Music Theory & Ear Training/Aural Skills

Hilarie provides individualized instruction for the:

  • Professional musician wanting to improve their understanding of music theory and/or aural skills.
  • College/University/Conservatory student who is challenged by music theory/aural skills
  • Music student entering music programs at the collegiate level who want to be confident of their music theory/aural skills.

After an initial assessment of the student’s musical strengths and weaknesses, Hilarie develops a curriculum that is specialized for the needs of the student.

Hilarie is passionate about the importance of music theory and aural skills. Her strength in teaching music theory is her focus on applying music theory to all disciplines in music. She is able to “cross reference” each theory concept with its historical significance, answer most questions of “how” and “why” the concept was used, and show the performer and or composer of how to apply it in one’s musical interpretations or compositions.

“It is not enough to understand music theory in “theory” but to play it, sing it, and hear it for all musicians. ” – from Hilarie

Hilarie reinforces the importance of the practical application of music theory through the study of aural skills: sight singing, keyboard skills, and harmonic and melodic dictation.

Education & Theory Teaching Experience


1991 – Ph.D. in Music Theory, Yale University

1987 – M. Phil in Music Theory, Yale University

Classroom Teaching Theory Experience

Basic Musicianship I and II/Advanced Musicianship II (SUNY Orange)

  • Theory lectures and ear-training labs (sight singing, dictation, and keyboard skills)

Elementary Studies in Analysis and Composition I and II (Yale University)

  • Theory lecture for music majors including harmony, counterpoint, and analysis

Ear-Training Lab (Yale University)

  • Sight Singing, dictation, and keyboard skills

Private Teaching Theory Successes

One music student who was asked to leave a music program at a university because of her poor aural skills worked with Hilarie intensively over a summer. Afterwards, she transferred music schools and graduated with both a degree in music performance and music education. She has just completed a graduate degree in music performance and has been successful in orchestral auditions throughout the U.S.