Music Theory Online Program


In this online class, we will focus on learning how to organize pitches and rhythms to make dynamic and interesting melodies and harmonies. No experience with music theory, playing an instrument, or reading music is necessary. We will be focusing on how to use your DAW as your instrument to understand and work with music theory.


This is a Slam Academy Interactive Online Class. Students will have access to our entire library of Music Theory Online class material, as well as optional face-to-face live video chat.

The three parts of the Music Theory Program have been structured and developed by our own Ableton Certified Trainers. Dr. Allen will be teaching his ground-breaking curriculum for Slam Academy.

J. Anthony Allen has been teaching music composition, production, and theory in college classrooms for over 10 years. His online classes, “Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 1 & 2” have over 6000 students from around the globe, have been translated into Spanish, Russian, German, and Japanese, and are used in other school curriculums worldwide.

J. Anthony Allen teaches Slam Academy’s Music Theory Program. Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio.

Software Requirements: any DAW

Prerequisites: None

Always On – Start Anytime

The Slam Academy Online Programs are available to start whenever you like. Once you enroll, you will immediately have access to over 100 hours of video, projects, session files, and more. In addition, if enrolling with the interactive component, every week there are multiple live video chat sessions where students can interact face-to-face with their instructor and fellow students.

How does it work?

Once a student enrolls in the Music Theory Online Program, they will be given access to their own custom portal page. On it, they will have access to all of the class files, separated into 3 different “parts”. From there, the student can go at their own pace. We recommend that this content should take 4 months to complete.

If the student has selected the Interactive version of the class, they will also see in their portal a link to access to the Live Chat. Students are welcome to access the chat at any time and talk to each other about what they are working on. The instructor will have hours posted for when they will be in the room as well.

What does a live session look like?

A lot of students ask us how an interactive session works. Each student logs in from wherever they are in the world, and can optionally show their computer’s camera and microphone (so we can see each other!) The teacher starts the session with an open question session. Just like in real life, anyone can chime in and ask questions as they come up.

Program Overview

  • Music Theory Part 1: The Basics and Major Keys

    Level 1: Working with Music Theory on the Piano Roll Editor – To begin, we will look at basic music theory concepts with the Ableton Live, but you can follow along in any audio program.

    Level 2: The perfect 5th, and what it means to be “in key” – We need to learn a few different intervals – the distance between 2 notes. Our first interval will be the fifth.

    Level 3: More with keys, the third, and the basic triad – Once we have the interval of a fifth, and the interval of a third, we can start building chords.

    Level 4: Diatonic Chord Progressions – In this section we will cover the secret sauce that tells us ALL the chords that will work in ANY key.

    Level 5: 7th Chords – We’ve learned how to make triads – but we can go a little further and make more complex chords using 7ths.

    Level 6: Using the other intervals – We skipped over talking about the 4th, the 6th, and the 2nd. But in a way, you’ve already been using them.

  • Music Theory Part 2: Minor Keys and More

    Level 7: Minor scales and keys – In this section we will move into minor scales and keys, explore some tracks that take advantage of minor keys, and do some analysis of Avicii and Deadmau5.

    Level 8: The circle of fifths – In this level we will talk about modulating to new keys, and how to smoothly transition into a new key area using the circle of fifths.

    Level 9: More chord extensions – We’ve learned triads, and extended them to 7th chords. But what if we keep going – to 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths. Those are real chords, and have some important uses.

    Level 10: Writing Melodies with Music Theory – Throughout this course we’ve looked at writing music using the techniques we’ve been discussing. In this section, however, I want to spend a lot of time specifically focusing on melody, scale degrees, and “tendency tones”.
  • Music Theory Part 3: Extended Harmony

    Level 11: Harmonic properties and problems in bass lines – Have you ever had a bass line be a bully in your mix? Thinking through the harmony and what chord tone your bass is on could help.


Register with Live Chat for only $189/Month*

Register without Live Chat for only $159/Month*

Instant Access Pass* – a monthly subscription to our video library (non-program videos)
Interactive* – weekly check-ins with the Instructor during their online office hours & feedback on level projects

Online programs are subscription-based
$214/month – with Interactive + with Instant Access Pass
$189/month – with Interactive, without Instant Access Pass
$184/month – without Interactive, with Instant Access Pass
$159/month – without Interactive + without Instant Access Pass

*All online programs can be taken with or without Interactive live chat with, and level project feedback from, the instructor & with or without Instant Access Pass

To enroll in the Music Theory Online Program, purchase below. This price includes all the required classes, at a significant discount from buying them individually.  

After payment for the program is received, we will contact you to welcome you to the program and answer any additional questions. You will receive your login and password information shortly after registering and can get started right away.

Enrollment Includes:

  • Admission to all Music Theory Online Program Classes
    • Interactive: Weekly feedback on tracks and projects during class Lab Time
    • Interactive: Feedback on midway and final projects from Slam Teachers and Guest Artists
  • Discounted Instant Access Pass (access to complete non-program online video library)


Have a question about the program? Email us anytime at [email protected]

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