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!
Theory Stars New in the Texas Theory Test for Grade 4
Whole Step Half Step Stars
Printable Keyboard (for Scales F-B)
C Scale Keyboard (New)
Last year I posted a game, the Whole Half Step Game, that I developed to construct scales on the piano keyboard. Recently, I made a paper keyboard using the same colors as the game so it will be a set. Students often have trouble transferring knowledge from one skill to another similar skill. I’m sure you’ve noticed that in your teaching. This paper keyboard is big enough so that students can use manipulatives on it to construct scales. At the bottom is the whole half step pattern for major and minor scales, as a reference.
I’m sure you creative teachers can think of a game to go along with this printable. Please share if you do!
Before you use either of these materials, be sure they understand the difference in a whole and half step.
As a bonus, this keyboard is so large that it works well on the iPad!
So what comes first, a paper keyboard or a real keyboard? Generally, a real keyboard works best for most children. They need to go from concrete to abstract. However, some children benefit from getting away from the piano. All of us learn differently, so a multi-sensory approach is a good thing. If they don’t get it one way, try another! It’s worth remembering that when they do theory worksheets, they will not have a real keyboard, so they need to learn how to transfer information.
By the way, the Whole Step Half Step Game, which I posted about a year ago, is an excellent game to teach scales. It’s colorful and fun, and it really teaches the concept of how to construct a scale. I know my directions seem hard to understand, but give it a try, because it’s really very easy.
Whole Half Step Game to Learn How to Make Scales
Whole Half Step Game