AP Class Reviews

Music Theory taught by Melissa Makin

by Students and Parents

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Great course! posted by Hannah Che on May 28 2012 at 14:15:51

This was an excellent course.  I'm a music student, and I wanted to improve my knowledge of music theory as well as perhaps gain some potential college credit, so this class was perfect for me. 

I definitely felt prepared for the AP exam.  All the topics found on the exam were covered very comprehensively throughout the entire course, and even though we used a textbook that sometimes went beyond the scope of the exam, Mrs. Makin made sure to inform of us what topics we would actually be tested on.  The several weeks of review right before the exam was also very helpful, although I do wish I had had more time for more review (I had to study for four additional APs)-- this of course was my own problem; the course itself was excellent.

I think I put in around 5 hours per week, sometimes more if there was an aural quiz or additional aural homework. Since assignments are given weekly (all due on Monday), I would often find myself doing all the homework over the weekend, which was actually quite nice, given that all of my other AP classes had Friday due dates.  However, I would advise future students to try to complete all the assignments as they are listed in Mrs. Makin's daily allotment suggestions-- it takes away the temptation of procrastinating...

The assignments we had to do were all very valuable, though I think that the practice questions/sample exams we did in the final weeks were especially helpful for developing familiarity with the actual questions on the AP exam.  I also really liked the MacGamut computer program-- it was fantastic for practicing for the aural sections on the AP exam, as we had to do multiple exercises in melodic/harmonic dictation, chord identification, scale modes, etc..  The weekly assigned sight-singing assignments were also very valuable, and I felt completely prepared for the sight-singing portion by the time of the exam.

I didn't have much interaction with my classmates during the week, but I did get to chat/discuss with them during the weekly Monday class Skype meeting.  It was great being able to talk with similarly-minded people about things like college auditions, performances, pieces, etc.  The social board on our class website was pretty dead, though--  but again, I didn't except much from it given we had only five students in the class this year.

The teacher, Mrs. Makin, was also very sweet and knowledgeable, and was always available to answer questions I would have about the homework and/or other topics.  

I'd say that this course definitely gave me a taste of the college-level music theory classes I would experience if I ventured on to a music school or conservatory.  It definitely enlarged my knowledge and understanding of the complexity of classical music (especially Baroque), and I would recommend it to any advanced music students who would like to gain an understanding of the structure behind the music they practice and perform.