Pre-College Music Theory Online

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Pre-College Music Theory ONLINE 
July 13 - August 7, 2020


UPDATE: Based on ongoing state and federal recommendations to reduce the spread of coronavirus, this summer Rider University is providing remote and alternative instruction and is committed to providing the same quality programming in an exciting new format. 

This summer the program will be offered virtually. All class instruction with Rider faculty and materials will be provided, along with a line-up of award winning artists and internationally acclaimed guests to present engaging masterclass sessions. 

For questions regarding our 2020 Summer programs, please visit Frequently Asked Questions or email us at [email protected].

Get a Head Start on your College Career!

Do I Need Pre-college Music Theory?

  • Can you identify intervals, spell chords, & construct major & minor scales?
  • Can you identify the key by looking at the key signature?
  • Can you correctly harmonize a melody?
  • Can you notate and perform rhythms in simple and compound meters?
  • Can you sing a melodic line at sight on solfège syllables?
  • Can you write a melodic line with correct pitches & rhythms after hearing it three times?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you may not be prepared for the music theory or musicianship courses offered in college.

Why Should I Take Theory Before College Starts?

At Westminster Choir College (and many other colleges), all incoming freshmen music majors are required to take a Basic Musicianship placement exam.

Too many students are not adequately prepared for the exam. At Westminster, incoming students who do not pass are required to take Introduction to Musicianship (TH 045), a semester long, non-credit course that will count for nearly a quarter of your time spent in class during the Fall semester.

That means starting out behind your classmates and spending a lot of time and money to catch up to them!

The Pre-College Online Music Theory Program can help you to prepare for the Basic Musicianship Placement exam (at Westminster and at other colleges): outlining relevant topics, helping you to develop basic musicianship skills and to better strategize your test preparation.

One-hour live meetings are held on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST via video conference as well as online tutorials, videos, and musical examples.

Fee: $650

About the Instructor: R. Douglas Helvering
R. Douglas Helvering is a highly active composer of music, specializing in the choral genre. Dr. Helvering's music has been featured at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association, at various MENC Conferences, at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, at ACDA regional conventions, and at the historic Carnegie Hall in New York. His music has been widely acclaimed by performers, scholars, and audiences around the world for its artistry and emotional appeal. His music is published by Hal Leonard Music, Colla Voce, Chorister's Guild, Imagine Music, Heritage Music Press, Alliance Music, and RDH Music (his own label). Dr. Helvering has earned music composition degrees from the University of Kansas, Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He currently serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor at his Alma Mater, Westminster Choir College in the music theory and history department.


Please contact the Westminster Office of Continuing Education at 609-924-7416 [email protected]