course content of Grade 5

29 Jan - 19 March, then 7 May - 2 July 2018

No classes 26 March - 30 April or 11 June
2 x 8 weeks
10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Susan Deas Music, Jarrett St Leichhardt
Early Bird Discount:
$995, enrol by 29 December 2017

Price after 29 December: $1038
Enrolments close 24 January 2018.
You may pay for your enrolment by bank transfer, cheque or money order. Contact Susan for details.

"I found it very interesting and informative. Susan's easy teaching style along with a comprehensive workbook and supported by many aural examples made it easy to grasp and cement the musical concepts in this course. I particularly liked the use of the many contemporary music examples Susan incorporated"

"A major plus was the obvious enthusiasm and ability you have to explain"

"I sing with a vocal group, but couldn’t read sheet music and have, up until now, relied on learning songs by ear. Susan’s well structured eight week Grade 1 & 2 music theory course covered so many of the concepts I have heard fellow singers discuss, but previously didn’t understand, and although I found it an intensive eight weeks (as a complete novice I really needed the time between lessons for homework and revision), Susan’s knowledge, obvious love of music and her warm and helpful style were very much appreciated. Thank you for helping to unravel what was previously a complete mystery to me!" - Leslee, North Rocks

"This has been most beneficial - putting everything into context"

"I am so grateful to have done Musicianship 1-4 and got so much pleasure from the courses. You are a first rate teacher for whom I have the greatest admiration and appreciation. Coming back to music has been the best thing that I’ve done in retirement and it is hard to describe the pleasure I’ve experienced"

"I thoroughly enjoyed the course"

General information about the classes

Course content

Each grade covers the material in the AMEB syllabus, with additional material of broader interest and relevance. Grades 1 and 2 can be attended separately, or in one combined 8-week course, which moves through the material more slowly. Participants must have completed Susan's courses of Grades 1 and 2 before attending higher grade courses. Full details are here:
Grade 1   Grade 2   Grades 1-2   Grade 3   Grade 4   Grade 5   Grade 6

Occasional workshops

Susan also conducts one-off workshops on various aspects of music theory, education and practice.
More information about occasional workshops

All materials are included in course fees

Your course fee covers course all course notes and materials, including tea and coffee. The exam fee payable to AMEB is not included (exams are optional).

Venue: Susan Deas Music, Jarrett St Leichhardt

Classes are usually held at Susan's studio in Jarrett St Leichhardt. Buses on Parramatta Rd and Norton St Leichhardt are a 5 minute walk, Taverners Hill light rail is an 11 minute walk, and Petersham station is a 12 minute walk. There is 2 hour parking in Jarrett St, or unmetered parking nearby in Elswick St and Albert St.

Small class size

The class size is limited to allow more attention to individual participants, and to allow plenty of time for questions. Maximum class size is 5 people.


Pricing is based on the Music Teachers' Association recommended group rate of $129.80 per hour for 5 students (approximately $26 per hour per student). Eight week classes of two hours a week are usually $415. Classes for higher grades are longer, and proportionally higher in cost. Prices include GST.


Participants must attend each grade with Susan Deas before proceeding to the next. Each grade includes material supplementary to the AMEB syllabus which is further developed in following grades. Completion of exams is not necessary to progress.

Exams are optional

Musicianship is a music theory syllabus from the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB), in which graded exams lead to internationally-recognised qualifications. Each of these courses covers the material for each grade, and with adequate revision, participants should be ready to sit the exam through AMEB by the end of each course. Students over 18 years of age can enrol themselves for AMEB exams without a teacher. Grades 1 to 6 are now available online at any time. More information about AMEB online exams is available from the AMEB online exams website. Written exams take place in August each year. Details can be found at the AMEB NSW website. There are no prerequisites for AMEB Musicianship exams up to Grade 6, and students may attempt any grade without having done the earlier grades.

Higher grades available

Higher grades up to Grade 6 are now available now with Susan Deas. Classes depend on minimum enrolment numbers, or individual lessons can begin anytime. Join the mailing list to stay informed of future classes, or .

More about Susan Deas

Susan has been teaching adult music appreciation courses for over 16 years, through Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education and WEA Sydney. She has a Bachelor of Music with a major in performance (piano) and musicology, a Master of Music Studies (Studio Pedagogy), a Bachelor of Arts (Communications), and the A.Mus.A in Musicianship. She teaches piano and musicianship to adults and children, and performs on the piano and organ in various venues around Sydney.

Terms and Conditions

1. Participants must have completed all lower grades with Susan Deas before enrolling in any higher grades. Completion of exams is not necessary to progress.
2. If a course is cancelled, you will be notified at least 5 days of the start of the course, and any fee paid will be refunded in full.
3. Requests for refunds made at least 21 days before the start of the course will be considered at the discretion of Susan Deas, less a cancellation fee of $30 if approved. No refunds will be given for cancellations after this date.
4. No refunds will be issued for missed classes.

More about Susan's qualifications

Read what people have said about Susan's other courses

Susan's other music courses