Why You Should Study Music Theory: Advice From a Professional

Why Study Music Theory?

Music theory lessons can offer a variety of benefits to musicians, regardless of their skill level or the type of music they enjoy.


Here are 10 reasons why learning music theory can be valuable, and see below for a message from CMC’s Executive Founding Director:

Click each number to expand!

Music theory provides a systematic way to understand and communicate musical ideas. It gives you a language to discuss elements such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and form.

While some might fear that theory limits creativity, it actually provides a framework that can inspire new ideas. Understanding the rules allows you to know how and when to break them for artistic expression.

For those interested in creating their own music, music theory is an invaluable tool. It helps composers and songwriters structure their compositions effectively and experiment with various musical elements.

Music theory helps musicians read and write sheet music. This skill is essential for those who want to collaborate with other musicians, perform in ensembles, or work in a professional musical setting.

Music theory enables you to analyze and understand the inner workings of a piece of music. This skill is particularly beneficial for musicians who want to interpret pieces more deeply and perform them with greater nuance.

Musicians who understand music theory often have an easier time learning and memorizing pieces. They can also make more informed decisions about interpretation, phrasing, and expression.

When working with other musicians, having a shared understanding of music theory facilitates communication. It allows for efficient rehearsal and collaboration.

If you plan to pursue music at a higher education level, whether in a university or conservatory setting, a solid understanding of music theory is often a prerequisite.

Music theory is not limited to any particular genre. Whether you’re interested in classical, jazz, pop, or any other style, the principles of music theory can be applied across a broad range of musical genres.

Understanding music theory allows you to appreciate the intricacies of the music you listen to. It enhances your ability to recognize patterns, appreciate skilled compositions, and engage with music in a more meaningful way.

In summary, music theory lessons can provide a foundation that empowers musicians to express themselves more effectively, collaborate with others, and deepen their appreciation for the art of music.

Now that you’ve read what the Artificial Intelligence (AI) has said, what would Human Intelligence from someone like me say about why one should take theory lessons –  a person who’s been learning music since she was 3 years old and who has been teaching music for almost 40 years now? 


Well, if you’re already taking music lessons and have so for a little while, you or your child is already actually absorbing the knowledge of music theory while you’re playing your instrument(s). You’re already reading music, and if I have to compare that to the ability to drive, you are already driving on the road, without having learnt any of the rules of traffic etc. Yes it’s fun and enjoyable, but you’re not getting the whole picture, and you don’t know what you don’t know. Think about how much more you’ll see and enjoy by knowing everything there is to know about music, and you’ll see so much more of the beauty of music. Another analogy I can use to try to describe this is, you’ve been in a black and white world, and knowing music theory will put you in a full HD colourful world. 


Also, for students who are still in school pre-university levels, you can earn up to 2 high-school credits by doing level 7 and level 8 of your instrument’s RCM exam together with the accompanying level 7 and level 8 theory RCM exams. These credits are also something that look good on your resume of accomplishments going into University/College, and later on your professional accomplishments. We all know how much it takes to do these requirements and it shows your tenacity, long term commitment and levels of skill building you have done. Basically, it shows well of your character as a young professional.


So, if you are taking music lessons in singing or instrumental, I urge you to take some music theory lessons, because I wish for you to know, see and feel the FULLEST of the beauty of music. Feel free to reach out to me and chat about this at [email protected]


Lusiana Lukman, Executive Founding Director, Classical Music Conservatory

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