Excellence in Theory is a comprehensive series of 3 books designed to teach students the fundementals of theory. This series by Ryan Nowlin and Bruce Pearson immerses students in practical theory applications with examples and questions for them to answer.
LEARNING THE BASICS
The Theory section of Excellence in Theory, Book One concentrates on learning the basic language of music that helps develop well-rounded musicians. Lesson & Assignment pages introduce staves, treble and bass clef. Time signatures, and simple rhythms. Melodic elements are presented in accidentals, enharmonics, and whole and half steps, as well as tetrachords and major scales. Each lesson is carefully reinforced through Review pages.
Ear Training pages are incorporated throughout the book, providing the listening tools and opportunities needed to put recently learned theory into practice. Listening examples and exercises accompany each of these pages, and are accessible for free to students and teachers through the Kjos Multimedia Library at www.kjos.com.
The History section of Book One broadens students’ understanding of music by providing the historical context during each of the musical eras-from the Middle Ages through the 20th century-using text and full color images. Each reading assignment is followed by an assessment page with a timeline to help strengthen the learning process.
The Theory section in Book Two begins with a review of concepts previously learned, then moves forward into more advanced lessons. Key signatures and the circle of fifths/fourths are introduced, and music reading progresses with new technique and expression markings. Students are introduced to challenging new rhythms, and melodic and harmonic intervals are explored. Each lesson is carefully reinforced through specific Review pages.
Ear Training continues to play a vital role in Book Two, with aural exercises appearing throughout the book wherever new theory concepts are learned. These aural exercises reinforce student understanding and immediately put new theory into practice.
The History section of Book Two presents more detail on each of the musical eras from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. Composers, performers, and important musical events are presented in the historical context of their day. A greater understanding of the historical context in which music was created sets the course for a lifetime of music appreciation.
CREATING AN APPRECIATION
The Theory section in Book Three begins with a review of the theory concepts introduced in Book Two Book Three before introducing more advanced time signatures; major, minor, augmented and diminished triads; and minor chords, chord progressions and harmonizing melodies. By the end of, students will be composing short melodies, and will have a fundamental understanding of the building blocks of Western music.
Ear Training pages with aural exercises are again applied throughout Book Three, incorporating the knowledge gained in the steadily advancing lessons and putting it immediately into practice.
The History section of Book Three continues to deepen the connection among all aspects learned throughout the series, putting music into perspective with social and political events and progressions within all the arts. Book Three also includes a colorful comprehensive timeline including all composers and performers studied, thus providing quick reference and motivation toward further study.