Method to My Madness- How to Effectively Teach Music Theory

How to effectively teach music theory. As I have taught piano lessons over the years I have found that young students need their theory broken down into baby steps. If theory is not broken down into manageable pieces they either become overwhelmed and frustrated or don’t learn the material well. In order to try and solve this problem, I  introduce a basic theory concept in steps. This helps me see if a student is understanding the new material and also helps make sure they learn it well.

For example, when I teach the notes on the staff I start with middle C and treble G. Then I add bass clef F. From there I go on to add treble D through E. Once a students has learned these treble notes well, I will add the remaining bass clef notes between F and C. I then do lots of practice with these 9 notes before expanding to more notes on the staff.  Usually each of these levels is spread over several weeks. I give  myself freedom for plenty of review if a student needs help.

With each of these steps I use a theory game I created to make learning these notes fun and interactive for each student. For example check out the free bug catchers game I use to introduce C and G.


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