AP Music Theory
In addition to the resources for learning and assessment listed below, please check out our music theory assessment portion of the website for many other great ideas. In this section of the website we will discuss the resources of the College Board Website, Musictheory.net, and GarageBand.
The AP College Board website is a must for any AP classroom teacher. This website provides valuable resources to be used in the classroom as well as community support resources. Of particular note and value are practice and previously released AP music theory exams. These are of course critical for direct application use, but they are also a necessary tool for creating assessments throughout the educational process. Use the practice and previously released exams that are available to create your own exams and other assessments. In utilizing this tool, you can prepare students throughout the entire year for the types and level of questioning that they will encounter.
In addition to the released exams, teachers will find support on this page through user generated forums. Teachers can connect with other across the country to pick up tips and other possible teaching and assessment resources or tools.
*Please note, this resource is only available to teachers who teach AP Music Theory and have created an account with the College Board.
Musictheory.net is a great website that can be utilized in a variety of ways. You will find it throughout this portion of website as well as our music theory assessment section of site. As a learning resource, musictheory.net utilizes detailed lessons with examples for explaining many topics in written music theory. The lessons are presented in a powerpoint-like format and can be used either in class or as a supplemental reading resource to be utilized at home.
As an assessment piece, musictheory.net includes many exercises for both written and aural music skills. These exercises can be used for both informal and formal assessment pieces. Consider these ideas for assessment:
In The Classroom
GarageBand may not be the first tool that you think of when thinking about your AP Music Theory curriculum, however this program could be a tremendous asset to your class. GarageBand is only available on Apple products, so it does require the use of iMac, MacBooks, or an iPad. GarageBand can be used for both the creation of music and ear training. Arguably the two most useful ways of employing this technology in an AP Music Theory classroom would be for teaching form and compositional techniques.
For both of these areas, form and compositional techniques, have students create compositions in GarageBand that demonstrate what is being taught. This will demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and applied use of the concept. The compositions can not only be turned in, but also be used as an ear training tool for the rest of the class. No two compositions will be exactly alike (especially if students are at a point where they can have more freedom in terms of what form they are utilizing for their composition) and as a result can be played back for the rest of the class to analyze. Students will analyze critically for form and compositional techniques utilized - this is a direct correlation to what students will be asked to accomplish on the AP Exam.
Check out the YouTube clip below for an example of compositions created with GarageBand.