Category Archives: Theory

Rhythm Blocks

Rhythm Blocks

Rhythm Blocks

Using these rhythm cut-outs is a great hands-on way to teach rhythm. If students are confused about rhythm values, it could be that verbal explanations didn’t work. How many times have we thought students understood a concept only to discover later that they were really confused but didn’t want to tell you? I remember when I was a young piano student just nodding my head in agreement when I really had no idea what my teacher was talking about. I started parroting back her definition of time signatures because I was a good at memorizing. But I didn’t understand what I was saying and I didn’t want to admit I didn’t get it. I liked her and I wanted to make her happy!

One of the first and most important rhythm concepts students have understand is that a note with a dot is equal to three of the of the next shorter note. That is the key to understanding dotted half notes and dotted quarters.  Theses rhythm shapes are great for that because they are proportional in size; so two eighths are the same size as one quarter.

Print this page on card stock and glue it to a sheet of thin craft foam before you cut them out. If you are crafty, even better is to glue the page to foam board (also called tag board), which will make them easier for students to move around but a lot hard to cut out!

I made this printable years ago, but today’s post is updated to make the notes easier to read. Plus, I fixed a note that was orientated wrong. So if you have the old file, you can replace it with this one.

Another way to explain fractions is to use my Rhythm Pizza printable. It is a very helpful first step to teaching rhythm values. Then to teach counting dotted notes, use this helpful visual, Rhythm in the Grid.

I know you can come up with many ideas for students to learn with these!

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Filed under Rhythm, Teaching Aids, Texas State Theory Test, Theory

Rhythm Review 1-6 Revised

Rhythm Review Levels 1-3

Rhythm Review 1-3

Rhythm Review Levels 4-6

Rhythm Review Levels 4-6

I’ve mentioned before that a lot of the theory worksheets I post are for the Texas MTA theory exams. These exams are in twelve levels, one for each grade. The early grades are not hard and they are a great way for teachers to discover if their students are really remembering all the theory we teach in lessons. If you are in an area that offers theory exams, consider them!

Last year, after several years of hard work, the TMTA theory tests were revised. In my studio, that means I need to revise all my theory worksheets. It is a daunting challenge, but I’ve been slowly trying.

Today’s post contains rhythm questions for grades one through six and up to about level 4 in most method books. In the top left corner of each page, I numbered the tests with the TMTA level to keep them straight, but teachers can certainly use these sheets to reinforce rhythm concepts at any grade. You all know I love silly cartoons, but I tried really hard to make these pages friendly looking, and not cartoony. They use less ink than the originals, and they can be used with any age.

See any mistakes? Let me know!

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Filed under Intermediate Students, Rhythm, Texas State Theory Test, Theory, Worksheets

New Theory Worksheets for Theory Tests

I recently made some handouts for the changes in the TMTA theory test. The first one here is for 3rd grade. The other two are some big changes in the 4th grade test. These basic theory concepts can be used for all music students, even if they don’t take a formal theory test.  Click on the link below the image to print the tests.  These can also be used on an iPad. Let me know if you find any mistakes!

intervalstarspp

Interval Stars

tonictriadspp

Theory Stars  New in the Texas Theory Test for Grade 4

Star Theory

Whole Step Half Step Stars

 

 

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Filed under Texas State Theory Test, Theory, Worksheets

Droid Key Signatures

DroidKeysSigs

Droid Key Signatures

Happy New Year everyone! As the New Year starts, I want to thank everyone for your support. Without you, this website would not be possible and I sincerely appreciate all you do to help out.

Today I am posting 2 worksheets. These were made for students ages 9 to 11.

I wanted to make a worksheet to review key signatures, but it needed to be a little special, not just another boring worksheet. So I thought of the idea of making a secret code for some of the famous quotes from Star Wars.

IMPORTANT:  When you use this, don’t tell them the quotes are from Star Wars! If you do, and they have seen the original Star Wars movie, they will fill out the missing letters without bothering to fill in the key signatures. Don’t ask me how I know this. Let me just say that I test everything out with my students!

The first worksheet includes the major keys of C,G,D,A,E,B and F. The second worksheet contains C,G,D,A,E, plus F, B flat, E flat, and A flat.  Be sure to encourage students to put the flat sign on the keys B flat, E flat, and A flat. It doesn’t help solve the message, but it is important they get used to adding the flats. I ask my student what if they are playing in a band and the key is E flat, but they wrote down E. And then I play Jingle Bells with one hand in the key of E and the other in E flat!

This turned out to be a fun way to review key signatures! I hope your students like it, too!

 

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Filed under Theory, Worksheets