Areas of Training

Music Appreciation

Students increase their appreciation for music by learning basic elements such as sound, rhythm, music notation, melody, harmony, key, musical texture, musical form, and musical style. Music of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and early Romantic periods are highlighted in discussions, and composers representative of each of those periods (Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, etc.) are introduced. By completion, students will have developed the vocabulary to discuss musical elements, styles, and periods.

Music Theory

The Beginner-level theory courses are designed for students with little or no formal music theory training. Students are introduced to the rudiments and terminology of music. Topics include notating pitch and note names, notating rhythm, keyboard communication, scales and key signatures, intervals, and chords, including triads and seventh chords. Students will learn basic notational skills, including how to draw clefs, notes, rests, and sharp, flat, and natural signs.

In the Intermediate-level courses, students will significantly increase their knowledge of written music theory and analysis. Topics include melodic organization, texture and textural reduction, and an introduction to voice leading in four-part chorale writing, harmonic progression, and harmonic rhythm.

The Advanced level includes topics such as voice leading in four-part chorale writing, harmonic progression and harmonic rhythm, the dominant seventh chord, the leading tone seventh chords, dominant and leading tone chords, and modulation. By the end of this course, students will have mastered the musical rudiments and terminology including notational skills, scales, keys, intervals, chords, meter, and rhythm.

Ear Training

The Beginner-level courses are designed for students with little or no formal background in ear training. This level focuses on developing students’ musical listening and sight-singing (solfège) skills, rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation skills, score reading ability, and basic keyboard skills. Students will engage in singing exercises in major and minor keys and with different rhythms.

In the Intermediate-level courses, students continue to develop their musical listening and sight-singing (solfège) skills, rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation skills, score reading ability, and basic keyboard skills.

In the Advanced-level courses, students will learn the structure of instrumental and vocal musical works beyond their melody and learn to recognize and refine their ability to hear intervals, chords, and chord progressions. By the end of this course, students will have developed listening and sight-singing skills that will lead to a more thorough understanding of music composition and music theory.


Fei Tian strategically partners with several professional orchestras to provide qualified music students the unique opportunity to participate in rehearsals and side-by-side concerts with music faculty. The participating ensembles are large-scale Western orchestras featuring Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass, complemented by traditional Chinese instruments.

Through orchestral training, students gain firsthand experience in the creative process and gain exposure to an extensive repertoire of outstanding Chinese musical works as well as Western masterpieces. Students develop their musical potential, aesthetic understanding, and musical sensibility, and learn to integrate classical Chinese and Western music. In particular, Orchestra focuses on cultivating a beautiful tone, strengthening listening skills and the ability to read music, building technical skills and teamwork, and developing responsible rehearsal habits. Students engage in regular guided sectional practice and learn to analyze and evaluate musical performances.

Appreciation of Chinese Music

This is an introduction to Chinese music that aims to develop students’ artistic sensibility and appreciation for Chinese music. It introduces the characteristics, styles, and genres of Chinese music, and includes study of traditional Chinese instrumental music, folk songs, narrative music, and operas. Upon completion, students will have gained an understanding of the richness and diversity of Chinese music as well as the close relationship between traditional Chinese music and the intellectual history and culture of China.

Instrument Class

Students are provided with private instrument lessons in their primary instrument from Fei Tian faculty and staff. Lessons are available for Western strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp, piano, and select Chinese instruments.

Vocal Coaching

The vocal performance coaching is designed to prepare young singers for the rigors of conservatory training. The coursework introduces students to the various concepts, techniques, and exercises that give singers a strong command over their vocal resources. Basic breathing techniques are taught and practiced to strengthen the diaphragm and enhance the singer’s note-holding capability and vocal strength. Students work through various vocal exercises to improve pitch and sound quality. They also learn how to present themselves and their songs before a live audience. The goal is for students to build confidence in their own unique voice and to strengthen their singing.