The language of music: Associate professor launches online music theory course for beginners


Associate professor of music theory Sean Atkinson is sharing his musical knowledge via a newly launched series accessible on The Great Courses, an online learning platform of college-level audio and video courses.

Atkinson says he created the course Music Theory: The Foundation of Great Music as a way to help others “begin to develop a fluency in music.”

“When I tell people that I am a college music professor, they will often tell me that they wished they could play an instrument or had kept up with an instrument they started when they were younger,” said Atkinson. “I always respond by telling them that it is never too late to start learning and that you don’t have to be a virtuoso in order to have fun and enjoy reading and making music.”

Music Theory: The Foundation of Great Music teaches the practical skills of reading music as well as the essential elements of musical form, structure and composition, so participants can better understand what they hear when listening or playing music. The course, which includes many performances from TCU School of Music ensembles as examples, is video-based to allow people to work at their own pace and practice their newly-acquired skills before moving onto subsequent lessons.