Lessons in music theory at library

« Austintown Neighbors


by ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

The Austintown library invited a speaker to teach basic musical lessons to attendees at their “Fundamentals of Music Theory” program on April 5.

Shirley Bartlett taught attendees about elements of music in her weekly library session. She brought a small electronic keyboard with her to show examples of the concepts as well as give the learners some practice.

“Music has been a huge part of my life,” said Bartlett, who has been a flautist for four different symphonic and orchestral bands. She said that a book by renowned composer Leonard Bernstein sparked her interest in music theory and how music is made. She previously taught flute lessons, but she said she did not enjoy them nearly as much as giving lessons on theory.

She began by explaining the bass and treble clefs. She handed out staff paper and explained the different notes on each line and space for both clefs. She then went over different common time signatures, such as 4/4 and 3/4 time. She demonstrated the difference between 3/4 and 6/8 time and spoke about unusual time signatures, such as 7/8.

Bartlett then wrote out the different types of note value: whole, half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes. After which, she used the piano to teach the attendees about whole steps and half steps and major chords, such as the major C chord.

They then began to focus on key signatures. Bartlett wrote down a series of signatures and instructed upon what they do to a piece of music and how to know the name of the key signature. This led into a discussion of the common major scales.

Bartlett ended the session after teaching the major scales. She has the music theory classes each Thursday of April and the first Thursday of May at two in the library.

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