Music Theory Class for Adults: Grade 2

Two and a half Saturdays

Musicians from the Codex Manesse, 14th century

These intensive music courses take you through the grades of AMEB Musicianship, an internationally-recognised music theory syllabus. Extra course material shows you how the theory applies to both classical and contemporary music. Grade 2 introduces more about rhythm, keys, chords, and composition. The course takes place over two and a half Saturdays. Participants must have attended Grade 1 with Susan Deas before this course.
Grades 1 and 2 are also available in one combined 8-week course, which covers the material at a more steady pace, with more time for revision.

Course Outline

Day 1: 10:00am - 4:00pm

  • Primary Chords: The Dominant Chord
  • The story so far
  • Scale Degree numbers and names
  • More chords from the scale
  • Primary chords
  • The dominant chord (V)
  • More About Rhythm
  • The story so far
  • Anacrusis
  • Triplets
  • Simple and compound time signatures
  • The special case of 3/8
  • Swing and straight
  • Grouping and beaming into beats
  • Composing a Rhythm to Words
  • The story so far: marking rhythmic accents
  • Composing a rhythm to words
  • Writing the words under the rhythm
  • Guidelines for hyphenating words

Day 2: 10:00am - 4:00pm

  • Primary Chords: The Subdominant Chord
  • The subdominant chord (IV)
  • Chords from minor scales
  • Labelling chords: Classical and popular systems
  • Modulations (key changes)
  • Near and distant keys
  • The effect of modulations
  • Recognising modulations on the score
  • Modulating to the dominant and subdominant
  • Modulating to the relative minor or major
  • More About Intervals
  • Number and quality of intervals
  • Naming intervals
  • Perfect intervals
  • Major and minor intervals
  • Writing intervals
  • Transposition
  • Range
  • Transposing a melody
  • Accidentals in transposition
  • Notating Expression
  • Revising First Grade
  • Accents
  • Expression term
  • Terms and signs for Grade 2

Day 3: 10:00am - 12:00pm

  • Revision and answering questions
  • Going through homework and past paper

Should I do Grade 1 or Grades 1-2?

You can cover the material of Grades 1 and 2 over two separate 2.5 day courses, or in one 8-week course. The two options cover the same material, but the 8-week version does it at a more steady pace, with more time for revision along the way. The weekend versions of each grade are a little more intensive. There's always room for plenty of questions in both.

More information

Music Theory Classes main page

Music Theory Classes FAQs

What previous students say

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Related Courses

Grade 1

Grade 2 (you are here)

Grades 1-2 combined

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Music Theory Classes main page

Music Theory Classes FAQs


“The course was clear and thorough and allowed me to finally understand concepts that I’ve been half-understanding for a while”

“Content is very well integrated with Grade 1 – it builds on in a logical way. Pace and methods were suitable for me”

“Examples, either recorded or on piano were extremely helpful”

“A fun and engaging course! This is a great course for any adult”

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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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