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AP Music Theory

For new and experienced AP teachers, this workshop includes College Board resources, released exams and student samples

Learning outcomes

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Align their instruction with the goals of the AP Music Theory course
  • Identify the skills and knowledge that the exam will assess, and identify the tasks and materials for which students might need more preparation
  • Draft a syllabus that meets the curricular requirements for the course
  • Make equitable access a guiding principle in designing instruction

Workshop materials

At every AP Music Theory workshop held by the College Board, each participant receives a copy of the Workshop Handbook, which contains:

  • AP Music Theory Course Description
  • AP Course Audit information
  • Sample syllabus for AP Music Theory and a Syllabus Development Guide
  • AP Music Theory free-response materials (student samples, scoring guidelines and commentary)

Curriculum Module: Thinking Contrapuntally: Four-Part Writing and Melody Harmonization

This curriculum module is designed to help AP Music Theory teachers and their students move from the elementary skill of correct chord spelling toward a more sophisticated synthesis or harmony and counterpoint. It addresses areas of weaknesses in students’ two- and four-part writing, with an emphasis on contrapuntal competence. Chapters include:

  • Emphasizing a Linear Approach to Voice Leading
  • Figured-Bass Realization: A Structured Approach

Note: Curriculum module materials reflect important topics in AP courses, and the materials are meant to provide teachers with resources and classroom ideas. However, curriculum module materials should not be taken as an indication that a particular topic will appear on the AP Exam.