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Small group classes
Ainslie Arts Centre & Online


For beginner to intermediate students, Music Reading & Theory is run at two levels:

  • BEGINNER is an entry level class for those with little or no understanding of written notes, and covers basic note reading and the foundations of rhythm, melody and harmony.

  • INTERMEDIATE is the next level class, which builds on foundational theory, and delves deeper into the elements of music.

Goals & outcomes: 

  • BEGINNER: To be able to translate basic rhythm, melody and harmony notation. This class is an introduction to the written musical page, and aims to provide a foundation for reading a score, understanding the importance of rhythm and its components, and recognising how scales are used in melody and harmony.​

  • INTERMEDIATE: To be able to interpret the elements of music and investigate how they work together. This class expands on basic theory knowledge, is diverse and exploratory, and aims to develop a deeper understanding of music theory and corresponding listening skills.

Prerequisite knowledge: 

  • BEGINNER: None. This class is suitable for adults of any age, new to music reading, and highly recommended for beginner pianists and/or those interested in learning how to write music and moving on to Composition & Arranging.

  • INTERMEDIATE: Music Reading & Theory BEGINNER, Piano 101, and/or prior music reading and theory experience.

About the classes: Classes include: (a) weekly one-hour group lessons; plus (b) 24/7 online access to progressive course content, over a term. Terms generally coincide with ACT school term dates. 

  • BEGINNER: Although enrolment is on a per term basis, the complete Music Reading & Theory BEGINNER course incorporates four successive terms, with each term building on skills learnt in the previous term. 

  • INTERMEDIATE: Enrolment is on a per term basis, with new students welcome to join at the commencement of any term. The class offers an ongoing progressive option for continuous development based on students' knowledge levels and specific interest areas.


Topics covered in the BEGINNER class include:

  • Understanding rhythm

    • Reading duration: semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver and semi-quaver notes and rests

    • Simple time and compound time

    • Ties and dotted notes

    • Triplets and duplets

    • Syncopation

    • Anacrusis

    • Hemiola

    • Changing time signatures

  • Understanding melody and harmony

    • Reading pitches, sharps, flats, enharmonic notes

    • Tones and semitones

    • Major and minor scales, scale degrees and tonal names

    • Key signatures and the circle of 5ths

    • Melodic and harmonic intervals

    • Chords, inversions, cadences and chord progressions

    • Writing melodies and adding harmonies

Fee: $350 per term

Music theory classes
Term 1 2024

Monday 29 January - Monday 8 April 2024

Term 2 2024

Monday 29 April - Friday 5 July 2024

Term 3 2024

Monday 22 July - Friday 27 September 2024

Term 4 2024

Monday 14 October - Friday 13 December 2024

Enrolment usually opens 3-4 weeks before a new term. 

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