Skip to main content
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!

Introduction to Music Theory

8 Session Evening Course

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 6:30 Wednesday, April 27, 2022 - 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: CPS1
Select your Tickets
Powered by Zoom

Conductor Ernest Johnson (Photo: Safiya Gallaghan)

If you’ve always wanted to learn the language and elements of musical notation and composition or are a singer or instrumentalist who has never mastered reading music, this interactive course led by music educator and conductor Ernest Johnson offers the perfect opportunity.

Johnson guides exercises and assignments geared to developing the foundation every musician needs: the aural and visual understanding of pitch, rhythm, harmony and form. Topic areas include: overview of the elements of music and music terminology; notation of pitch and rhythm; ear training: developing the ability to hear, identify and notate pitches, intervals, melodies and chords; and sight-singing: learning to read music using solfege. A variety of audio and music score clips will be presented to support lesson material.

The course includes a variety of online and print resources to support and enhance musical learning, including a subscription to the Noteflight Learning website. Students use an online music software program to notate and hear musical elements presented in each session.

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.