Musicianship is the cornerstone of The Walden School teaching method. It is an organized approach to the study of music in which students are led to discover new materials and concepts for themselves. Following discovery, they are given thorough aural, keyboard and written drill work in each area of study. Finally, they are encouraged to apply the materials to an improvisation or a composition. Musicianship begins with a foundation in basic acoustics and proceeds through intervals, triads, and modes to functional harmony. Musicianship classes offer lessons in basic acoustics, intervals, major and minor triads, cycles, modes, functional harmony, advanced/extended harmonic language, jazz musicianship and analysis, among other topics.
Teacher Training Institute participants learn how these principles may be incorporated in the classroom or private studio. Participants are divided into small groups that follow the Musicianship method sequentially in structured lessons, which are often as transformative for the teacher on a personal level as a musician as on the pedagogical level.