TheoryWorks: Music Theory for Broadway Actors

Improve your chances of reaching Broadway by learning the music theory behind preparing a new piece of music from scratch.

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Starts Jun 7

2-3 Hours A Week

5 Weeks

48 Lessons

Preparing for an audition for musical theater can be a challenging thing, especially if you don't know how to read the music on the page. Too many of us just rely on copying past recordings rather than really understanding a song the way it was written. Reading music effectively can take your performance to the next step and increase your chances of making it to Broadway.  

Using examples from pieces you might already know and love, this five-week course will teach you a six step process to approach any new piece of music from scratch and make it your own. In the process you'll learn about pitches, note values, time signatures, and much much more — getting weekly personalized feedback from an expert Course Advisor along the way. By the end of this course, you should be ready for any sheet music obstacle your next audition throws your way.

Amy Stewart

Actor, Educator, Performer

Amy is a New York-based actor, singer, and educator and the founder of TheoryWorks. She has performed in opera and musicals across the country. Noted for her "sweet-toned" singing by the New York Post, Parterre Box, and Opera Obsession in ¡Figaro! (90210), Amy was most recently seen in Sondheim on Sondheim at FreeFall Theatre, and in a reading of the new folk musical, Open Road by Paul Scott Goodman, directed by Mark Brokaw (Broadway's Cinderella), and starring Broadway veterans Christy Altomare and Nancy Opel. She also loves classical music by angsty Germans and is a known music theory nerd and Punch Brothers groupie.

More About Amy
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musical theatre
music theory

2 Weeks Left to Join the Next Session

  • Unlimited access to interactive and video content
  • Weekly feedback and support from an expert Course Advisor
  • Downloadable course pack with extra resources

Price $259

Improve your auditions with better musicianship

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to learn and prepare a piece of notated music for an audition on your own from scratch.

Understand how to read a score

Understand How to Read a Score

This course offers you a step-by-step approach to preparing a new piece of music starting with the score.
Read notated rhythm

Read Notated Rhythm

We look at how to read the rhythm correctly for a new piece of music based on what's written on the page.
Master melodies

Master Melodies with Basic Piano Playing

We look at how to check your pitches by simply playing melodies through on the piano first.
Practice self conducting

Practice Self-Conducting & Singing

We show you how to self-conduct so you can perfect a tight, well-crafted performance at your next audition.
Are you an educator? If so, you can access educator discounts. !

Course Outline

  1. Start
    Section 1


  2. Start
    Section 2

    Listen and Learn

  3. Start
    Section 3

    Understand Your Score

  4. Start
    Section 4

    Mark Your Beats: Note Values

  5. Start
    Section 5

    Mark Your Beats: Time Signatures

  6. Start
    Section 6

    Mark Your Beats: Dots, Ties, & Triplets

  7. Start
    Section 7

    Speak and Conduct

  8. Start
    Section 8

    Play & Sing the Melody: Pitches

  9. Start
    Section 9

    Play & Sing the Melody: Practice

  10. Start
    Section 10

    Singing & Conducting


As a swing I have to know all the male vocal tracks in a show. Working through TheoryWorks was such a great refresher for me right before starting rehearsal. Using their approach, I had no problems learning the harmony and melodies the show requires.

Eric Coles

"Something Rotten" (swing) - National Tour

This course is perfect for dancers who are looking to transition from the concert dance setting into musical theatre. It allowed me to brush up on certain skills and develop new ones with regards to learning music, and help me navigate any rehearsal.

Alison Jantzie

"Gigi" (swing/dance captain) - Broadway

As an actor and a singer, I knew I needed to make learning how to sight read a priority. TheoryWorks gave me a convenient, streamlined way to learn theory with the one-on-one assistance I needed. I recommend this program for any actor.

Sarah Lasko

"The Wizard of Oz" (Dorothy) - National Tour


Who is this course for?

This course is specifically targeted at actors and singers who don't feel comfortable with music theory or reading music. And yes, we know there are a lot of you out there. In the course you'll learn about how to read pitches on a staff, how to learn rhythms via notation, and even how to plunk out parts on the piano to support yourself as you practice. For those aspiring to Broadway, this is your chance to fill in the gaps and make yourself even more prepared. 

What will I learn?

So much! This course is packed with content — maybe even too much! (But it's OK because you can go at your own pace). You will learn how to read and understand a score, how to read rhythms from notation, how to self-conduct, how to plunk out easy melodies on the piano, and how to put it all together into a coherent performance. 

Are there any pre-reqs? 

Nope! Anyone is welcome, and no prior knowledge of sheet music is assumed. If you feel like you do already know some things but just need to stand on firmer ground, that's fine too. You're welcome to skip through the stuff you know, and focus on the stuff you need more work on. 

What do I get as a Mainstage student? 

Mainstage courses are for students really committed to taking their art to the next level. You'll get immediate, unlimited access to all the course content, including more than 45 in-depth lessons, 6 in-depth activities with answer keys, 9 quizzes, 15 video tutorials, and downloadable resources. You'll also get a personal mentor who has extensive experience in the subject of the course checking in with you weekly and helping you navigate the course. This "Course Advisor" will help you stay accountable to your goals and offer detailed weekly feedback on your work. You'll also get a course pack with bonus materials and a certificate of completion at the end. 

What does it mean that the course starts on June 7?

As soon as you purchase a course at any level, you can start exploring the course material immediately. On June 7, the session begins, which means you'll begin a guided experience that includes weekly activities, feedback from Course Advisors, and much more. This is intended to help you stay accountable and get the feedback you need to succeed. 

Will there be future sessions of the course?

Yes! We plan to run new sessions roughly every two months. Check back shortly for firm dates, or sign up for a Soundfly account to receive email updates about course dates and new course launches.

How do I give the course as a gift?

Soundfly courses make great gifts for the music lover in your life. To purchase a course as a gift, first sign into your Soundfly account, or create a new account for you (the purchaser). Pick the course you'd like to give, click to purchase, fill in your information, check the box below the credit card form saying you're buying the course as a gift, and click to pay. You'll shortly receive an email gift certificate that you can give to a friend.

How do I sign up for a course using a gift certificate?

Create your own Soundfly account, navigate to the course you've been gifted, and click to "buy now." On the check out page at the bottom of the form, you'll see a field where you can enter the code on your gift certificate. Enter the code, no credit card info needed, click "Apply," and enjoy the course!