Incorporating More Music Theory
Found in: Scale & Key Signature
Giana N., California
Looking for advice from the music theory nerds in our community. I’d like to incorporate more theory for some of my teens and students in higher levels. What do you use? Books? Online tools?
This is for students in levels 7 and up, who are working on reading, jazz clues, and Acc 2. I’m curious as to how instructors who enjoy theory incorporate it into their lessons, whether verbally or with printed materials, formally or just in passing.
Here’s my response to Giana’s question:
Incorporating Music Theory with Advanced Students
Emily C., California
Since I only know of books from when I was teaching traditional method, and found all were boring and tedious, two other options I could think of that don’t require buying anything, and if you haven’t done it already are
1) pick out one of their favorite songs to play and try to transcribe it (no looking in the music book of course, if it’s a SM song), and
2) pick out any piece of music (I prefer one they like too) and figure out its chord progression.
They’ll see even the most complicated music/ ones with tons of notes can just be grouped into (simple) chords❣️
Giana since you mentioned about verbally or in passing, the piano teacher I had when I was growing up always asked me what’s the key of the piece whenever I’m learning new music.
For every song they play during the lessons, you can also ask “what’s something musical theory-related you can tell me about the piece you just did?”
(And to say something different every time)^o^
Or if they are reading a piece of music, you can also find something on the page and see if they can find it?
You can also incorporate ear training when they are learning about intervals, so not just seeing them on the written page or the piano keys, but hearing how they sound going up or down.
“Is there any songs that start off with that interval?”
(I found online somewhere years ago thag tying a specific interval to the beginning of a song one knows helps one remembering/ figuring out that interval.
For example, “Amazing Grace” is a 4th going up, “Dreams” is a 3rd going up, etc.
And they can compile a list unique for themselves of songs that start with all the different intervals.
(Since I have perfect pitch, that method is unfortunately too slow for me because I figure out almost immediately the intervals by counting them after hearing what notes are played, as instant as doing simple addition and subtraction 😅)
Original discussion started February 4, 2022