Category Archives: Theory

Issue 124: Topic; Spies and Secrets

This class topic has been a gift for me. Now the entire year 3 keyboard class is able to read and play from notation with almost zero input from me! How? We had been playing simple music for a term, building up from … Continue reading

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Issue 124: First Steps in piano (or keyboard)

I’ve been trying out different ways of introducing notation to young keyboard/piano students. This worked surprisingly well in the year 3 Wider Opportunities Keyboard class I started teaching back in September: I taught “D” as the first note, and each key … Continue reading

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Issue 115: Failing a Music Theory Exam

As occasionally happens, (VERY occasionally, let me add!), one of my pupils has failed a music exam. Theory, this time. I reckoned there was a good chance that they might pass, but I wouldn’t have bet on it. Why did they … Continue reading

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Issue 114: Introduction to Easy-Peasy Chord building

So, what does       I  VI  II  V       mean? It is a chord progression, listing a sequence of chords built upon notes of any scale. If I show you how it works for C major, the easiest scale of all for … Continue reading

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Issue 103:Teaching theory; Inspirational Quote

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery” Mark Van Doren never heard of him? Neither had I – until today:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Van_Doren Discuss! Sometimes I feel as though the art of teaching has been boiled down to just … Continue reading

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Issue 88: Class ABRSM Music Theory Lessons

One primary school I work in has been running a music theory club in the lunchtime. The first group of students are all set to take Grade 1 theory this Summer, having started from scratch last October. It was very … Continue reading

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Issue 68: Finding Patterns

As part of a series of lessons on music form with a year 5 and 6 class, I gave them the task of going through a piece of notated music and colour coding all the bars with matching patterns. The … Continue reading

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Issue 48: Music “Literacy”

I follow Michael Rosen’s blog at http://michaelrosenblog.blogspot.com . He writes with passion about children’s literacy issues, and libraries, and the importance of books. It set me thinking about how “literacy” is part of music teaching. Last week I posted about … Continue reading

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