Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

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AP Music Theory

On-Line for the 2017-2018 School Year

Teacher: Hannah Jackson


COURSE DATES: Sept 5 through May 21, with the following breaks: Nov 20-24, Dec 19-Jan 1, March 27-Apr 2. The AP exam will take place on Monday, May 14, 2018. 

     *NOTE: AP MUSIC THEORY IS NOW FULL FOR THE 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR* Email me at if you wish to be placed on a waiting list (in case of withdrawals/cancellations).

COURSE FEE for Credit:

COURSE FEE for Audit:


This course offers the equivalent of a first-year college course in music theory and aural skills. The aim of the course is to provide students with a grounding in the core concepts of music theory, including harmony, voice-leading, and musical structure, as well as competency in skills such as rhythm, sight-singing, interval and chord recognition, and dictation. By the end of the course, students will learn to listen to and examine a musical score analytically, to understand and appreciate the techniques of the composer as they relate to pitch, rhythm, phrase structure, texture, and thematic development, and to describe these phenomena with a sophisticated musical vocabulary. We will focus on Western tonal music of the common practice period (more specifically, the music of the Baroque through the early Romantic eras), as this is the music that generated and best exemplifies the rules we will be studying. Per the requirements of the AP exam, however, we will also learn how to analyze music of other genres, such as jazz and popular music. The course will prepare students to take the College Board AP Music Theory exam. Students who do well on this exam are in a position to receive college credit and/or placement in a higher-level music theory class (second semester or third semester, depending on the individual college/university’s policy).



This class is structured around two core components: written theory (audio/video-lectures, reading, analysis, written homework) and aural/musicianship skills (singing, dictation, rhythm, and other ear-training skills). Music is something that must be practiced as well as studied; to this end, the course will include weekly, live, hour-long “labs,” in which I meet with students in small groups for aural theory instruction and practice. (The lab schedule will be determined once registration is finalized, and will take students’ preexisting schedules into account.) In addition, hour-long live meetings will be held once a week in order to review concepts, go over homework problems, discuss practice strategies, and answer questions. Attendance at these meetings is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged, especially if a student is experiencing difficulty with any of the course material. I will also record these meetings and post to the course website.  

The work for the other component of the class, written theory, will be done independently by the student. This will include: viewing the online lectures (2 or 3 per week), weekly reading assignments from the textbook, 2-3 homework assignments (worksheets, analysis, listening response and/or composition assignments) submitted electronically each week, and an occasional post on the class discussion board. I suggest that students dedicate Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to watching the lectures and doing the readings, and Tuesdays and Thursdays to aural skill work, with assignments spread throughout the week. Students will best assimilate the material if some work or practice is done every day.

Testing will occur in the form of regular quizzes and tests, a midterm exam, and a final exam. Students will meet individually with me online for aural/singing/dictation assessments. Students will also complete one or two major projects over the course of the year (e.g. a larger analysis or composition project). Students are encouraged (though not required) to take the AP exam in the Spring; we will prepare for this by examining questions from past AP exams and by taking timed practice exams. Students may also practice on their own using questions from past AP exams ( and AP study guides (available in bookstores, from Amazon, etc.)


Students have the option to audit AP Music Theory, instead of taking the class for credit. This allows access to the website, syllabus, lectures, and any other material posted on the website. Students can follow along and work through the material independently. The audit option does not include participation in "labs" or any live class sessions; also, I do not provide feedback/grades for auditing students. However, the textbook (if purchased new with access code) does include access to short online tutorials/practice exercises/mini-quizzes. Auditing students may also choose to purchase MacGamut6 ear-training software ($40, from in order to practice the aural skills component of this class.


Students can expect to spend 10-15 hours a week on work for the class: about 3 of these hours will be spent in "class time" (online lectures, weekly "lab," weekly class meeting). The rest will be spent on independent work, and may vary from week to week, as some concepts or assignments may be more difficult than others.



*NOTE: Whether to buy a new or a used textbook is up to you. If purchased new, the textbook comes with an access code which allows you to avail yourself of online tutorials, practice exercises, and quizzes. You may find these resources beneficial, but they are not required. Of course, you do need to purchase a new copy of the workbook.




I recently graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory and a concentration in Viola Performance. I am thrilled to be teaching this course for the first time and look forward to a wonderful year of studying music together. My interest in home-education derives from my own experience as a member of a homeschooling family; two of my siblings graduated with PHAA, and one took several AP courses through PA Homeschoolers. My teaching experience includes tutoring in a variety of subjects, and working for one year as a teacher’s assistant at Veritas Academy. My interests other than music include classical education, studying German, reading and hiking.


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