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AP Summer Institute: Music Theory

Montgomery College
AP®  Advanced Placement Summer Institute
Music Theory   Richard Zweier, Instructor

Course Description
This course provides participants the opportunity to explore all the necessary components for teaching a comprehensive Advanced Placement Music Theory class. A hands-on, interactive, and collaborative approach seeks to actively engage teachers in developing a thoughtful and highly effective approach to teaching AP Music Theory. The primary focus of this workshop is for teachers to learn how to advance students’ skills in, and knowledge of Music Theory, and how to best prepare students to take the AP exam. Institute sessions focus on 5 areas: aural, sight-singing, written, compositional, and analytical skills and concepts. The course will be useful for both new and experienced AP teachers. Topics also include specific AP Music Theory course content and specifications, structure of the exam, scoring guidelines and rubrics, scope and sequence, materials, using, test-taking strategies, the AP course audit, and brain-compatible classroom techniques and strategies. Participants will receive examples of past exams, worksheets, and other relevant materials.

APSI – Music Theory                    Montgomery College
Course Syllabus

  1. Integrated Approaches to AP Music Theory
    1. Aural Skills – Listening Exercises
    2.  Sight-Singing Skills – Performance Exercises
    3. Written Skills – Written Exercises
    4. Compositional Skills – Creative Exercises
    5. Analytical Skills – Analytical Exercises
  2. AP Music Theory Course Content
    1. Mastery of rudiments and terminology of music
      1. Notation
      2. Intervals
      3. Scales and keys
      4. Chords
      5. Metric organization
      6. Rhythmic patterns
    2. Composition of a bass line for a given melody
    3. Realization of a figured bass
    4. Analysis of repertoire
      1. Harmonic
      2. Rhythmic and melodic interaction
      3. Non-chord tones
      4. Form
    5. Functional triadic harmony in traditional four-part texture (with vocabulary including non-harmonic tones, seventh chords, and secondary dominants)
    6. Tonal relationships
    7. Modulation to closely related keys
    8. Standard rhythms and meters
    9. Phrase structure
    10. Small forms
  3. AP Exam Components
    1. Musical Terminology
    2. Notational Skills
    3. Basic Compositional Skills
    4. Score Analysis
    5. Aural Skills
  4. AP Exam Structure
    1. Aural Stimulus Multiple-Choice Questions
    2. Non-Aural Multiple-Choice Questions
    3. Free-Response Questions
      1. Melodic Dictation
      2. Harmonic Dictation
      3. Four-Part Writing
      4. Composition Question
    4. Sight-Singing
  5. Teaching the Course and Preparing for the Exam
    1. AP Central
    2. Scoring and Rubrics
    3. AP Courses – Why?
    4. AP Courses - Equity
    5. Scope and Sequence
    6. Exam Tips
    7. Materials
    8. Web Resources and Technology
    9. Brain-Friendly Classroom Templates
AP Summer Institute Instructor Richard Zweier

Instructor: Richard Zweier

Curriculum Vitae Richard Zweier
A public school teacher and administrator for 37 years, Mr. Zweier spent 35 years in the Vernon Township (New Jersey) School District. While there his duties included Supervisor of Performing and Visual Arts, High School Choral Director, and Instructor of Advanced Placement (Level 2) and Honors (Level 3) Music Theory.

His expertise and experience in AP Music Theory has been formed by teaching many Advanced Placement Summer Institutes in Music theory Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey), West Virginia Center for Professional development (Charleston, W.V.) and Montgomery College (Gaithersburg, Md). In 2017 he will be teaching APSIs for Montgomery College in Maryland and for Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (Norristown, PA.)

Mr. Zweier was an ETS Reader in AP Music Theory from 1999 - 2014. He is (and has been since 1999) a consultant in AP Music Theory for the College Board. Mr. Zweier has presented numerous one-day workshops in AP Music Theory in Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New Jersey. Additionally he is a contributor to The College Board's current Teacher's Guide for AP Music Theory.

He holds a Master of Music degree in Musicology from Manhattan School of Music (New York, NY) and is Nationally Certified in Brain-Based Teaching and Learning by Jensen Learning (Eric Jensen). Since retiring in 2010, Mr. Zweier has continued to be active in teacher professional development and has a passion for training and guiding teachers; he has taught over forty Graduate Education classes for The Regional Training Center (partnering with The College of New Jersey and La Salle University) Courses he has taught include Brain-Based Teaching and Learning, as well as a student motivation class. Mr. Zweier developed and designed RTC’s education graduate course: Teaching ‘Tweens and Teens for Optimal Learning. Additionally, he has served as an undergraduate adjunct professor at Seton Hall University (West Orange, N.J.) for the class Music and Civilization.

In 1994, Mr. Zweier traveled to Vienna, Austria as a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities (4-Week Summer Seminar: Mozart: the Man, His Life, His Vienna). He returned to Vienna in 1997 after winning an Independent Study Grant from The Council for Basic Education (Enlightenment Thought in the Three Mozart-Da Ponte Operas). Mr. Zweier is past conductor of four Region 1 High School and Middle School (auditioned/honor) Choirs (NJSMA/NJMEA), The New Jersey All-State Chorus, The New Jersey Opera Festival Chorus, and twice served as conductor for the summer high school choir at Mississippi State University. He is a former member of the New Jersey Music Educators Association’s state board and has served as President of the New Jersey-American Choral Directors Association.

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  • Rockville, MD 20850

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