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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
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Further Explorations in Music Theory

8 Session Evening Course

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 6:30 Tuesday, June 7, 2022 - 8:30 p.m. ET
Upcoming Session:
Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: CPS2
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$235 - Member
$260 - Non-Member
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Conductor Ernest Johnson (Photo: Safiya Gallaghan)

This advanced course with Ernest Johnson builds on Introduction to Music Theory and is intended for individuals who read music and can visually and aurally identify the basic elements of pitch, rhythm, and form. Content includes an analysis of melody and harmony in greater depth and detail and includes weekly assignments in ear-training, sight-reading (singing with solfege), and composition, as well as instructor-led musical dictation.

Topic areas focus on identifying aurally and constructing scales (major and minor); intervals; diatonic triads, 7th chords and their inversions; harmonization of a melody; common chord progressions; time signatures in simple and compound meter; phrase structure; cadences; and compositional forms.

Since music is an aural art form, ear-training exercises enable students to better comprehend, analyze, and compose music. Computer software is introduced to notate compositional assignments, including a subscription to Noteflight Learning.

Access to a digital or acoustic piano is required. Piano experience is optional, but participants should have basic understanding of the keyboard in order to compose one or more short compositions.

About Conductor Ernest Johnson

Ernest Johnson is a choral conductor and music educator who has worked with singers and musicians of all ages for more than 40 years. He taught advanced placement music theory for 30 years in high schools in New York and Virginia. He has served as the director of adult choirs at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, is an adjunct professor at George Mason University, and active as a guest conductor, teacher, and clinician throughout the Washington area. Since 2019, he has been the director of the Associates’ Smithsonian Chorus.

8 sessions

Note: Price includes textbook (and shipping) and year-long online subscription to Noteflight.

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.