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J. Anthony Allen teaches composition, songwriting, music theory, and technology at the University of St. Thomas, and MacPhail Center for Music. Allen is also the founder and CEO of Slam Academy: A non-degree institute in Minneapolis dedicated to making electronic music in all genres available to anyone with a desire to learn it. In addition, Allen has several online courses available to the general public. These courses contain several hours of video each, as well as projects and documents. To enroll, follow the links below and get started immediately. J. Anthony Allen also teaches private lessons over Skype and Google Hangouts. To setup a lesson, please email.

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians I

62511_03cb_6A class designed for the electronic musician that wants to take their tracks to the next level. In this 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 is necessary. Playing an instrument and reading music is also not necessary. We will be focusing on how to use your DAW as your instrument to create with.
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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians II: Minor Keys and More

62511_03cb_6This course is an extension of Music Theory for Electronic Musicians, in which we learned how to work with the piano roll editor in a DAW to make harmonies, melodies, and whole tracks. In this class we expand on those ideas and work with minor keys, focus some time on melody writing and bassline writing, and talk about how different tracks work.
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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians III: Extended Harmony

This course is an extension of Music Theory for Electronic Musicians, and Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2, in which we learned how to work with the piano roll editor in a DAW to make harmonies, melodies, and whole tracks. In this class we expand on those ideas and work with harmonic patterns (harmony) that are richer than just major and minor.
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Introduction to Sound Design with Synthesis

339406_dd02_2 This classes uses the same system I’ve used for years in my college courses for teaching sound design: Identify and master the 4 main pieces of any synthesizer, and you will be flying when you first approach any other unit in the future. This system keeps the technical jargon to a minimum and gets you making your own sounds quick.
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Introduction to Sound Design with Sampling

353144_6410A class designed for the electronic musician that wants to take their tracks to the next level. In this 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 is necessary. Playing an instrument and reading music is also not necessary. We will be focusing on how to use your DAW as your instrument to create with.
Get Started Now…  

Music Theory Comprehensive, Part 1: How to Read Music & The Symbols of Music

740204_ffa9_2This is the first class in a series of classes on Music Theory. Unlike the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians courses, these class focus on a more general approach to music theory and deeper understanding of the fundamentals of music theory. This class is part 1: How to Read Music & The Symbols of Music, and it covers all the basic ideas for reading notated music and understanding a musical score.
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Music Theory Comprehensive, Part 2: Chords, Scales, & Keys

786846_f4af-1This is the second class in a series of classes on Music Theory. Unlike the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians courses, these class focus on a more general approach to music theory and deeper understanding of the fundamentals of music theory. This class is part 2: Chords, Scales, & Keys.
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Music Theory Comprehensive, Part 3: Minor Keys and More

786846_f4af-1This is the third class in a series of classes on Music Theory. Unlike the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians courses, these class focus on a more general approach to music theory and deeper understanding of the fundamentals of music theory. This class is part 3: Minor Keys and More.
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Music Theory Comprehensive, Part 4: Modes and Counterpoint

786846_f4af-1This is the fourth class in a series of classes on Music Theory. Unlike the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians courses, these class focus on a more general approach to music theory and deeper understanding of the fundamentals of music theory. This class is part 4: Modes and Counterpoint.
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Music Theory Comprehensive, Part 5: Counterpoint Complete

786846_f4af-1This is the fifth class in a series of classes on Music Theory. Unlike the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians courses, these class focus on a more general approach to music theory and deeper understanding of the fundamentals of music theory. This class is part 5: Counterpoint Complete.
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Music Theory Comprehensive, Part 6: SATB Composition

786846_f4af-1This is the sixth class in a series of classes on Music Theory. Unlike the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians courses, these class focus on a more general approach to music theory and deeper understanding of the fundamentals of music theory. This class is part 6: SATB Composition.
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Music Theory Comprehensive, Part 7: Harmoinization

This is the seventh class in a series of classes on Music Theory. Unlike the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians courses, these class focus on a more general approach to music theory and deeper understanding of the fundamentals of music theory. This class is part 7: Harmoninization.
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Music Theory Comprehensive, Part 8: Harmonic Expansion

786846_f4af-1This is the eighth class in a series of classes on Music Theory. Unlike the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians courses, these class focus on a more general approach to music theory and deeper understanding of the fundamentals of music theory. This class is part 8: Harmonic Expansion.
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Music Theory Comprehensive, Part 9: New Progressions

786846_f4af-1This is the ninth class in a series of classes on Music Theory. Unlike the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians courses, these class focus on a more general approach to music theory and deeper understanding of the fundamentals of music theory. This class is part 9: New Progressions.
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Music Composition Techniques 1: Getting Started

786846_f4af-1When most people think of a composer, they imagine someone sitting in a dusty attic with a grand piano, big white wig, and the year is 1800. That might have been accurate back then, but the modern composer is just like you and me. In fact, I am one. In this course, I’ll show you techniques I use for writing music in a variety of styles and situations.
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Music Composition Techniques 2: Tension and Release

786846_f4af-1When most people think of a composer, they imagine someone sitting in a dusty attic with a grand piano, big white wig, and the year is 1800. That might have been accurate back then, but the modern composer is just like you and me. In fact, I am one. In this course, I’ll show you techniques I use for writing music in a variety of styles and situations.
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Film Scoring Techniques, Part 1

786846_f4af-1In this course, we will learn the essential techniques used in writing music for film. Through a series of analysis’ of well-known film scenes from your favorite movies we will learn what makes a great cue, and then apply those techniques by writing our own.
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Film Scoring Techniques, Part 2

786846_f4af-1In this course, we will learn the essential techniques used in writing music for film. Through a series of analysis’ of well-known film scenes from your favorite movies we will learn what makes a great cue, and then apply those techniques by writing our own.
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Complete Ableton Live, Part 1: The Interface & The Basics

445324_33b7_4This is the first class is a series of classes of comprehensive Ableton Live courses. Each class includes thorough, deep, explanations and demonstrations. The complete series will cover all elements of Ableton Live from beginning to end – complete with sets, example sessions, and full track analysis sections. My hope with these classes is provide an antidote for single-serving, surface-level learning of this complete program by providing a comprehensive curriculum.
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Complete Ableton Live, Part 2: Recording & Warping

463048_f6ce_4This is the second class is a series of classes of comprehensive Ableton Live courses. Each class includes thorough, deep, explanations and demonstrations. The complete series will cover all elements of Ableton Live from beginning to end – complete with sets, example sessions, and full track analysis sections. My hope with these classes is provide an antidote for single-serving, surface-level learning of this complete program by providing a comprehensive curriculum.
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Complete Ableton Live, Part 3: Producing & Editing

469996_0748_3This is the third class is a series of classes of comprehensive Ableton Live courses. Each class includes thorough, deep, explanations and demonstrations. The complete series will cover all elements of Ableton Live from beginning to end – complete with sets, example sessions, and full track analysis sections. My hope with these classes is provide an antidote for single-serving, surface-level learning of this complete program by providing a comprehensive curriculum.
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Complete Ableton Live, Part 4: Synths & Samplers

508312_1521_3This is the fourth class is a series of classes of comprehensive Ableton Live courses. Each class includes thorough, deep, explanations and demonstrations. The complete series will cover all elements of Ableton Live from beginning to end – complete with sets, example sessions, and full track analysis sections. My hope with these classes is provide an antidote for single-serving, surface-level learning of this complete program by providing a comprehensive curriculum.
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Complete Ableton Live, Part 5: MIDI & Audio Effects

554972_ae61_3This is the fifth class is a series of classes of comprehensive Ableton Live courses. Each class includes thorough, deep, explanations and demonstrations. The complete series will cover all elements of Ableton Live from beginning to end – complete with sets, example sessions, and full track analysis sections. My hope with these classes is to provide an antidote for single-serving, surface-level learning of this complete program by providing a comprehensive curriculum.
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Complete Ableton Live, Part 6: DJ Techniques & Controllers

571044_f141_3This is the sixth class is a series of classes of comprehensive Ableton Live courses. Each class includes thorough, deep, explanations and demonstrations. The complete series will cover all elements of Ableton Live from beginning to end – complete with sets, example sessions, and full track analysis sections. My hope with these classes is to provide an antidote for single-serving, surface-level learning of this complete program by providing a comprehensive curriculum.
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Complete Ableton Live, Part 7: Max For Live

604202_00aa_4This is the seventh class is a series of classes of comprehensive Ableton Live courses. Each class includes thorough, deep, explanations and demonstrations. The complete series will cover all elements of Ableton Live from beginning to end – complete with sets, example sessions, and full track analysis sections. My hope with these classes is provide an antidote for single-serving, surface-level learning of this complete program by providing a comprehensive curriculum.
Get Started Now…