Course Modules

The course consists of a series of modules that each contain several lessons.

While you don't have to complete each lesson in order, the course is structured to build on your knowledge as you progress through it.

Clicking on the Module Introduction link opens a description of the topics covered in each module and a short introductory video for that module.

To access the lessons within the modules, you will need a valid subscription. If you already have one, please login.

Module

The Language of Music 1

Lessons in this module: 34

Upon completing the two parts of this subject - you will be able to read and write music.

You will have studied fifty-five enjoyable and easy to follow music theory lessons with exercises that have a cursor in sync with the music as it is played, so you’ll always see while you hear, where you are in the music! Assignments have questions and answers that can be printed.

First you will learn how to read rhythm then the pitch of the notes. Then you put rhythm and pitch together and after just a few lessons you will be able to read music!

To help track your progress, you may want to print the Student Checklists, or if you are a teacher with multiple students, you can use the Classroom checklists.

The Language of Music 2

Lessons in this module: 21

After completing The Language of Music 2 - you will know about intervals, flat key major and minor scales, key signatures and how to read and write music to 1/16ths (semi-quavers).

Then we put pitch with the 1/16ths and you will be able to read and write music as sophisticated as it gets in Jazz, Rock or Pop music.

(Don’t forget to print out the PDF's in these lessons!)

To help track your progress, you may want to print the Student Checklist, or if you are a teacher with multiple students, you can use the Classroom checklist.

Chords & Harmony 1

Lessons in this module: 24

The chords are the harmonic base of a song or melody.

In this subject you will learn the make-up of complex chords and how chords function together. Soon you will know how to select the perfect chords for a melody.

To help track your progress, you may want to print the Student Checklist, or if you are a teacher with multiple students, you can use the Classroom checklist.

Chords & Harmony 2

Lessons in this module: 19

Here we look at more harmonic options for your music and introduce you to the harmony of ‘The Great American Song Book’.

To help track your progress, you may want to print the Student Checklist, or if you are a teacher with multiple students, you can use the Classroom checklist.

Aspects of Song Writing

Lessons in this module: 16

Being a successful song writer is mostly about talent but there are many things that can be learned to bring a song into the world.

In this subject we talk about some of the ways to start writing a song. We talk about song structures and look at some great songs and how they were made. We put words to music and music to words, we talk about love songs and protest songs and we also answer some questions from ‘The School of Rock’ students.

Later there are some lessons from the Chords and Harmony subject that are particularly helpful to songwriters.

Drums & Guitar

Lessons in this module: 17

In Drums & Guitar you will see a drummer playing while you follow the music he is reading. Then you can listen to various rhythmic ‘grooves’ and write them.

As usual the answers are provided so you can see how well you did. You will be able to write for a drummer very soon!

Then we look at how to write for a guitarist and other rhythm section musicians!

To help track your progress, you may want to print the Student Checklist, or if you are a teacher with multiple students, you can use the Classroom checklist.

Music Sequencing Software

Lessons in this module: 15

Learn to sequence music of any style in a software package.

Computer based music played on synthesizers and samplers, is the main ingredient of virtually all Pop Music and Film Scores.

There is a huge amount of technical information in this subject so it is best to take your time and keep pausing the videos.

To help track your progress, you may want to print the Student Checklist, or if you are a teacher with multiple students, you can use the Classroom checklist.

Orchestral Harmony

Lessons in this module: 15

This is where you really become an arranger.

Here we transfer our knowledge of Chords and Harmony to an orchestra and other instrumentations.

To help track your progress, you may want to print the Student Checklist, or if you are a teacher with multiple students, you can use the Classroom checklist.

Two Part Harmony & Counterpoint

Lessons in this module: 9

This subject is incredibly exciting and it takes your music to a whole new level!

It is essential for film composers, orchestral composers and for any music that does not have chordal instruments or a rhythm section, to create the harmony and rhythmic movement.

We also discuss how to write for a jazz/rock horn section.

To help track your progress, you may want to print the Student Checklist, or if you are a teacher with multiple students, you can use the Classroom checklist.

Briefs and Solutions

Lessons in this module: 6

After studying The Language of Music, Chords and Harmony, Orchestral Harmony and Two Part Harmony and Counterpoint you will be able to embark on writing for all sorts of instrumental line-ups including a full symphony orchestra.

But there are always many practical problems that have to be dealt with by a composer/producer. In this subject we look at various ways that some of those decisions were made.

Master scores and musicians’ parts for orchestras can be printed or downloaded in General Midi and/or Logic Audio files and re-arranged.

The scores include chord charts so that rock musicians can understand the music more easily. Composers from a pop/rock background will often use this approach.

The music is from "Suite Songs", a compilation album of suites and songs of film and television music for you to download and burn to CD. All but two of these tracks include either the complete New Zealand Symphony Orchestra or session players from it.

Note: The MP3's need to be downloaded and imported into the matching Logic or General Midi files. Downloading and unzipping instructions

Rock Musicians - Session Project

Lessons in this module: 9

"Boadicea: Celtic Warrior Queen" is a rock-drama for a young singer/actress and four-piece rock band. It is a wonderful opportunity for session musician students, to practice their craft and with the singer/actress, to present it in their own way!

Even if your reading isn’t great you will understand exactly what the written music means, when you hear the music, as you see the notation.

The show is exciting and dramatic. Time changes, key changes and changes in feel, occur every few bars and it is 1,200 bars (50 minutes) long.

The recording, master score and musicians parts for singer/actress, keyboards, guitar, bass guitar and drums can be downloaded.

This rock-drama can be presented easily and anywhere - a theatre, a tent, as street theatre, on the back of a truck or perhaps for tourists in some ancient ruin.

Your mission - should you decide to accept it - is to create an exciting show the way you’d like to see it!