The YPAS Files: AP Music Theory

Foster

Every spring, the students at Manual choose their class schedules for the upcoming school year. It is a process of choosing between the classes you want and the classes you need, deciding what kind of year you want to have. There are so many classes in fact that sometimes one can slip through the cracks and fall out of the general consciousness of Manual. These are those classes. These are their stories.

As if it isn’t unique enough to have an entire school, in addition to Manual, dedicated to the performing arts, within YPAS we have a few classes unique to even most Performing Arts programs anywhere. One of these is AP Music Theory.

What exactly is “AP Music Theory” teaching? “We do both learning about composers and composing ourselves,” Mr. Murner said.

“It fully prepares them for a freshman level Music Theory course,” said Mr. Murner about the curriculum of the course.

And the students agree. “I think the rigor of the course will fully prepare us for freshman year in college,” said Bryce Priddy (12) a student in the class. Priddy said, “AP Music Theory at YPAS is the equivalent of AP Chemistry at Manual.”

The students are mostly seniors, and the class is comprised of those who have either taken the entry level course, Music Theory, or have a vast, previous knowledge of music history and composition. The class is mostly YPAS majors with some MST students as well.

The students have opportunities to showcase their talents both in class and for a crowd. In class they can put the music they’ve written into software on computers, and it will record and play their pieces out loud. The students will also have an end-of-year project in which they compose a piece to be played at the New Works Festival on March 15 and 16. The students relish the opportunity to show the world what they have done during the year. “It isn’t you going out and showing adults who look down on you because you are young what you know, but showing your friends what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown.” said Jake Rogers (12).

Rogers likes a lot of kinds of music, and everything he has learned in Music Theory has inspired him to experiment with dubstep and punk or rock music as a crossover, which he coined punk-step. He imagines the sound being comparable to that of bands like Muse.

By Nathan Foster, Jakob Felty & Abby Korfhage