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Music Fundamentals

An Introduction to Music Theory

Next classes start 2 May 2019.

‘There are only twelve tones and they need to be treated carefully.’
– Paul Hindemith

‘I would absolutely recommend the Music Fundamentals course to anyone who is interested in beginning on the road to understanding written music.’
– J.M. Burr

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Course Description

Learning to read music, a vital first step in any musical education, needn’t be intimidating. Waltons New School of Music’s Music Fundamentals I and II courses together introduce the essentials of reading and writing musical notation, as well as elementary musical grammar, to music-reading beginners and improvers. Students learn the basics and more (treble and bass clefs, note values, time and key signatures, scale construction, frequently used terms and signs). While a lot of ground is covered each week and homework given, the courses are both enjoyable and student-friendly. Music Fundamentals I and II are recommended as supplemental courses for anyone beginning an instrument at the New School – whether classical, traditional, jazz or popular – as well as for students who are already singing or playing an instrument but haven’t learned to read music, or who need a refresher course.

No previous musical experience is required for Music Fundamentals I. Students with basic knowledge of music theory who are interested in joining Music Fundamentals II should self-assess their theory level with the Associated Board’s Music Theory in Practice Grade 1 workbook before enrolling.

Music Fundamentals I covers all aspects of Associated Board Grade 1 theory, and Music Fundamentals II covers all aspects of AB Grade 2 theory. Students wishing to do so may be entered for the Grade 1 or Grade 2 theory exam after one or both courses.

Participating students should purchase the following (available from Waltons or most good music shops) before the first class:

  • Eric Taylor: The AB Guide to Music Theory, Part 1
  • ABRSM Music Theory in Practice, Grade 1 (for Music Fundamentals I) or
  • Music Theory in Practice, Grade 2 (for Music Fundamentals II)
  • A spiral-bound A4 music manuscript book

Students concurrently enrolled for lessons or courses at the New School receive a 40% discount off the fee for Music Fundamentals.

Eoin Mulvany

Eoin MulvanyEoin was born and grew up in Kells Co. Meath, playing music and singing from a very young age. He received a first class honours degree from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in both music composition and classical guitar performance, coming top of his class in the teaching diploma course he also completed there. He also obtained a Master’s degree in composition from Dublin City University. In 2001 he was awarded the IMRO Young Irish Composer of the Future prize for Poynt: After Monet, a piece for solo piano, and in 2007 he received the Jerome Hynes / National Concert Hall Young Composer of the Year prize for PX, a composition for flute and piano. Eoin is an active composer and arranger for various ensembles, and he has had works performed in France, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Italy, the US and Ireland. As a performer, he has played and sung with groups ranging from jazz ensembles to classical choirs, and Irish traditional music groups to rock bands. He has taught guitar, music theory and Leaving Cert. Music at the New School since 2004.


‘The instructor is extremely knowledgeable but also patient and approachable. Highly recommended.’
– P. Bradley

‘This course is perfect for anyone with an interest in music. It starts with the very basics of theory and the information is made easy to understand. There is a good atmosphere in the class, being with people who share your passion for music.’
– I. Colgan

‘I liked the personal approach, ensuring you enjoy the subject. You also get to meet other students, and it’s a side comfort to know they are travelling the same, sometimes difficult, road as you. Friendships can be formed too.’
– P. Kelly

Have you taken – or are you taking – this course? We would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to give us your feedback in a brief online questionnaire about it.


2018-2019 Third Term Class Schedules

Music Fundamentals I
9 weeks, 2 May – 27 June 2019
Thursdays 6.30 – 7.30 pm

Music Fundamentals II
9 weeks, 2 May – 27 June 2019
Thursdays 7.30 – 8.30 pm

Tuition Fees

Course alone: €125
Students concurrently enrolled for other tuition at the school: €75


Enrolment for this course requires a completed Enrolment Form and full payment of the course fee. Places are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the date of enrolment. A number of our group courses fill in advance of their start dates, and early enrolment is recommended.


Purchasing this course as a gift?
Please complete a Gift Certificate Booking Form.


Questions about the courses?


Music Fundamentals
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