top of page

MUSIC THEORY

MUSIC THEORY

Music theory is the study of the practices and possibilities of music. It is essentially a system of understanding and analyzing the language and notation of music. At its core, music theory seeks to explain how and why music works, examining elements like melody, harmony, rhythm, scales, chords, and the structure of compositions. This academic discipline extends beyond mere textbook knowledge, integrating aspects of history, composition, acoustics, and psychology to deepen our understanding of music as both an art form and a science.

Teacher Group

JOHN TANUSKA

JOHN TANUSKA

John grew up in Melbourne, Australia, where he began studying the French horn at age ten and joined the Melbourne Youth Orchestra during high school. He started his undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne's VCA College but was later awarded scholarships to the New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, and Longy School of Music, eventually choosing to attend Longy School of Music, where he earned his undergraduate degree from Bard College’s Longy School of Music.

Following his undergraduate studies, John received a graduate scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he completed his Master of Music degree. He also pursued further studies in Chicago, learning from musicians such as William Caballero, David Griffin, and Jonathan Boen from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Symphony Orchestra, respectively.

During his time at Longy Music School, John studied intensively in a pedagogical system taught by teachers who were disciples of the distinguished professor Nadia Boulanger, focusing on music theory subjects including ear training, sight-singing, rhythm, conducting, form analysis, and music history, achieving a comprehensive grasp of music theory.

At Carnegie Mellon University, he served as a teaching assistant for the highest level of ear training classes. He was also selected as a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, Carnegie Mellon University Theta Xi chapter. John secured positions with several orchestras in the U.S., including the prestigious Civic Orchestra of Chicago Orchestral Academy, and performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and other notable American musicians.

After nearly a decade of studying and working abroad, John returned to Melbourne during the pandemic and began teaching. In just over a year, he quickly became popular and respected for his teaching. His lessons cover a wide range of music theory subjects, and he is particularly skilled at identifying and addressing gaps in students’ music theory knowledge. John believes in a comprehensive and flexible approach to music theory education, emphasizing the importance of developing listening and singing skills from the beginning, and learning modalities through logical analysis rather than rote memorization.

Since April 2022, John's students, including those preparing for the VCE music exams, music college entrance exams, grades 1-6 in music theory, and university music students, have achieved excellent results. His tailored teaching approach has received unanimous praise from students and parents alike.

JOHN TANUSKA

bottom of page