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Oakland School for the Arts

Oakland School for the Arts

HS Theory 1 (required) 
The first course in the Music Theory program concentrates on the basic concepts of musical notation, rhythm, scales, form and the application of these concepts. The basic principles of music literacy and construction are covered. Students are also introduced to ear training through sight singing and rhythmic drills and dictations.


HS Theory 2 (required) 
The second course in the Music Theory program concentrates on the development of diatonic melody and harmony using practical exercises. Topics such as key signatures, diatonic chords, circle of 5ths, and all 12 major scales are covered. Students participate in sight-singing and ear training exercises, dictation exercises, and composition exercises.


HS Theory 3 (required) 
The third course in the Music Theory program combine their understanding of scales, melody, harmony, and chord progressions in the context of tonal music. Students will become fluent in the use of triads and seventh chords in all inversions, and they will begin applying these concepts through composition analysis. This course also covers chromatic harmony with a means to develop a richer harmonic understanding through various musical contexts. Students will continue to train rhythmically by means of clapping exercises, rhythmic dictation, and listening examples.


AP Theory (open to students that have completed and passed Theory 3) 
The AP Music Theory course is a culmination of all theory coursework previously taken at Oakland School for the Arts, and will include advanced concepts and practices in preparation for the AP Music Theory Exam, as well as college level theory and Aural Skills coursework. Special emphasis will be placed on consistent training and assessment of listening skills as they relate to all techniques, practices, and compositional devices studied throughout the course.


HS Music History (open to students that have completed and passed Theory 3) This course is designed for students to gain specific knowledge of music history from antiquity to present times. Topics will emphasize salient features of eras in regard to counterpoint, form, harmonic evolution, notation, and instrument development. Through weekly journaling and timeline assignments, listening exams, and class discussions, this course seeks to impart an appreciation of worldwide perspectives covering diverse genres and cultures. This course is open to both Vocalists and Instrumentalists.


Studio Production (open to seniors that have completed AP Theory) 
To be eligible to take the Studio/Live Production course you must be have completed AP Music Theory, and be a senior. Writing and rehearsing a song is hard enough, recording, mixing and mastering is a whole separate beast. Creating a full, rich mix for that live performance takes a special touch and a few tricks so in Studio Production we will cover the essential methods used for recording live material in the studio, and polishing the sound within the workstation. We will also focus on microphone placement, instrument arrangement, tracking order, studio etiquette and a host of other engineering concepts as we tackle live recording and create professional mixes. Using Pro-Tools as our Digital Audio Workstation for recording we will explore the expansive set of tools provided to undertake any sound project. In addition to working on musical material we will also learn how to use Pro-Tools as a powerful sound design, and editing program to create soundscapes for a number of collaborative projects with other departments. The Studio Production team will become the go-to group for advanced, professional sound solutions at OSA.