Teaching music theory online
Following the closure of schools and social restrictions, music educators have been compelled to find dynamic ways to enable their students’ learning. Musicroom explains how they are supporting teachers delivering music theory lessons remotely.
Musicroom has always been dedicated to supporting music-making and music education, whether that be through reducing prices on instruments and technology, providing free sample materials for beginners or giving educators discounts and free shipping. Since school closures, Musicroom has also been hosting free classroom music lessons at Key Stages 1,2 and 3 written by Rhinegold Education, enabling all children to continue in their musical education.
Many of these free online lessons from Rhinegold Education tackle important aspects of music theory, including the basics of music literacy, listening skills, identifying musical devices and developing technical vocabulary. Most importantly, they aim to encourage a love for musical learning at home. Lessons 6 at Key Stages 2 and 3 are the beginning of a series of online lessons explicitly designed to develop skills relevant to the principal theory syllabuses. We hope these will provide theory teachers with valuable tools as they move their lessons online.
Towards this end, Musicroom is also pleased to provide a comprehensive review of some of the best music theory resources available, enabling teachers to make informed decisions about how best to meet the needs of each individual student when delivering music theory lessons online. Through our ‘Music Theory Review’ blog, educators can access an overview of both content and methodology in resources by a range of authors and publishers.
In addition, Musicroom will also be providing a free sample pack of theory resources, enabling teachers to test out first-hand what will work best for their online lessons. Picking the right resource for the right learner will be at the heart of successful online learning, and we hope that our review blog and sample pack will help educators navigate through the plethora of great material out there.
In the meantime, although presenting many challenges, being compelled to deliver music theory lessons online can also catalyse a more creative approach to delivery, assessment and monitoring progression. Here are a few tips for great music theory lessons:
- Explore playing fun and engaging theory games in order to assess understanding and consolidate learning. Games such as music theory ‘Bingo’ and music theory ‘Battleships’ can work well in an online lesson. Don’t be afraid to explore the number of online crossword and word search creators also! They can be great for assessing understanding of concepts and technical vernacular.
- Online music theory lessons present a good opportunity to encourage independent learning and self-assessment. Teoria.com has a range of flexible and personalised online learning exercises that are excellent for this.
- Intelligent online theory websites such as Teoria.com also allow for a greater level of differentiated theory tasks to suit the individual needs of each pupil. Avoiding a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to teaching will encourage deeper learning and a faster rate of progression in the long term.
- Rapid and meaningful feedback. Avoid giving just ticks and arbitrary scores. Think about building a digital ‘skills’ marking book, where you assess pupils’ understanding of theory concepts rather than merely archiving their scores. This motivates those who struggle whilst also encouraging the more able to continually up-skill. Share this digital skills book with your pupils and their parents/guardian so they can take ownership of their learning.
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