# Category Archives: Theory

Every time my intermediate students learn how to identify triads with Roman numerals, I remind myself that I need to make a fast activity that will make this easier and more fun. With the help of my students who tested it and made suggestions, I finally came up with this one which we named Triad Trios, because it only takes 3 cards in a column to win. It is a fast game for student and teacher.

Since this is an introductory activity, the key signature is C Major. I successfully used this with students who had no experience with the concept and they learned it much faster than when I simply explained it to a student with a worksheet.

I am a little hesitant about posting it here, however. Triad Trios is an easy game to explain in person, but I found it difficult to write the instructions. I’ve made some graphics that I hope will help. I suggest you print the instructions and save the with the cards.

I found this game to be fantastic in teaching a very hard concept and making it easy to learn. Teachers who prepare students for exams such as your state theory exam or ABRSM, as well as the AP music exam will find Triad Trios very helpful.

## Objective

• On the grand staff in the key of C major, identify I, IV, and V triads with the correct Roman numeral.
• Use the correct Arabic numeral for inverted triads, using the bass note as the identifier.

## Cards

• Triad Trios uses only 9 cards per player, and is printed on front and back. You will make two sets, one for each player, using a different color for each set.
• The file has 2 pages, but the second page is for the back of the cards.
• Print only one page, then print on the back however your printer does that.
• Alternately, instead of printing the second page on the back, which can be tricky, you can hand write the Roman numerals  on the back.
• The purpose of the colored card stock is to quickly separate the decks. If you only have white card stock, mark them in some way.

## Directions

• This activity is for two players: student and teacher, or two students.
• Each player has a deck of one color of cards. The “front” of the card show a triad on the staff. The back has the Roman numeral answer.
• Each player has his deck on a table in front of him with the front of the cards (the grand staff side) facing up.
• Before starting, explain that all the cards are in the key of C Major. Review the I, IV, and V chords in C.
• Without turning the card over to see the back, the first player identifies the top card in his stack, saying, for example, I6 (one six). The player turns the card over to see the answer. Then he places it on the table with the answer (the back of the card) facing up.
• The second player repeats this, and puts his card on the table also.
• The play continues in this fashion. Every time a card is drawn it is placed on the table. The cards should be arranged in columns, so that all the Roman numeral I cards are in the first column, all the Roman IV cards are in the second column, and all the Roman numeral V cards are in the third column.
• The first player who has all three inversions (I, I6, and I6/4 or IV, IV6, and IV6/4 OR V, V6 and V6/4) in a column is the winner.
• Since I use this game as a teaching tool, there is no penalty if they get the answer wrong. I simply help them figure it out.

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Filed under Intermediate Students, Texas State Theory Test, Theory

Triad Tic Tac Toe is a set of four cards to review chords and chord inversions. This is a very fast, 2-person tic tac toe game for late elementary and intermediate students. Only one card is used in the game, so you can play at different levels for each student. It can be used for review, or as a teaching tool to explain as you play.

This game is like a worksheet, but a lot more fun.

There are four cards in this set. The first and second cards include inverted triads, and the third and fourth cards are in root position.

Have you ever noticed that some students can play inversions without any trouble, but they just sit and stare when you ask them to name the chord. There is no doubt that learning to quickly identify inversions is a great help in not only memorizing, but in learning theory, improvising, or playing lead sheets.

In this game there is a very simple way to name an inverted triad. All you have to do is find the interval of a 4th and the top note of this interval is the name of the chord.

## Objectives

There are several things the student can identify with this game. Students can:

1. Identify the root of the triad.
2. Identify the inversion in cards one and two (first, second, root position).
3. Name the chord using cards three and four.
4. Identify the triad with Roman numerals. (Use the first card in C major because students need to know the key for this skill.)
5. Identify the slash chord name, such as C/E. (Use the first and second cards.)
6. Identify the triads as major or minor (if they know their key signatures).

## Material:

• Bingo tokens, 2 different colors.  [Pencil erasers, pieces of colored paper, bingo chips.]
• Two players use the same game board.

## Directions for 2 players:

• Print one game board on card stock. The first and second cards are more difficult, so it depends on the skill you are working on.
• Give each player about 5 tokens of the same color.
• The student goes first and identifies a triad of his choice. If he/she is correct, he puts a token on it.
• This is repeated by the second player, with a different colored token.
• Play continues in this manner until a player has a token on 3 squares in a row in any direction, including diagonally, as in a Tic Tac Toe game.

Filed under Games, Texas State Theory Test, Theory, Uncategorized

## Kiwi Key Signatures

Kiwi Key Signatures

I’m working on a presentation for TMTA on fast games and activities you can play with your students to teach music theory concepts. That, and some other wonderful things going on, plus my piano recital, has taken up all my time and I haven’t had too much time to post lately.

But I made a couple of worksheets that I want to share with you. I noticed that my Summer Treat series (see my previous post) didn’t have any worksheets for key signatures. While making some fruit salad with kiwi fruit, I thought “kiwi key signatures” and that is how this worksheet came about. I know they are not a strictly summer fruit, but they really look pretty in a summer fruit bowl! I think the best way to eat kiwi fruit is to let it soften up really well like you soften up a peach, cut it in half, and scoop up the soft bites with a spoon.

I learned a lot about kiwi fruit while I was researching something I could put in the secret code at the bottom of the page. Now I can bore everyone with my knowledge of this delicious treat. Do you know what kiwi fruit used to be called? Well, your students will have to do this worksheet to find out!

To all my readers in New Zealand, yes, I was thinking about my upcoming trip to your beautiful country when I made this worksheet!

Filed under Theory, Worksheets

## Summer Treats Roundup

With summer approaching soon, here is a preview of all the Summer Treats worksheets I’ve made over the years. Some come with black and white versions for students to color. Plus, all the rhythm pages have UK versions which are found on the UK page.

These can be used in summer music camps, in summer lessons to review theory, or at home. They span beginning to late elementary level, with one that reviews dotted quarter notes. It’s a great way to keep students from forgetting the music theory they learned this year!

Many of these are appropriate for an iPad or other tablet, so if you’ve never tried downloading a worksheet to your iPad, give these a try. Notability and NoteAnytime are my favorites because they allow multi-page downloads and have other cool features. The note story pages are a little small, but you can enlarge with area with your fingers. You can find these two apps in the iTunes store. I recommend NoteAnytime (also called MetaMoji) for teachers who use Android and other tablets that are not iPads.

To download the files above, click on each thumbnail. There is a link that will take you to the original blog post. Under each graphic there is a link you can select to download the PDF file to use with your students. Of course all my worksheets are free downloads.

Does anyone have an idea for a good worksheet to add to my Summer Treats collection? It’s been around a while, but every summer I like to add something new. Let me know and I will see what I can do!