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Treasure Coast Youth Symphony Orchestra Presents Music Theory Workshop

Lindsey Reymore - Music Theory Workshop presented by Treasure Coast Youth Symphony Orchestra. Photo credit: Debra Fogarty Terrio

What is a strophe? This question and many more details about form and narrative in music were answered by Lindsey Reymore during her music theory workshop.  The workshop was sponsored by Treasure Coast Youth Symphony Orchestra on December 27 and 28 at the Courthouse Cultural Center in Stuart, Florida, and attended by individuals ranging from grade schoolers to retirees.

Lindsey Reymore is a scholar, musician, and educator in Columbus, Ohio.  She is a PhD candidate at the Ohio State University, researching music theory and music cognition.  As a freelance musician, she has performed worldwide on oboe, English horn, Baroque oboe, and teaches private oboe and musicianship lessons.

It could be said that music theory is complex, and its presentation can be quite dry.  However, as presented by Ms. Reymore, it is very interesting and even amazing at times.  It is a testimony to the limitless boundaries of music that all age groups were served well.  Laughter was frequent, and at times the excitement in the room was palpable.

The initial discussion focused on a poem by Emily Dickenson, and moved forward to include work by artists such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Beyoncé, The Beatles, Kesha, Adele, Lady Gaga, Bell Fleck, Ella Fitzgerald, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Rontgen-Maier.  As Ms. Reymore moved from lyrics to lyrics with music to music without lyrics, she enabled us to understand and identify their commonalities in form.

The commonalities were surprising and quite fascinating, and provided me with a new way to listen to the story the music is conveying.  I found that there is a difference between listening to the music and hearing/understanding the music.  In Ms. Reymore’s opinion, more emphasis should be placed on hearing music in addition to reading the printed music earlier in music education.  Other aspects of listening are taught throughout college, but form, the focus for the workshop, is usually a sophomore topic.

By the time we began charting the sonatas by Beethoven, Mozart, and Rontgen-Maier on the second day, it had become an interactive game.  We stretched our brains to solve the mystery of what the composer was doing, and why.  In the last hour of the workshop, after lunch, it’s pretty unusual to maintain the rapt attention of the audience, but the entire group was hooked. 

I will forever be blessed to hear music in a new manner.

Debra Fogarty Terrio
Terrio Art Design