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Do your students struggle with “Theory”?

The word “Theory” is often a barrier for students learning music but is something we can easily tackle.

What I want is for my students to see music theory differently. I like to reframe it as knowledge and make sure they realise that they know a huge amount of theory just through reading music, a chord chart or lead sheet.

If your students struggle with theory then maybe get them to look back at the basics to see what they know. Focus on Sound has a great theory section, where students can look at the starting points for rhythm, pitch and harmony. You can quickly and easily create questions for them and test them on what they know. 

I find that students often know more than they think they do, but because they struggle with one aspect of music theory, they assume they don’t know anything. Creating bespoke lessons and quizzes will help build your students' confidence. You can also quickly and easily display things on the board to show them what something looks or sounds like.

The video below will help you find the music theory resources in Focus on Sound and how to build your own theory tests.

About James Manwaring

James is the Director of Music for the Windsor Learning Partnership Multi-academy Trust. He has held the post of Head of Music at The Windsor Boy's School for over 15 years. James is currently the President-Elect of the Music Teachers Association.