Category Archives: Theory

Kiwi Key Signatures

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!

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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!

Enjoy your summer treats!

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Filed under Group lesson ideas, Holiday Activities and Worksheets, Theory, Worksheets

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