Music Theory Class for Adults: Grades 1-2

Grades 1 and 2 over 8 weeks, two hours a week

Ancient Greek musicians

This intensive 8-week course introduces the basics of music theory: how the elements of music combine to create the music we love. We cover Grades 1 and 2 of AMEB Musicianship, with extra material showing how the theory applies to both classical and contemporary music. Learn the secrets of music, and how to apply them. For adults who are learning to sing or play a musical instrument, or experienced musicians wanting to refresh their skills.

Contact Susan to register your interest in this class.

Course Outline

Week 1

  • The Elements of Music
  • Pitch and Music Notation
  • Treble and bass clef
  • Names of notes, leger lines
  • Sharps, flats and naturals

Week 2

  • Scales and Keys
  • Naming intervals by number
  • Major scales and key signatures
  • The Cycle of Fifths
  • Rhythm
  • Tempo
  • Time signatures

Week 3

  • Minor Scales and Keys
  • Scale degree numbers
  • Natural minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor scales
  • Simple and Compound Time Signatures
  • Dividing the beat

Week 4

  • Chords
  • Introduction to harmony
  • The Tonic triad
  • More about rhythm
  • Triplets
  • Anacrusis
  • Ties and slurs

Week 5

  • More about chords
  • Scale degree names
  • Primary chords: tonic, subdominant and dominant
  • Labelling chords: pop music chord symbols
  • Beginning composition
  • Composing a rhythm to words

Week 6

  • Modulations (key changes)
  • Modulating to the dominant, subdominant and relative minor
  • Number and quality of intervals
  • Naming intervals

Week 7

  • Transposition
  • Dynamics, articulation, phrasing and expression
  • Expression terms

Week 8

  • Revision
  • Past paper

Contact Susan to register your interest in this class.

More information

Music Theory Classes main page

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What previous students say

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Related Courses

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grades 1-2 (you are here)

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6


“The course has been wonderful, I even started to love Mondays. It has really broken down and made sense out of the bits and pieces I couldn’t wrap my brain around, but now can. I think that this course has set the foundations for my long-life education in music” - Sara, Ashfield

“The course was splendid. It was comprehensive; really challenging but enjoyable in content for me who'd not done musicianship. Your preparation is exemplary! Examples you've accumulated and their appropriateness is just super. Your knowledge is fantastic too!”

“I have never studied music before and was always frustrated that I didn’t understand “the language.” This course was great for me because it has commenced my understanding (I know that there is a vast amount that I don’t understand, but it’s a start!) The repetition of revision questions each week was particularly valuable for me as I started to feel more familiar with  terms and concepts”

“I really appreciated your approach. You were very supportive of someone who knew virtually nothing about musicianship. Each week added to the jigsaw puzzle to make terms and the overall pattern clearer to me. Thank you so much for this opportunity”

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About Susan Deas

Susan Deas is a professional musician, lecturer and teacher. She has been teaching piano for over twenty years, and her students learn both classical and contemporary styles, including playing by ear and improvisation. Susan also gives professional development workshops and lessons to private music teachers. She performs professionally as a pianist and organist, and lectures in music theory and music appreciation for Sydney University’s Centre for Continuing Education. Susan’s training includes 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 an A.Mus.A in Musicianship. Susan is an Accredited Member of the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW.

More about Susan’s qualifications

Susan’s other music courses

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