The ACM Music Theory Bootcamp is a short course designed to give students a basic overall understanding of how music works.

If you have never done any music theory before, don’t worry, we are going to start right from the beginning. We will cover the fundamentals of the three main components of Western popular music: Melody, Harmony and Rhythm.

During the course, we will work towards giving you the tools to transcribe and learn your favourite songs by ear. We look forward to welcoming you to the ACM Music Theory Bootcamp.

This digital event is for current and prospective ACM students only at this time. Please see the form at the bottom of this page to book, you will need your Learner ID to register.

The Goal of the ACM Music Theory Bootcamp

By the end of the ACM Music Theory Bootcamp, the successful student will be able to identify and creatively use the essential basic melodic, harmonic and rhythmic aspects of popular music.

Essentials for Participants:

  • The latest version of Zoom
  • Sibelius First (Free Notation Software). Download from the Avid website
  • Music Staff Paper and Note Taking Device
  • Computer
  • Headphones
  • Webcam
  • Reliable WiFi access
  • Your instrument of choice

Scheme of Work

Day 1

Morning (Pitch):

  • Introduction to the Bootcamp
  • The basics of Western Popular Music Theory including Dominant-Tonic relationship
  • Reading in Treble and Bass Clef
  • Constructing the Major Scale
  • Key Signatures
  • Harmonising the Major Scale on the stave and learning the names of these chords

Afternoon (Rhythm):

  •  Note Values and Rest Values
  •  Dotted Notes
  •  Time Signatures (Simple and Compound)
  •  Beaming Notes

Day 2

Morning (Pitch):

  • Notating chords and melodies on the stave
  • Transposition of a simple chord progression
  • Key Signatures on the stave
  • Relative Minor
  • Intervals

Afternoon (Rhythm):

  • Triplet Rhythms and other tuplets
  • Tied notes and intermediate rhythmic figures
  • Approaches to Rhythmic Dictation
  • Rhythmic Dictation from assigned songs

 Day 3

Morning (Project):

  • How to transcribe a pop song by ear
  • How to write a chord chart in Sibelius First. This will include dynamics, repeat signs and other industry-standard notation conventions.

Afternoon (Project):

  • Students to transcribe a complete pop song as a chord chart using written notation and/or notation software.

Day 4

Morning (Test):

  • Students to complete a short test on Canvas to measure their understanding of the material covered in the bootcamp.

Afternoon (Questions and Feedback)

  • Q and A session with music theory tutor. Students to have the opportunity to give feedback and ask clarifying music theory questions
  • Q and A session with members of the ACM Admissions Department regarding enrolling as an ACM student.
Sorry, we no longer have spaces for this event bookable online. Please email if you are interested in attending

Event Details


Monday 02 August 2021