The music theory program at San Diego Mesa College is rigorous and employs an evolution in teaching music literacy using technology and gaming models of learning. The aim of the program is to facilitate learning music theory so that musical elements can be recalled quickly and easily.
In order to motivate students to spend more time practicing music fundamentals, online music theory quizzes are used in conjunction with in-class testing in Music Theory and Basic Musicianship classes. The online modules help students to become musically literate through an emphasis on speed and repetition. Student progress in the classes are accelerated through practice with the online theory drills. The website uses an intuitive approach to learning, which follows a gaming model instead of a traditional academic one; students keep practicing until they acquire skills instead of only taking a one-time high pressure test. In the music theory program students also create innovative projects such as music theory videos, online analysis projects, student presentations and websites.
Students going through all four semesters of theory and ear training are often able to transfer to a four-year college and test directly into upper division courses. The feedback from faculty in the San Diego area is that San Diego Mesa College students are musically competent and understand their musical fundamentals.
Here is an example video project created by past music theory students at San Diego Mesa College: