Beginning Music Theory - Hands-On Approach
4.9 (14 ratings)
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Beginning Music Theory - Hands-On Approach

Learn how to speak and understand the language of music with this systematic and hands on approach of music theory.
4.9 (14 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
165 students enrolled
Created by Mihaela Williams
Last updated 9/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $60 Discount: 83% off
5 hours left at this price!
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of the course, the student should be able to write, read and play simple melodies and understand basic rhythm principles.
View Curriculum
  • Computer, printer, piano (optional).

Have you ever wanted to understand the jargon of music? Or have you wished to understand the music that you are playing in the deeper and more meaningful way?

This beginning music theory course, built to provide step by step information in a logical and systematical way, will help you do just that. Unlike many others, this is hands-on course that will cover the following topics:

  • The Staff & Clef Signs
  • Note Values & Their Rests
  • The Measure & Time Signatures
  • Ledger Lines
  • Repeat Signs & 1st and 2nd Endings
  • The Tie & the Slur
  • Flats, Sharps & Accidentals

The course is divided in 11 short videos, each lesson being accompanied by an outline and a worksheet. An answer worksheet is also provided. By the time you print all the documents, you will have a nice booklet with all the information that you can always refer back to and hands-on assignments that are invaluable since they help solidify the concepts learned in the video. The student should answer the question in the worksheet and check his/her work with the answer sheet. I highly recommend that the student does not skip the assignment sheets.

Music theory is very important for a musician; it gives the student a better understanding of the music he/she performs and it is a structural platform for improvisation, composition, transposition, sight-reading, etc. Music theory is the grammar of the musical language and we need to know it in order to speak the language of music correctly. It helps us understand how music fits together and why it sounds the way it does. For a person desiring to become a musician, music theory is a must.

I am looking forward to help you in any way I can. I have been a professional piano teacher for over 25 years and played the piano in many concerts, recitals, accompanying and conducting choirs over the year. I have written many pieces for choir and small ensemble and orchestrated and recorded many CDs. I will do my outmost to help you understand the topics in this course. Just ask if you need any help!

Enroll today and be on your way of becoming an accomplished musician! Learn music theory online! Thank you for taking my course.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is designed for 12 year old students and up. Keep in mind that this is a beginning course, for those that do not have any knowledge of music theory, but it is helpful if the student has a piano and a recognition of the name of the piano keys. Reading, writing and basic math abilities are crucial.
  • Teachers also are encouraged to use this course in their music instruction. Homework and outlines are already planned and available for download.
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Curriculum For This Course
Beginning Music Theory
12 Lectures 54:33


It is my pleasure to introduce to you this course. In it we will cover the foundations of music theory: the staff, the main clef signs, the letter names for the line and space notes, music notation and note values, the measure, time signatures, repeat signs, the ties and slurs, flat, sharps and accidentals.

Each lesson is delivered via a video lecture, a printable outline, and a worksheet that needs to be completed before moving on to the next lecture. The homework is as much part of the course as the lecture and is designed to put into practice the concepts delivered in the video lecture.

This first lesson introduces the musical staff, the numbering and naming of the staff lines and spaces and the two main clefs: treble and bass.

Preview 04:55

This lesson covers music notation on line and spaces, note values (whole, half and quarter notes) and the rule for the note stems.

Music Notation and Note Values

This lesson describes the bar lines, double bar lines, the measure and time signatures (4/4, 3/4, 2/4, 6/4).

Preview 03:13

How many beats are in a measure of 4/4?

Time Signatures
2 questions

This lesson continues explaining the note values showing how to write the beats under the notes, also describes the rests values and how to draw them and count them.

Note Values and Rest Values

Note Values and Rest Values
2 questions

In this lesson we learn about the rule of the dot next to a note and how to count dotted notes and dotted rests.

Dotted Notes and Dotted Rests

This lesson explains the ledger lines above and below the staff in both the treble and bass clefs.

Ledger Lines

Leger Lines
4 questions

In this lesson you learn about the repeat sign, how to draw it and what it means. Also, related to that is the 1st & 2nd ending, which is also described here.

Repeat Signs & 1st and 2nd Endings

In this lesson you will learn about the tie and slur and their meaning in musical notation.

The Tie and Slur

This lesson defines the eight notes, eight rests and how to write the bets under them.

Preview 05:00

Eight Notes and Rests
3 questions

This lesson introduces the dotted quarter note and explains it's duration and how to count it.

Dotted Quarter Notes

This lesson describes the flat, sharp, natural sign and their notation and explains the term "accidental" in music.

Flats, Sharps, Natural Signs and Accidentals

Sharps, Flats and Natural Signs
4 questions

About the Instructor
Mihaela Williams
4.8 Average rating
22 Reviews
258 Students
2 Courses
Music Teacher, BM in Music Composition, Pianist

I was born in Bucharest, Romania, where I began studying music at the age of 5 years. My grandfather introduced me to the piano and my parents encouraged me to sing. All my life I have been surrounded by music. I attended Music Kindergarden, Music Elementary School and Music High School. After I graduated High School I entered the Music Conservatory in Bucharest in the Music Composition class. I studied there 2 years, after which my family and I moved to the United States.

In 1987 I was admitted to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and after 2 1/2 years graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition. Presently, I work as a piano teacher, composer, and pianist.

I have taught private piano lessons for over 25 years and voice lessons for the past 4 years. Along with piano I also teach basic and advanced music theory. I’ve accompanied many church choirs, conducted and trained adult and children choirs over the years. I’ve also had many public performances and concerts as a piano soloist and as the choir conductor. I record piano and orchestral accompaniments for different ministries and individuals. I regularly write and print music using Sibelius 7.0 software and record music on a Yamaha Clavinova CVP-303. I’ve recorded 13 personal CD’s and have been running Mihaela Williams Music as a home business for the past 16 years.


George Enescu Music Elementary School in Romania

George Enescu Music High School in Romania

Music Conservatory in Bucharest Romania 1984-1986

University of Southern California –Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition 1986-1989