Music Theory Teacher Resources
Find Music Theory educational ideas and activities
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Any musician can tell you, you have to know your scales, key signatures, and notes when reading sheet music. Kids are quizzed on major scales and the notes found with in each scale. They fill in the missing notes and identify each scale.
WebQuests can be fun and engaging ways to review concepts. This musical WebQuest includes thirty-five fill in the blank and ten short answer questions, which students complete through Internet use. Upper graders complete this exercise to review music theory, chord structure, triad inversion, and diatonic triads. A great way to include technology and music in a single activity.
Middle schoolers study the numbers to the diatonic major scale using C note as a basis in this standards-based 45 minute lesson. Emphasis is placed on singing correct pitch, rhythmic accuracy, and proper breath control.
Learners get a taste of music theory as they explore variations of the C-Major scale. They discuss traditional music styles that often incorporate pentatonic scales in their composition, music theory, and practice. Then they use a keyboard (piano) to practice and play with variations of the scale.
Music theory lessons don't have to be dull. Concepts can be taught through motivating games and physical activities.
Music theory lessons can be very tricky for some people. Children with a basic understanding of musical concepts take on the task of transposing music and identifying scale sets. This would be a good topic to address prior to discussing circle of fifths. The lesson includes sheet music and two worksheets.
Students explore and analyze the structure of a tetrachord and major scales along with their origins and functions in music. They recognize tetrachords and major scales in the context of the music they are practicing at this point in time and view a PowerPoint presentation on starting notes and scale patterns.
After watching the violin basics, learn about left hand placement and technique. The close-ups provide a clear view of the player's hands, and he walks us through some notes step-by-step.
Upper graders having skills in music performance will extend their abilities through creative musical composition. They'll use Finale 2000 to explore facets of music composition, they'll then compose a piece for their instrument in C, F, or G major or relative minor keys. This lesson is intended for proficient musicians, not beginners.
Students review the 4/4 and 2/4 time signatures in music. For this music theory lesson, students review basic music theory, experiment with electronic sounds, and create their own musical performance using instruments made from materials found in the classroom.
Independent harmonies, homophonic music, intervals, and melody are all part of music theory and practice. Prepare your budding musicians for the big time with these activities focused on playing with accompaniment. This lesson is intended for learners who already have skills in musical performance.
Students compose a simple melody using the notes of the D Major Scale. Criteria/Rubric for evaluation is provided with variations depending on skill level of students. A minimum of one forty-five minute class period is needed for this lesson.
The famous Japanese tune, "Cherry Blooms" was composed using a pentatonic scale. Budding musicians explore the nature and theory behind the pentatonic scale as well as the East Asian music it is commonly used in. Multiple extensions are suggested for learners with musical experience, as well as adaptations for those with very little experience.
Students explain intervals in terms of musical notes - including whole and half steps, major, minor and perfect - build a major scale on any given whole tone and build a major triad on any given whole tone.
Students review what they already know about music theory. In groups, they research the information more in depth and place the information on note cards. They participate in a game of basketball in which the music theory material is tested and if answered correctly, they score a basket.
Students explore Indian ragas and learn the differences between an Indian raga and the Western scale. They sing the familiar song "America," first in the Western major scale and then in two Indian ragas (bhairavi and purvi) on a neutral syllable, in order to identify differences in whole- and half-step patterns between an Indian raga and the Western scale.
Students complete their own composition (ABA song form, C Major scale, 32-60 measures) using the keyboard and sequencing software on the computer to playback the song. They fill in answers in their workbooks and watch how to transfer their compositions from MIDI file to CD Audio files.
Participants analyze the key signatures to music theory. They include the following nine events: gain attention, inform learner of objective, recall prior knowledge, present material, provide guided learning, elicit performance, provide feedback, assess performance and enhance retention and transfer.
Fourth graders recall the letter names of the notes of the C-major scale and identify the names of the C-major scale. They identify the names of the lines and spaces on a music staff. They sing rounds.
Fifth graders sing the syllables and pitches of the C major scale, and sing Do - Re - Mi in two-part harmony. They discuss the definition for round and canon, and contrast gamelan music of the Spice Islands with reggae from Jamaica.