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About us

MTforMT was created by Jeffrey Schmelkin in December of 2022 to fill a niche at the intersection of his two passions: Music Theory and Musical Theatre. After working in many professional theatre rehearsal spaces, Jeffrey had come to realize that many professional theatre performers were uncomfortable with reading music. As a music director, Jeffrey knows that music theory knowledge is not only beneficial to the rehearsal process but for the performer, as well, to better understand the intent of the composer to further enrich the performance of their character. That is where MTforMT comes in: to expand the musical purview of theatre performers so that they can depend less on learning solely from piano-plunked tracks, save time in the rehearsal room and at home, and gain an even deeper understanding of the notes they sing. 

Most colleges and universities offer different degrees in different departments for Music Theory and Musical Theatre. Many high schools offer Music Theory as an AP elective and Drama as an after-school activity. Unless one double-majors in Music Theory and Musical Theatre, there isn’t much overlap between the two disciplines… yet. Many musical theatre performers go through their careers not understanding music theory past the rudimentary curriculum. As a theatre composer, Jeffrey knows firsthand that there’s more to a theatre score than meets the ear. As music is used in theatre to express emotion and feelings of the characters onstage, isn’t it only right that the performers understand these nuances as well? Performers can only enrich their understanding of the characters that they portray by enhancing their understanding of the music that they sing. MTforMT focuses solely on the relevant music theory that is needed in a rehearsal room and utilizes only musical theatre scores in the course. 


MTforMT is not a replacement for higher education, rather it is an additive tool to give performers a leg up when they’re asked, “do you know music?” in an audition room—a tool that until now has been all too scarce.  

Image by Amir Doreh
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