I, IV, V, & Beyond: Using Music Theory to play like a pro!
What you'll learn
- Musicians of all styles, genres, and abilities, will have the tools and processes needed to create original, complex sounds based on a mastery of simple harmony
- Students will progress farther in advanced harmonic and melodic concepts for composition and improvisation than in any other curriculum previously studied
- Mastery of simple harmonic concepts will provide students unlimited original content, creating an end to writers block or the inability to discover new sounds
- Students will have an aptitude,awareness,and introspection to their music and musical surroundings,with ear training & harmony, that was previously non-existent
- Students will make musical decisions along the same thought processes as a professional musician
- No previous experience with improvisation or composition needed! Basic understanding of the Circle of 5ths, Major, and Minor Scales. Lesson 1 starts with a review of the Circle of 5ths, as its mastery is the basis for the complete course. Successive lessons review the implementation of the Circle of 5ths as well as reviews scales, intervals, and diatonic chords. This strong foundation of basic theory will be the basis for the evolution of the course and the support needed for more advanced concepts.
This course is designed for the amateur musician of all styles and abilities who is desperate to enhance their musicianship, by way of the mastery of basic theory, harmony, melody, and ear training. Whether you are a composer, arranger, songwriter, or improviser, this course will teach you how to discover new harmonies and melodies within the music that you create, as well as re-harmonizations within the songs that you love! A strong foundation in basic music theory will allow you to grasp the more advanced concepts by the end of the course, at which time you will not only be creating new and original sounds within music that you perform, but you will be creating new and original sounds within the music that you CREATE as a composer, arranger, songwriter, or and improviser!
This course focuses on the harmonic functions of Tonic, Subdominant, and Dominant (I, IV, V) within the major scale and their expected behaviours and resolutions. By mastering their qualities and tendencies, you will be able to manipulate their behaviours within a harmonic setting, while at the same time, discovering new harmonies and melodies that can lead to or from these chords. This knowledge will strengthen your musicianship as well as your ear training and your awareness within your musical settings, but most of all, you will be making musical decisions along the same lines as the pros that you love! And you will never run out of original material or inspiration, as the manipulation of basic concepts will yield endless possibilities for harmonic progressions.
Check out the lecture previews below, and you will have a better understanding of how the course progresses. We even have a whole section focusing on Classical and Pop progressions that use the very tools that you will be learning here!
Have fun, and I hope that you'll be happy with the musician that you become after your journey with I, IV, V....And Beyond!
Who this course is for:
- This course is for the amateur musician of any musical style and ability who is frustrated with their inability to improve their musicianship beyond the basic theory that is readily available. Amateurs have never been taught how to implement the theory they have learned into original, creative expressions of music. It is precisely through the implementation and manipulation of basic theory, namely the working principles of melody and harmony guided by ear training, that the amateur musician will learn how to create original sounds based on both knowledge and intuition. Amateurs are usually involved in the most playing opportunities, eg., wedding bands, church ensembles, cover bands, jam bands, etc., and they rely on fakebooks, lead sheets, or video tutorials when they desire to be more creative or exploratory with well-known music. They do not know how to find original sounds, or how to create intros, endings, improvisations within a pre-existing song, or they may not know how to create their own songs, thinking that composition is a difficult task. All of these problems will be solved in this course, and not only will the student discover new sounds to use in their songs, improvisations, or in their bands, but their reaction time to the music surrounding them as well as their musical decision making will be exponentially faster. This course ensures that no matter what the musical setting, that the student will have a fountain of inspirational material to draw from, based on their constant implementation and manipulation of basic theoretical knowledge. The music itself will be the teacher, and the student will have never been as receptive as they will be at the course conclusion to the possibilities awaiting them from the music alone, void of another method, or video, or course. Students will be astounded at their progress in the uses of melody, harmony, and ear training, while studying the simplest method on the market. Students will be applying chords and harmonies to songs that will have them re-harmonizing like the pros!
Carmen Spada graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA, obtaining a dual major in Piano Performance and Jazz Composition. While at Berklee, he earned the Berklee Achievement Scholarship, was nominated for the Boston Jazz Society Scholarship, represented Berklee internationally as a Student Ambassador and was the recipient of the 2007 Herb Pomeroy Award for excellence in Jazz Composition. He also enjoyed private study and direction from world-class jazz musicians such as Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, Hal Crook, Joanne Brackeen, Ed Tomassi, Ray Santisi and Frank Carlberg, and harmony and composition with Greg Hopkins, Phil Wilson and Steve Rochinski.
Though firmly rooted in jazz and world music, Carmen has enjoyed pursuing and establishing his solo career in a unique jazz crossover to pop niche, due to his success as a songwriter. He won the 2010 Rose Theatre Singer/Songwriter competition in Brampton, ON for best original song and lyrics with "Why You Make Me Fall In Love With You", and was also awarded a creation grant from the Ontario Arts Council for his 2013 EP release, Buona Sera, featuring original songs and arrangements of Italian folk music for trio and sextet. His compositional style is currently focused on "contemporary standards": songs featuring the commercial appeal of jazz standards through form and lyrics, but with a deeper and contemporary approach to harmony and melody. The three horn lineup that Carmen employs in his sextet (trumpet, trombone, saxophone) reflects his love and history of composing and arranging for big band ensembles.
A highly respected educator, Carmen conducts various clinics and masterclasses at secondary schools in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as boasts successful in-person and live, online private teaching studios, with an emphasis on contemporary improvisation, harmony, composition, ear training and songwriting, as well as post-secondary music curriculum and audition preparation for prospective undergraduate students. He was proudly appointed Alumni Ambassador for Berklee College of Music in 2014, and assists the college with recruitment and outreach opportunities within various communities. Annually, Carmen is the featured adjudicator in the pop and jazz sections at the Davenport Festival of Music in Toronto, and currently resides as a Sessional Lecturer teaching the jazz ensemble at the University of Guelph.
In 2017, Carmen co-founded B-Jazzed, a non-for-profit organization curating performances, education series, and philanthropy of jazz music and its musicians, in the city of Brampton. Serving as its Artistic Director, Carmen has managed weekly performances in Brampton such as Joe's Jazz Jam, Jazz @ J. Red & Co., and Dinner Jazz at the Brampton Golf Club. In co-production with the Rose Theatre, he curates Sessions @ Studio 2, a monthly concert series featuring some of Canada's best jazz musicians. Most importantly, however, Carmen created and programs the annual World of Jazz Festival in Downtown Brampton, a two-day festival boasting two stages and over 90 musicians highlighting the diversity and multicultural interpretations of jazz music. The City of Brampton recognized Carmen's work with B-Jazzed with an Arts Acclaim Citizens Award in both 2018 & 2021.
Carmen currently performs and tours with Juno award winning guitarist Robert Michaels and was previously pianist and arranger for Luna Bianca, a world music ensemble consisting of Spada, Rosanna Riverso, Kevin Laliberte, Drew Birston and Chendy Leon, as well as accordionist for Henri Smith's Sounds of New Orleans ensemble, based in Boston. He has also performed and collaborated with Terry Clarke, Dave Young, Jerry Weldon, Neil Swainson, Pat Collins, Marc Rogers, Mark McLean, Kelly Jefferson, Nick “Brownman” Ali, Ernest Dawkins (Art Ensemble of Chicago), Amadee Castenell (Chocolate Milk), Chris Bilton (Marc Jordan), Kevin Knelman, Lenny Solomon, Michael Ciufo, and Grenville Pinto.