Learn How to Compose Your Own Song! - Music Theory 101 for Teens

In just 3 weeks, we will learn how to read treble clef and bass clef, understand time signatures and key signatures, write basic chords, and more, culminating in writing your own short piece of music complete with a melody and harmony!
21 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 1 learner
  There are no upcoming classes.

60 minutes

per class

Once per week

over 10 weeks


year olds


learners per class

per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

Students will learn foundational music theory concepts including:
- Reading music notation in treble and bass clef
- Understanding time signatures
- Understanding sharps and flats
- Understanding key signatures and scales
- Understanding basic intervals
- Introduction to the circle of fifths
- Able to form triads (simple chords)
- Understanding of main differences between major and minor keys
- Introduction to common chord progressions
- Able to write a melody
- Able to write chords to accompany a melody
I have a BA in Music Education and have been teaching music for over 20 years now. As part of my bachelor's degree training in music education, I took several courses in music theory plus writing and arranging music for chorus, band, and orchestra for student musicians at the elementary through high school level. After completing my degree, I went on to complete graduate courses to obtain a single-subject K-12 credential in music. Since understanding music theory is an essential part of becoming a better musician, I have always incorporated it into whichever instrument I am teaching at the level of the student, beginner to advanced, and elementary through high school level. 
Homework will be an extension of what we work on in class to give you more practice or a chance to experiment with what you are learning. All homework will either be provided as an editable PDF or can be completed in Noteflight (free online music notation software). Homework for each session should take 30-60 minutes, although you may find yourself spending more time if you're really having fun experimenting with writing your music!
Learners will need a free Noteflight account ( and one of the following browsers to use the Noteflight online software: Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, or Mobile Safari.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
All learners will receive informal feedback on homework and final projects, designed to coach them to towards reaching their personal music writing goals.
1 hour per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.


Rebecca Portillo
Lives in the United States
Music Teacher
21 total reviews
47 completed classes

About Me

I teach violin, viola, general music, and music theory - sometimes all at once! 

I have been playing the violin for 30 years and teaching music for over 20 years. I learned how to play a variety of other instruments in college through my college... 
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