Dr. J. Anthony Allen, Ph.D
About five years ago, J. Anthony Allen (who prefers to go by “J.”) was teaching music theory at a university, and also teaching composition online. After a particularly engaging lesson with a student from Kenya, something clicked: Online education is a powerful medium, and it can be used to bring resources to anyone who has the desire to learn (and an internet connection).
So J. made his first set of music theory classes, focusing on the basics. Before he had time to turn around, the classes had thousands of students, so he kept going and made more. Eventually, those courses become the genesis for the LearnMusicTheory.com website, taking students all the way through the typical American university system. Of course, with Dr. Allen’s own unique flair for humor and sarcasm.
Since then, he has made a large variety of online classes in music theory, music production, composition, film scoring, and more. His series, “Music Theory for Electronic Musicians” has been translated into five languages and is available as a book from Amazon and other outlets.
While he still maintains a music professorship in his home state of Minnesota, J. checks in on his classes every day and answers all the questions posted. “It’s part of the gig – I’m happy to check in and make sure students are understanding everything.” With almost 400,000 students, this is obviously a tall order.
J. has also been involved in the music industry, founding the in-person music production academy Slam Academy, the online class platform Punkademic.com, and not to mention his own career as a composer where he has worked on films, video games, and major orchestras.