Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

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AP Music Theory

On-Line for the 2016-2017 School Year

Teacher: Mrs. Melissa Makin



The AP Music Theory course is equal to a first year college-level music theory course, covering the material from two separate courses: first semester written skills and first semester aural skills. Within the course, students will study elements of music such as rhythm, notation, sight-singing, rhythmic dictation, keyboard harmony and part-writing all within the historical “common practice period” (18th-19th centuries). Students will study written skills on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and aural skills on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are two goals for this class: 1) that students would be prepared to take the AP Music Theory exam, and 2) that students would have a lifelong ability to understand and appreciate music.







Since this course covers the equivalent of two college classes, students can expect to spend about 10-15 hours a week on the material. Mastery of the concepts will only come with continuous student and effort. The “bottom line” is that you will get out of this course what you put into it. Also, the time you spend may be different from week to week, depending on how fast you grasp a concept.


Remember, you will ultimately get out of this class what you put into it, and you cannot cheat on the actual AP Exam! Finally, relax, enjoy the class and have a good time learning theory. Others have done it, and you can too! I don't want to "scare you off" with all of the "rules" of the class - I just want to be "up front" with what I expect from you as a student.


This course is for 11th and 12th grade students who love music, are currently involved in formal music instruction such as choir, band, orchestra and or/private music lessons, and who may also wish to major or minor in music on the college or university level. Ninth or tenth graders who are interested in the class should contact the teacher and will be considered individually.


Contact me for the qualifying exam. The exam will cover the basic elements of music (such as pitch names, major and minor scales, intervals, etc), as well as some other advanced musical concepts.

COURSE FEE for Credit Students:

COURSE FEE for Audit Students



Regarding the two options: taking the AP Music Theory Class for credit means that the teacher will grade all of the students work that is not self-graded (workbook and sight-singing, along with anything else that is not self-graded). The teacher also provides feedback for all of the work, and gives grades based on the students' output. With the audit program, the student does all of the work on their own, with no work graded by the teacher that is not self-graded. However, there is an option for the workbook that the student can take advantage of to get grades and feedback for that through a website for that purpose. If you would like to know more about either of these options, please feel free to email me.



I have a B.M. (Bachelor of Music) degree from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, with a double-major in Music Education and Music Composition. I also earned a M.M. (Master of Music) degree in Music Education with a concentration in Music Technology from West Chester University, West Chester, PA. I was a full-time music teacher at a Performing Arts Charter High School for three years, and also taught private piano and beginning guitar lessons for several years. This will be my sixth year teaching online AP Music Theory. Ninety-five percent of the students who have taken this class score a 4 or 5 on the AP Exam (5 being the highest, and 3 being a passing score).


As an online class, this course will run differently than a “live” course would run. Much of the progress a student makes will be dependent on that individual student. Audio or video lectures for each week are available for each week.

Assignments for the week are posted on the class website, and a syllabus is emailed to each student at the beginning of the year. If there are any changes, I will email you. All homework, unless otherwise noted, is due by Monday at midnight EST. For written work, after receiving a homework assignment, students will read the material in the textbook, complete the workbook pages, and return the completed work to the teacher for a grade. Quizzes and exams will be able to either be taken online or downloaded by the student, printed out, completed, scanned into a .pdf file, and returned to the teacher. Score analysis assignments will also be given using the anthology textbook.

For aural, rhythmic and dictation work, students will advance their skills by using the MacGamut6 software program for drills and repetition of music theory concepts. This will be individual work done by a student. For grades, students will send in their completed MacGamut6 files to the teacher. For sight-singing work, students will use both handouts from the instructor, as well as exercises from the Crowell book, Eyes and Ears. Skype and recorded files will be utilized for sight-singing assessments.

At the end of the course, the students will practice on previous years' AP Music Theory tests.

If a student needs additional tutoring in the class, I will suggest your music teacher, however, I do help with minor issues. Sometimes, a student just needs some extra one-on-one help by sitting down with an individual to have something explained. I cannot personally tutor every student in the class, but I do “look out” for all of my students and make an effort to make sure everyone receives help if it is needed. Many students have done extremely well on their own throughout the years. I have had students who I have rarely heard from throughout the year score perfectly on their AP Exams. It all depends on the students. Remember, this is a self-motivated online class, different from a traditional setting.


Students will be evaluated on their learning progress based on quizzes and exams administered throughout the course. The goal is to have students master the material. Special assignments may be added if the teacher sees it fit to add to the previous assignments, or to give students an opportunity to improve their grades.


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