Workshops in Music Theory Pedagogy

Monday June 26, 2023 - Friday June 30, 2023

Workshops in Music Theory Pedagogy

at the University of British Columbia
June 26-30, 2023

Leigh VanHandel and Gary S. Karpinski, Co-Directors
Michael Callahan
Nancy Rogers
Jena Root
Jennifer Snodgrass


About the Workshops in Music Theory Pedagogy

Learn about teaching music theory from six leading authors, scholars, and pedagogues.

Sessions will focus on the teaching of undergraduate music theory at the college level. All teachers of music theory are encouraged to attend these workshops – teachers at the college, university, conservatory, and high school levels (including AP instructors). Various other individuals – including graduate students in music, music scholars, performers, and music educators of all kinds – will also benefit from attending.

In lectures, group discussions, and other settings, the workshops will cover the following topics (and ample time will be allowed for discussion of various other topics in the teaching of music theory):

  • Rudiments
  • Sight Singing
  • Ear Training
  • Harmony
  • Counterpoint
  • Meter and Rhythm
  • Form
  • Analysis
  • Improvisation
  • Keyboard-based Theory Instruction
  • Popular Music
  • Technology
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Cognition and Perception
  • Research on Teaching & Learning

These workshops will bring together a faculty of music theorists, all of whom are authors of influential books, important contributors to various scholarly subfields in music theory, and experienced classroom teachers.

Who should attend

  • Music theory instructors at colleges, universities, and conservatories
  • Graduate students in music theory
  • High school teachers of music theory, including AP instructors
  • Professors and students of music education

Workshop details & online registration

The workshops will be held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, June 26-30, 2023. Six sessions will be held each day, from 9 am to noon and 1:30 to 4:30pm.

Note that the workshops are being held in Vancouver, Canada. Participants from the US do not need to apply for a visa to attend the workshop, but must have a valid passport or other ID that will allow entry into Canada. Participants will also need to ensure they are compliant with whatever COVID restrictions are in place at the time of travel; as these are subject to change, please ensure that you are aware of what is needed for travel to Canada.

Registration and meals:

The registration fee is:

  • $755 CAD (including registration, taxes, and fees) before April 26, 2023 for full-time faculty
  • $435 CAD (including registration, taxes, and fees) before April 26, 2023 for part-time or contingent faculty
  • $435 CAD (including registration, taxes, and fees) before April 26, 2023 for students

After April 26th, registration fees are $860 CAD for full time faculty and $540 for part-time/contingent faculty and students.

Meal service includes three meals per day for June 26-30, 2023 inclusive. Meals will be provided by UBC Food Service at $38 CAD/day, or $199.50 CAD total (including taxes and fees). Meal service is strongly recommended, as other food options may be limited during the summer. You can purchase the meal service when you register, and there will be an opportunity to indicate dietary requirements during registration.


The standard on-campus housing option starts on Sunday, June 25, 2023, with a checkout on Friday, June 30 (6 nights total. The rates for the workshop can be extended two days on either side of the workshop; please contact the housing office directly with any questions.

Housing options include:

$149 CAD/night: Signature studios at Gage Suites – premium private studio with queen bed, kitchenette, wireless internet, television, air conditioning, and private bathroom.

$59 CAD/night: Premium single room at Gage Towers – private single bedroom with shared living room, kitchen and bathroom (shared with three other guests). Wireless internet is included; room is not air conditioned.

$49 CAD/night: Standard single room at Gage Towers – private single room with shared living room, kitchen, and bathroom (shared with five other guests). Wireless internet is included; room is not air conditioned.

To view information about housing options, and to reserve, follow the link and select either the “Suites” tab or the “Budget rooms in shared apts.” tab.

Guests can also call or email the Reservations Office:

Reservations Office
Tel: 604 822 1000 x3
Toll Free: 1 888 822 1030

Note: This is a reservation only – you will need to provide a credit card to hold the reservation, but your card will not be charged until you check in.



To join our contact list or for further information, send an inquiry to:

Gary S. Karpinski, Co-Director
Department of Music and Dance
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Leigh VanHandel, Co-Director
School of Music
University of British Columbia

Faculty bios

Gary S. Karpinski, founding director of the Workshops in Music Theory Pedagogy, is Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the author of Manual for Ear Training and Sight Singing and Anthology for Sight Singing (published by W. W. Norton), which include an extensive Instructor’s Dictation Manual, Student Recordings online, and an Instructor’s Anthology Search website. He is also the author of Aural Skills Acquisition (Oxford University Press). His articles have appeared in such journals as Music Theory SpectrumMusic Theory Online, the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, and The Computer and Music Educator. He is also a contributor to the Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy and the Routledge Companion to Aural Skills Pedagogy. He has served as president of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction and the New England Conference of Music Theorists, and chair of the Society for Music Theory Pedagogy Interest Group.

Leigh VanHandel is Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of British Columbia. Her primary research areas are music theory pedagogy, music cognition, the relationship between music and language, computer-assisted research, and how those things all relate to one another. She has served on the Executive Board of the Society for Music Theory, and recently served on the AP Music Theory Test Development Committee. She has published in journals such as Music PerceptionThe Journal of New Music ResearchEmpirical Musicology Review, and The Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy. She edited and contributed to The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy, published in 2020.

Michael Callahan is Associate Professor and Chairperson of Music Theory at Michigan State University, where he teaches first- and second-year theory, first-year aural skills, and graduate music theory pedagogy, keyboard skills, and counterpoint. He is co-author, with Steven Laitz, of the fifth edition of the undergraduate music theory textbook The Complete Musician, forthcoming in 2022. In 2020, he published Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Song Cycles for Voice and Piano, a multi-author volume co-edited with Gordon Sly. He is currently working on a grant-funded monograph entitled Music Theory and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Callahan’s other research has dealt with music theory pedagogy, particularly at the keyboard and through improvisation; eighteenth-century counterpoint; and the Great American Songbook. At MSU, he has received the college-wide Withrow Award for Excellence in Teaching (2020), the university-wide Teacher-Scholar Award (2014), and the university-wide Lilly Teaching Fellowship (2013–14).

Nancy Rogers, Professor of Music Theory at Florida State University, has been honored with multiple teaching awards. With research interests focusing particularly on music cognition and its pedagogical implications, she has presented papers at numerous national, international, and regional conferences. She is co-author of Music for Sight Singing (Pearson) and the corresponding Rhythm Generator software. Her other publications have appeared in The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy, Music Theory Online, Applied Cognitive Psychology, the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, and Intégral. She has served as Vice President and Secretary of the Society for Music Theory, President of Music Theory Southeast, and in leadership positions with the Advanced Placement program in Music Theory.

Jena Root is Professor of Music at the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University, and a recipient of YSU’s 2021 Distinguished Professor in Teaching Award. Her service in higher education has spanned more than twenty-five years in the music theory and aural skills classroom, including positions at Shenandoah Conservatory, Syracuse University, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory at the National University of Singapore, and St. Olaf College. She is the author of Applied Music Fundamentals: Writing, Singing, and Listening (Oxford University Press), and her work also appears in the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy, and The Routledge Companion to Aural Skills Pedagogy. She has served as Resources Editor for the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy. Dr. Root holds a Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Minnesota, and is an active composer.

Jennifer Snodgrass is Professor of Music Theory and Academic Director of the School of Music at Lipscomb University. She previously was Professor of Music at Appalachian State University. She has published pedagogical and theoretical research in numerous journals including the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, Music Theory Online, and Music Educators Journal. She maintains an active presentation schedule, most recently presenting at national meetings for the Society for Music Theory, College Music Society, and the National Association of Schools of Music. She is the co-author of Fundamentals of Music Theory (with Dr. Susan Piagentini) and is author of Contemporary Musicianship: Analysis and the Artist and Teaching Music Theory: New Voices and Approaches.