Developing a Web-Based Music Theory Support Hub
Fellows: Timothy Edwards and Philip Seward
The Music Theory Hub (musictheoryhub.wordpress.com) is a portal developed using WordPress. It is a centralized web location linking to student resources that are hosted on a number of sites. It is eminently expandable, and was built with the intention that it be expanded on a regular basis to include newly found and developed drills and videos.
Traffic statistics provided by WordPress show a steady stream of activity on the site with highest volume during the students’ transitional stage early in the semester, with 226 hits during the first week of classes. (The final enrollment for Theory I was 96 students.) It was during the month of September that students were expected to prove their competence in foundation concepts: keys, scales, intervals and chords. These constitute the basis of a working understanding of the bulk of the subject matter taught in Theory I: voice leading concepts. Chords in particular are tested in the first two weeks of the semester, leaving a short window of time for students to remediate.
The Music Theory Hub became operational before the beginning of the fall semester 2011, and has proved to be a vital resource for students and instructors at a critical time in the Music Department’s transition to a new Theory curriculum. With this change have come substantial changes in the Music Theory course sequence which involves the acceleration of material in Theory I (32-1120) in conjunction with a reduction of the course's credit hours from three to two. Our project played an important role in that transition, and will serve in the future to reconcile the varied skill levels of students entering the Theory course sequence.