Music Theory Lessons
What is music theory? And why should I take online music theory lessons? You may ask yourself this question while doing your research. When you learn music, it is not just knowing the rules of music, but also how to use those rules. When someone takes music theory lessons, they will be able to learn music faster, understand why something sounds “right” or “wrong,” and even write their own music! You will cover these concepts in online music theory lessons:
Music Theory Lessons
Rhythm and Meter: How music is organized through time. Rhythm lets you connect what you do in sound with what you do in movement. Meter shows you how rhythm is organized in terms of repetition, which is usually with stressed beats over a regular pulse.
Melody: How you write something that is singable or memorable, and varies thoughtfully in pitch and rhythm. You sing or hum this line when you are listening to a song, or remembering one.
Harmony: You’ll learn how chords are built and how they function in a given context and relate to each otherwise. You will first learn intervals, scales, and keys and modes.
Counterpoint and Texture: You learn how to manage multiple lines of melody to create dimension, meaningful dissonance and resolution, and organize cadences. You’ll also want to be aware of textural shifts, which might include imitative entrances, call and response, and solo parts. Homophony vs. polyphony.
Notation: You will go over how to write down musical ideas both by hand and with software. Software examples include Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore, and Dorico. For electronic media, the software would include Logic, Reason, and ProTools.
Form: Your instructor will teach you how a piece of music might be organized in sections, which sometimes has repeated ideas. You should vary forms with the style of music, but it is important to know when both writing and understanding music.
Instrumentation: Your instructor will teach you the ranges, registers, and quirks of each instrument. You’ll also learn how to write for voice, which can be very different. This includes the range, technique, and basic understanding on how each instrument is played.
Orchestration: An advanced skill you will learn as a composer. You will learn how to organize many instruments with unique sounds, and this is based on what instrument is suited best for specific things. You will also learn how instruments behave with one another, and which instruments have a sound that “stands out” the most.
Oksana Lutsyshyn was born in the city of Lviv, Ukraine. She began studying music at the age of eight and at twelve she entered the Special Music School in Lviv. Upon graduating from this school, she moved to Moscow, Russia, where she entered the Moscow State Conservatory, completing both her graduate and post-graduate degrees.
After moving to the United States, she was Visiting Scholar at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. She is presently on the music faculty at Old Dominion University, where she teaches Piano and Music Theory. She also serves as Artistic Co-Director of the Norfolk Chamber Consort.
Lutsyshyn has appeared in concerts as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the former Soviet Union, Europe, the United States, and South America. She gave her New York debut in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and a Chicago debut in the Preston Bradley Hall at Chicago Cultural Center. Locally, she has performed with the Virginia International Arts Festival, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Ludwig F. Diehn Concert Series, as well as numerous other concert presenters.
Lutsyshyn won Second Prize at the Vienna Modern Masters Third International Performers’ Recording Awards Competition. She was also a prizewinner at the William Kapell International Piano Competition in College Park, Maryland.
As a chamber musician, Lutsyshyn has performed in ensembles with prominent musicians such as violinists Joshua Bell and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, tubist Harvey Phillips, saxophonist Eugene Rousseau, and tenor James King, among many others. Together with her husband, Andrey Kasparov, she is a founding member of the Invencia Piano Duo, performing nationally and internationally.
Lutsyshyn is a prolific recording artist, having worked with the BBC, Vienna Modern Masters, and Contemporary Record Society. But it was her recordings of Hommage à Gabriel Fauré (Hommages musicaux) and piano works by Adolphus Hailstork (Ignis fatuus) on Albany Records that brought her high critical acclaim. The Fanfare Magazine called her touch in Ignis fatuus “perfect,” while the American Record Guide’s review of Hommages musicaux proclaimed: “Hats off to the Kasparov-Lutsyshyn piano duo team for bringing these fascinating pieces to us in their original forms.” She and Kasparov have recently recorded the entire original works by Florent Schmitt for piano duet and duo.
In addition to her performing and recording schedules, Ms. Lutsyshyn has taught master classes at many American universities, including Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. Currently, she teaches piano and theory at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She also serves as Director of Music at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach.
Mari Esabel Valverde is an award-winning composer in steady demand across the United States and Canada. Based in North Texas, she sings in multiple professional ensembles and maintains a voice studio.
She holds degrees from St. Olaf College, the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.