Music Theory Lessons

One-to-one private lessons in music theory for adults and kids

Handwritten music

Sometimes individual lessons can be the best way to learn, especially if you have specific gaps in your knowledge that you want to fill. Private lessons can also be helpful if you have a deadline for passing a theory exam, perhaps as a prerequisite for practical exams. These lessons can be tailored to your own goals and circumstances.

Group lessons for adults in music theory are also available. Find out more about music theory classes for adults.

Why learn music theory?

If you learn to sing or play a musical instrument, and do exams, sooner or later you will need a theory qualification as a prerequisite. But a much better reason is that music theory enables you to understand what is really happening in the music you play. Understanding the music helps you play more sensitively, appreciate music and its context more, and can help you to compose music yourself.

Additional material

The study of music theory is most useful when it is applied to other aspects of music. Susan's lessons always relate theoretical concepts to real practical musical situations, as much as possible to the student's own experience. Music examples are taken from both classical and contemporary music, and extra material is added to enrich the concepts learned.

Location: in person or online via Zoom

Susan’s studio is located in Jarrett St Leichhardt, in Sydney’s inner west. Lessons can also take place in an online format via Zoom.

Cost of lessons

  • 45 minute weekly lesson $87.00 (early primary age)
  • 60 minute weekly lesson $116.00 (late primary, high school and adults)
  • 60 minute casual lesson $136.00

Fees include GST. The current Music Teachers Association recommended rate is $112.20 per hour inclusive of GST. More information about Susan’s Studio Policy terms and conditions can be found here.

Teaching term dates 2024

Lessons are held during NSW public school terms. There are no lessons on public holidays or during school holidays. Lessons do take place on pupil free days.

  • Term 1: 30 January (adults)/1 February (children) to 12 April
  • Term 2: 29 April to 5 July
  • Term 3: 22 July to 27 September
  • Term 4: 14 October to 18 December

Find out more

To find out more, phone Susan on (02) 8964 7630, or .

Music Theory Syllabuses

AMEB is the Australian Music Examinations Board. Their federal office sets the syllabus, and the NSW state office administers the exams. There are currently three different theory syllabuses: Theory of Music, Musicianship, and Music Craft. Each syllabus has different strengths. The preferred syllabus at Susan Deas Music is the Musicianship syllabus, because it has a good coverage of theory and harmony, and includes some composition and some aural skills. Other syllabuses are available upon request.

“Excellent – and thoroughly enjoyable – Susan is a gifted educator and communicator. Susan is capable of explaining complex concepts in a variety of ways!”

“Susan’s teaching methods are very good in her use of musical examples of the theory both recorded and on the piano. She has the skill and innate ability to understand when a student grasps a concept” - Evan, West Ryde

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.