Show off your theory chops with my weekly challenge! You’ll find a new question here every Monday. … [Read More...] about Weekly Music Theory Challenge 9/13/21
When adult students ask me if it’s too late to learn music, I love using myself as an example.
I did not play or read a note of music until I was nineteen. All through high school, I would watch musicians play, and think they lived in some tangent reality that was closed to me. Then, in April 1993, I did something on a whim. I decided I was going to learn.
Do you have questions? What do you want to learn?
Our contact form is at the bottom of the page.
*Background sheet music images are from Symphony in A Flat by Aron Bernstein.
Watch Aron Teach!
Aron Bernstein has been a music teacher and composer for 26 years.
He holds a Masters Degree in Theory and Composition from Western Oregon University, and a Bachelor of Music from San Francisco State University.
See clips from classes taught by Aron Bernstein.
What My Students Say
The Best Thing About Saturdays
My electronic keyboard sat, covered and ignored, for years. Then I took a piano course from Aron and started practicing and began to read music. I took two piano courses and a rhythm-in-world-music course from him. Those sessions were the best thing about Saturdays. He made the classes fun. The breadth and depth of his knowledge of music are remarkable, but what makes Aron a top-line teacher is his love of music and his ability to convey that to each student as an individual. I was one of the few who came with no music experience but I never felt lost or ignored.
Chris Langlois Piano and Music Theory Student
Learning After Retirement
I am a recent retiree, and one of my goals was to relearn the piano after 2 years of grade school lessons. I had the good fortune to enroll in Aron's college classes. He has a remarkable ability to create a safe environment for learning and trying out new skills, and he makes it fun to challenge yourself! Aron provides guidance on how to maximize your practice time, and the solfege makes it easy. I also appreciate how Aron incorporates music theory into each lesson, giving you a deeper understanding of what is happening and increasing your independence. I plan on continuing lessons with Aron — it is fun, challenging, and rewarding!
Mary Denise Smith Retired and Learning to Play Music
Patience and Enthusiasm
Aron Bernstein is an excellent teacher. His teaching is unusually clear. He goes the extra mile to make music theory accessible to all levels of musicianship. He has that rare quality of patience and enthusiasm in his teaching. If you want to study music theory, don’t hesitate to enjoy learning with Aron.
Joe and Christine Toscano Music Theory Student
Incredible Music Teacher
Aron is an incredible music teacher. I loved escaping to his class each week. He creates a balanced curriculum of theory and improvisation, studying different pieces and creating your own work. He is easygoing and encouraging, and always answered any random questions I had. There were a lot of gaps in my musical education, and he helped me fill in the blanks and get a firm grasp of the concepts. I would recommend him to anyone looking to work on their musical talent!
Bethany Amsler Music Student
Professor and Lifelong Student
I am an interdisciplinary humanities professor and a lifelong student, always searching for high-quality courses on subjects that interest me, such as music. I studied a little piano before, put my studies on hold for a long while, and thought I could never get to play it but Aron Bernstein’s approach and teaching revived my interest and quickly activated my incipient knowledge. Aron’s courses really work! Somehow he has figured the “magic combination” that all teachers seek: how to blend content, pedagogy, and enthusiasm to generate clarity, motivation, and solid learning. He makes both theory and practice accessible and enjoyable in a pressure-free environment that makes students feel encouraged and confident, allowing them to make progress from day one. As an educator myself, I deeply appreciate his well-thought-out, carefully constructed, practical, and elegant methodology. In addition to being a superb teacher with ample and robust experience, he is an extremely kind and empathetic person, he’s always available to his students, answers questions efficiently, with a smile on his face, and has a great sense of humor.
Dr. Isabel Jaén Portillo, Portland State University Music Theory Student
Aron's educational videos are very professional, engaging, and fun! I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed them being that I expected musical theory to be a drier subject. I actually do have some musical training but I've been learning so much from Aron! For example, I'd always had to memorize the notes in a given key and its key signature which was frustrating at times and did end up limiting me. Aron's technique is so much more helpful!
I enjoy the little jokes he makes in the videos and the worksheets help solidify the lesson. The videos aren't very long so watching one or two actually can change your life but doesn't feel like a big commitment. I've enjoyed it so far and plan to continue taking advantage of my subscription. Thank you Aron! I'm looking forward to learning more from you!
Alexis Aschenbrenner Music Theory Student
Best Choice for Music Education
Accessible, comprehensive, and engaging are just some of the words I use to describe Breaking Barlines, the music theory program Aron Bernstein is designing and creating. There are currently at least 40 lessons (with more being added monthly) on multiple topics including Scales, Rhythm, Chromatic Harmony, and Counterpoint. Each lesson includes a video and a downloadable tutorial, worksheet, and answer key. Want to go back and review? No problem. A subscription to Breaking Barlines is inexpensive and allows you to go back and review any lesson at any time ... or jump ahead to the specific module that interests you. If you want to learn music theory but can't afford the time out of the middle of your day to get to class or the tuition, Breaking Barlines is the best choice for you to get the musical education you want. Aron Bernstein is making music theory accessible, comprehensive, engaging, and affordable.
Mary Ann Aschenbrenner
Free Video Lessons
Subscribe to get access to two free lessons. Includes videos, printed worksheets, and answer keys.
Blog — Recent Posts
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Breaking Barlines offers several ways to get your questions answered by the instructor and connect with other students.
Here are some options:
- Answer the weekly Music Theory Challenge.
- Join us on the Breaking Barlines Facebook Page
- Follow the Breaking Barlines Instagram Feed
- Check out our YouTube Channel — Breaking Barlines
Music Theory Challenge
Each Monday morning Aron Bernstein will post a new Music Theory Challenge question on our Blog page. Use your knowledge to answer the question by leaving a comment on the post.
On Friday he will provide the answer and publish the best guesses.
This is just one more fun way to be a part of the Breaking Barlines community.
Providing expert, high-quality video instruction in music theory. Turn sound into skill with Breaking Barlines.
Online Music Theory Lessons That Do the Impossible: They're FUN and they WORK! Providing 26+ years of teaching experience in easy video lessons.