How to learn music theory is often the question which many beginning musicians are tasked with when starting out their music journey.
Typical Methods of Learning Music Theory
There are a number of books and reference materials you’ll find at the music stores. However, how would you know which is the best way to learn music theory?
They all are methods developed over the years based on the one teacher or another need to teach the music principles.
The problem is that their focus is on just teaching music theory, it’s on exploring technique as well and getting people to play first. This has resulted in a fragmented method of teaching the essential music elements.
Most amateur musicians finally learn music theory principles after many years of studying. After finally starting to understand music we ask: “Why can’t they teach me music theory quicker and make in more complete in a shorter period of time?”
Again that answer is in the need for gratification early in the process of actually playing an instrument.
A vast number of these musicians still feel very weak in their knowledge of music elements and wish they had a music theory crash course earlier in their development.
Options for Studying Music Theory
Some musicians explore was to study music theory online, and there are several options that are found. Some are good and appropriate for what you need; some are expensive and can cost hundreds of dollars.
The real issue with many of these is that they are not systematic in their methods and can make learning music theory online a hit or miss proposition. It requires a very focused effort by the student to make this type of learning work.
It almost requires you to have knowledge of what you should be studying before you study what you don’t know. Talk about a catch 22.
Music theory books are great about telling you about music theory, but are a poor instruction manual. They don’t provided the interaction needed to fully learn the philosophy of the music elements. However, there are a few good texts that you can benefit from.
One that we like is Bob Reno’s college text called “Elements of Music”. You can read our full review here: (link to review)
I haven’t explored much in the way of music theory DVD courses. Most of the DVD’s are about teaching a specific instrument with theory thrown in for good measure.
Best Method to Learn Music Theory
The method I’ve seen work both in class rooms and home study is the workshop or workbook approach. Some of the greatest improvements come when the focus changes from playing to learning rules and principles of music theory.
Workshop methods of teaching are used in many areas, even in music. But the music workshops are about playing and technique and rarely pay attention to music theory.
The Getting It Down Cold Music Theory Workshops and Courses are designed to accomplish the study of music through a workshop method. They were develop based on giving the home study student a way to acquire music knowledge in a systematic, easy, and focused way.
They are also a great tool for music teachers to swiftly cover and develop the students basics of music theory and still stay true to teaching the instrument.
If you are weak or need to improve your music understanding then these workshops will be one of your best cost effective ways to learn music theory.