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Title: AP Teacher's Guide in Music Theory
Author: Marie Lerner-Sexton
Course: Music Theory
Abstract/Summary: The AP Teacherýs Guide in Music Theory, produced by the College Board and ETS, is an invaluable, must-have resource for AP Music Theory teachers. Available from the College Board Store, this reference includes insightful discussions on all aspects of the AP Music Theory course.

The new AP Music Theory teacher will become acquainted with models and materials necessary for starting a new course. The experienced teacher will enjoy thought-provoking articles on pedagogical methodology, available resources, and technological applications. The preface states, "While the Guide does not endorse a syllabus, textbook, or software package, it does present ideas proven to support the AP Music Theory course and examination."

The Guide contains valuable articles written by leading American theorists on aspects related to successful teaching strategies and curriculum development, including an introduction to AP Music Theory, teaching score analysis, teaching aural analysis of music literature, technology tools, teaching sight singing, and teaching dictation skills. Dr. Eric Isaacson of Indiana University walks teachers through strategies for addressing and extrapolating questions based on aural analysis of music literature, an important topic because this skill is a significant component of the AP Exam. A cassette tape that includes musical examples accompanies the Guide. Another highlight is Dr. Mary Arlan's discussion of melodic and harmonic dictation, a requisite skill for all musicians and one that is assessed in four free-response questions on the AP Exam.

Among the more helpful sections for new AP Music Theory teachers are the eight sample syllabi presented by experienced public and private school teachers, as well as three college-level syllabi from a cross-section of academic settings. Each syllabus is unique, demonstrating that successful course organization can reflect both the individual characteristics of each school as well as the specific style of the instructor. Readers can derive insight from how the sample syllabi sequence and present course information. Every syllabus is followed by a section titled "A Window into the AP Music Classroom," where teachers share wisdom and insight into the nature of their successes.

Perhaps the most useful section of the Guide is "Terms and Symbols Used in the AP Music Theory Exam." Careful study of these pages will reveal the exact scope of the AP course in terms of the information students need to know because the examination content is defined in this section. This is helpful to teachers who, confronted with limited class time, must make decisions as to which content from their textbook they do and do not need to address. Colleges also use many available texts for music theory courses taught over two or more semesters. Knowledge of the specific scope of the AP Music Theory course is vital.

The Guide also includes a bibliography, technological resources, online resources for College Board and the AP program, a list of AP publications, and a valuable discussion on preparing students for the AP Music Theory Exam. Published in 1999, a few sections of the guide are now dated. New technologies and software titles have become available, and new textbooks and supplementary resources have been published. This should not, however, negate the wealth of information the Guide provides. It would be wise to periodically check with the College Board's Web site for information regarding an updated edition. This booklet should be a well-worn member of every AP Music Theory teacher's collection.
Publication Data: College Entrance Examination Board and Educational Testing Service, 1999
Item #: 209010
Type: Book
Cost: $15.00
Vendor Name: College Board
Vendor Phone: (212) 713-8165
AP Specific: Yes
Link to More Info: http://store.collegeboard.com/productdetail.do?Itemkey=209010
Resource Includes: Reference Material, Teaching Tips, Background Material, Bibliography, Explorations, Project Ideas, Scholarship/Research, Syllabi, Test Prep Materials, Vocabulary Lists, Discussion Questions
Reviewer Name: David Lockart        
Review Last Modified: Jul 7, 2005 8:37:25 PM

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