Music Theory, The Fun Way!
Music theory can be painful. If you're like me then the following scenario happens all too often.
It's lesson time, and you pose a theory question, suddenly the student's eyes glaze over and I swear I can hear the Jeopardy theme song playing in the background. After about 2 minutes you just give them the answer, and both teacher and student end up feeling like failures.
Why is it that no matter how old we get or how much musical training we have received, our brains turn off anytime we are asked to approach the dreaded topic of music theory?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were computers in every orchestra room. When students got to class early or forgot their instrument they could 'play' music games (shhh, don't tell them they are actually learning). They would discover how fun learning music basics could be. There's just one problem...your students would be 'forgetting' their instrument all the time so they could just 'play' on the computers.
Listed below are some wonderful theory resources, teaching tools, and online games. Even if your students don't have access to computers while at your studio or during orchestra you could encourage them to 'log' in so many music theory minutes while at home. My students LOVE it when I give them alternate practicing assignments for home that aren't spent at the violin.
**Sidenote** - Many of these drills can also be printed off and used with a pencil.
These sites are super user-friendly. Two thumbs up!
Key Signiature Identification
Ear Training with Intervals
Ear Training for chords
Ear Training for Scales
Free printables - These are meant to be printed out and completed with a pencil or, in the case of the "Sight Reading Practice", played on the violin.
Musical Note Speed Drills
The Rhythm Gym
Sight Reading Practice
For the advanced student
Excercises for identification, constructing, and ear training. This site is for advanced students and contains all aspects of theory: scales, intervals, chords, transposing, rhythm.
Orchestra Teachers - Use these resources for homework assignments, reward time, bell buzzers and quizzes, or for that last minute substitute teacher that has no clue what a violin is. All the work is done for you, just click, print, or play!
Violin Tutor Pro is a site that helps students not only learn to play their violin, but understand it on multiple levels as well. Michael Sanchez uses a few different methods of teaching that help students quickly feel comfortable in learning new songs, and understanding the materials and notation they read.
Do you know of a great site that helps with music theory, or maybe you own a site that teaches music theory? Please leave the link below along with a short description.