Music Theory Classes


Columbus Music and Art Academy offers courses in Music Theory, Harmony and Ear Training, and Sight Singing. Most students choose to participate in the Royal Conservatory Certificate Program by taking the theory exam following the class. Our Music Theory students have consistently performed exceptionally well on these exams. On average, we do 20% better than the national average as given by the Royal Conservatory website. For information about RCCP, please click here. Many high school students also decide to take the AP Music Theory exam. Although we do not offer an AP prep class, our students consistently receive 4s and 5s on this exam.


Beginner Level

This course is designed to develop basic written music-theory skills in preparation for the Royal American Conservatory Preliminary Level Exam. Topics include key signatures, intervals, major scales, minor scales in three types, primary triads, simple and compound meters, and performance terminology.

Intermediate Level

This next course continues the development of written skills in preparation for the Royal American Conservatory Intermediate Level Exam. Topics include cadence types, chromatic scales, non-primary triads, whole-tone and pentatonic scales, diminished and augmented intervals, assymetrical meters, and enhanced performance terminology.

Advanced Level

This third course in preparation for the RCM Advanced Level Exam continues the music-theory investigation into compound intervals, hybrid meters, antecedent-consequent phrase construction, transposition from various instruments to concert pitch, modes, diminished-seventh chords, notation in alto and tenor clefs, and seventh-chord inversions.

Harmony and Ear Training

This course corresponds to the RCM Harmony sequence, and also includes the combined subject of “ear training and sight singing.” Topics and skills covered include melodic and harmonic dictation, singing with solfège, figured bass, SATB four-part writing, modulation, 9th and 13th extensions, secondary-dominant and secondary-diminished functions, Baroque-period binary forms, and sonata-allegro form.

Sight Singing

This class is designed for students to develop and enhance their skills in sight singing and reading music. Topics include notation in treble and bass clefs, key signatures, aural identification of simple intervals, and singing with movable-do solfège.


Yuri Bortz

Yuri Bortz Music Theory Instructor

Yuri Bortz has been teaching at CMAA since 2006. In 2005, he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Ohio State University, where he was a Composer-In-Residence for the OSU Symphony Orchestra, and the winner of OSU's Ruth Friscoe Prize in Composition. Institutions at which he has taught include OSU, University of Akron, Columbus State, and The College of Wooster. In addition to teaching, Mr. Bortz is an active composer who has had original premieres at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Columbia University's Miller Theatre, and Harvard University's Paine Hall.