Please note: during our 2020-2021 season, we are learning remotely. References to and descriptions of in-person rehearsals, performances, and study are representative of seasons unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Music Theory is the formal language of western music and is essential knowledge for all musicians. Ragazzi takes pride in training musically literate singers who are fluent and analytic readers. Our chorister-musicians must be able to “hang” with the professionals with whom we often work (San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco and San Jose Opera, etc.). They have to understand and speak the same language.
In fact, Ragazzi’s theory program is so thorough that older choristers find they are well-prepared to take the AP Music Theory course and examination in high school. Ragazzi boys who continue to study music in college have likewise found themselves well-prepared for success in college music theory courses.
Ragazzi’s Music Theory program is taught with a series of take-home workbooks, plus practical classroom lessons taught during weekly rehearsals. Theory is also taught at Ragazzi’s summer camp. The workbook program is designed to take six semesters, assuming one lesson is completed per week during the season. A chorister’s placement in the next chorus level requires completion of his current theory level. Because the workbook program is self-paced, boys who wish to work faster may do so. The goal of the theory program is mastery of the material; there are no grades.