Tag Archives: Intervals

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!


Interval Stars


Theory Stars  New in the Texas Theory Test for Grade 4

Star Theory

Whole Step Half Step Stars




Filed under Texas State Theory Test, Theory, Worksheets

Ornament Moves

Ornament Moves Steps and Skips

Ornament Moves Steps and Skips

Today’s post is a Christmas worksheet to review steps and skips. In addition to printing this, it works well downloaded on a tablet because all the student has to do is check the correct answer.

If you print this, I suggest you make one copy and either laminate it or put it in a page protector. That way you can use a dry erase pen and re-use the worksheet with each student.

If you are a teacher who laminates worksheets, here is a great hint I learned from another piano teacher recently!

If the ink stays on the worksheet very long, it becomes hard to erase.  All you need to do is wipe it with a cleaning pad such as the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or a similar product. You do not need to wet the cleaning pad. This works great for all those hard to erase laminated worksheets and labels.

However, please do not try this on your  white boards, because I’m sure it will ruin them. Limit using the pad to your homemade material that can be reprinted if there is any damage.

[Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in any way, and only recommend it because it is a handy tip.]



Filed under Christmas, Steps and Skips, Worksheets

Hearts and Clubs – Intervals

 Hearts and Clubs Interval Game

Hearts and Clubs Interval Game

I really meant to post this earlier but it is a busy time of the year. This is an interval game using my Hearts and Clubs theme. The hearts make it a good game for Valentine’s, but it can also be played any time of the year. This is another fast learning game that will not take up very much lesson time.


  •  learn to identify intervals quickly by sight
  • review intervals if the student already knows them
  • quickly identify intervals under pressure


  • Suitable for elementary and older students who have learned intervals up to octaves
  • Some younger children can play if given lots of time

Materials Needed

  • Printed game board with the interval flash cards
  • Sand timer or stop watch
  • Bingo chips


Give the student a set of interval flash cards. Set the timer. The student quickly draws a flash card and places a bingo chip on the corresponding interval degree.  The object is to cover all the interval degrees on the game board in the fastest time possible. Beginning students might enjoy a non-timed game better.

This game can also be played with student and teacher or at a group lesson.

Student and teacher: One player uses the hearts on the game board and the other uses the clubs. Players take turns drawing flash cards and covering the corresponding interval with chips on their game board. The first person who covers all their hearts or clubs wins.

In a group: Each player has a game board and bingo chips or you can put two students on each card. Students take turns drawing flash cards and covering the corresponding interval with bingo chips. Place discarded flash cards back in the deck or print extra if you have a large group.


Filed under Games, Group lesson ideas, Holiday Activities and Worksheets, Valentine's Day

Slap Game from Cecilly

Music Alphabet CardsYou’re sitting at the piano bench with a student saying “up a second, down a second”, on and on and it’s getting kind of tedious. So just get off the bench and go over and play the Slap game for a few minutes,  just enough to add some vitality to the lesson.

This is another game from Cecilly. It is a game for students who can’t seem to “get” intervals. I think it can also be successfully used for students who are just learning intervals in their primer level book.  If you use my alphabet cards,  you will have to print out more than one page unless you want to stay within an octave.  (Look for the July 27, 2008 posting to see my original posting on the alphabet cards.) I went ahead and laminated mine with clear book covers, so they are going to be slippery. It was suggested by other teacher to used removable putty on the back to help them stay in place. It was also suggested to use a fly swatter and swat the interval rather than slap.  Like all of Cecilly’s games, you can modify it to work for you. If you play it, let us know how it worked out!

Interval path “Slap” Game:

Either on a table or on the floor, lay out 2 sets of ABC cards in a
straight line,  row, or slightly curved (like a rainbow). Have the
student stand or sit facing the cards.

Much of this activity is “silent”. The teacher calls out “Starting
note” followed by a letter (ie “Starting note: C”). The student
places his pointer finger just below one of the C’s. Then the
teacher dictates a simple 5 or so note interval path saying the
direction and interval (ie up a 2nd, up a 2nd, up a 2nd, down a 2nd,
etc.). The student may follow the path with his finger after each
interval. Then the teacher, when the path is completed, calls
out “Slap!” The student then slaps the final note as fast as he can
(ie “Starting note:C, up a 2nd, up a 2nd, up a 2nd, down a 2nd,
SLAP!”) AT THE SAME TIME, you, the teacher, also go to slap the
correct letter card. Whoever slaps first earns a point.

You can make the path as complicated as you wish depending upon the
student’s level. Also, you can play it as a SECRET Interval Path
game where the student CANNOT use his fingers to mark the path as you
dictate but must follow the path with his eyes only in silence. When
you call “SLAP!” you both go for the letter.

You could also require that the final letter name be called out along
with the slap. 


Filed under Games, Group lesson ideas, Steps and Skips