Students take a twist on music


Every morning, a group of musicians start their day in a class that doesn’t require any instruments — just a pen and a passion for music.
In the new Music Theory AP course, choir teacher Randall Jordan tries to broaden the musical knowledge of students who want to work in the music industry.

“I want to major in music, and I think this class is a perfect start before I go off to college,” said senior Amber Mixon, who plays flute. “I’m excited to see what else can find out about the theory behind the notes.“

Jordan said he tried to introduce the class last year but he was seven students short from the district’s required minimum enrollment. This year he has 25.

“I think it’s necessary for Cy Creek to have students who can identify music,” he said. “Not only in terms of, ‘This is my part’, or ‘This is what I play or sing’, but ‘This is how it sounds and why.’”

Jordan said his favorite thing about the class is introducing new concepts.

“It’s kind of exciting to see the looks on the students’ faces when they learn something new and cool,” he said. “I guess the coolest part is revealing the secrets to what they already know.”

To take Music Theory AP, students must have had at least two years of band, choir, or orchestra at the high school level. Students who don’t meet that requirement can get into the class by making at least a 70 on a district test over music curriculum.

“We already have some kind of knowledge of music, but you figure out why things are the way they are,” said senior Dreyton Wyatt, a former band student who plays trumpet. “We already know the notes and whatnot, but you piece together the theory with the music itself.”

So far students have learned scales, keys and key signatures, and music notation. Senior Martin Washburn said there’s a lot of cross-over with his previous music instruction.

“I was in percussion so I know the music, but this class is just the theory behind it,” he said. “I knew the notes but now [I know] why they are the way they are.”

Not only will students read music, but they will also write music and understand complex structures. Jordan also assigns the students topics to teach the class.

“I love the teacher. He knows what he’s doing,” said senior Jeffery Black, who is in both choir and orchestra. “He studied at Rice, and he does a great job of getting his point across to the students.”