Peter Saltzman

Theory Faculty

"My goal in developing a theory program for the New Music School is to help you uncover some of the mystery of how music works. By learning theory the right way, you can only enhance your skill, artistry, and joy in making music—whether you’re playing standard repertoire, composing new music, or improvising." - Peter

THEORY at
New Music School

Starting this Fall Semester, New Music School is formally launching its Theory Program. Under the direction of acclaimed professor, composer, and performer Peter Saltzman, this new multifaceted program will feature both classroom learning and more casual sessions for beginners. Peter's approach to the study of theory is to emphasize the connection between theory and performance; how understanding a piece's musical structure allows a performer to get so much more out of it. Music theory at NMS is less a dry academic discipline and more an artistic endeavor.

Theory at New Music School will use the Music Development Program from the Royal Conservatory of Music for students 18 & Under. For Adult students, NMS will use a separate text.


In order to make entering our Theory Program accessible at any skill level, we offer three types of theory classes:

  • Table Theory - Beginning music theory (Levels 1-3) in a casual setting, at the square table in New Music School. This type of lesson is designed to combine both independent learning and private instruction; students work through their books, while a theory instructor is available to help them through it, using a variety of high-tech methods to enable collaboration and demonstration with the whole class. These sessions will be 30 minutes long, and can be taken before or after a lesson. Course Fee: $160 per semester
  • Classroom Theory - More advanced theory in a classroom setting. Once a student reaches Level 4, they will be placed in Classroom Theory. This type of setting allows for the focused, in-depth learning that is required for more advanced theoretical concepts. Classroom Theory will be taught by Peter Saltzman. Course Fee: $500 per semester.
  • Private Lesson Theory - Students can elect to have their theory instruction during their private lessons with their private teachers, or can choose to study with Peter Saltzman privately at NMS. Cost for this instruction is at the rate of the private lesson teacher. Students must take a minimum 45 minute lesson to have theory included in their private study. 
  • Adult Theory - Adult students also have the option to take theory classes. Adult Theory classes will use the same curriculum as the other classes, These will be held in a classroom setting, and will be taught by Peter Saltzman. Course Fee: $500 per semester.

2017 Fall Semester
Theory Class Schedule

  • Table Theory | 30 Minutes — Beginning Theory, Monday through Friday 3PM-8PM, Saturday 9-5PM, before or after your private lesson, or at any time during listed times
  • Classroom Theory | 60 Minutes — Advanced Theory Level 4 & Up, 1PM and 2PM Saturday
  • Adult Theory | 90 Minutes - Wednesday, 7-830 PM

2017 Fall Semester
Theory Calendar

Table Theory

  • August 27 - Starting Week 16 Lesson Weeks
  • November 19-26 Thanksgiving Break, No Class
  • December 17 - Last Week of Semester

Classroom Theory

  • August 26 - First Class
  • September 2 - No Class
  • September 9, 16, 23, 30 - Class
  • October 7, 14, 21, 28 - Class
  • November 4, 11, 18 - Class
  • November 19-26 Thanksgiving Break, No Class
  • December 2, 9, 16, 23 - Class

Adult Theory

  • August 30 - First Class
  • September 6, 13, 20, 27 - Class
  • October 4, 11, 18, 25 - Class
  • November 1, 8, 15, 22 - Class
  • November 19-26 Thanksgiving Break, No Class
  • December 6, 13, 20 - Class

Signing Up

If you have a question to which level to sign up for, please take our quick placement exam and we will reach out to you once we review.

  • Sign-up when filling out the enrollment form.
  • If you have enrolled already, please use the quick sign-up form below.
Theory Quick Sign-up Form
Student Name *
Student Name
For which Theory Program are you enrolling?
Individual level will be assigned after you complete our placement test.