Test your knowledge of music theory and have some fun with the exercises, information, videos, and games below, from Theory Instructor Geneviève Leclair.
A few music theory jokes:
Q: Why was the musician arrested?
A: He was in treble
Q: What do you get when you drop a piano into a mine shaft?
A: A Flat Miner
Subito piano: Indicates an opportunity for some obscure orchestra player to become a soloist.
Some fun videos that mix theory knowledge and humour.
The Music Theory Song
Best music theory advice:
- Practice, practice, practice… because practice makes perfect!!
- Be curious! Don’t wait for your teachers to bring things up (even if you know they will!). Seek out the knowledge, ask questions, look it up on your own.
- 10 minutes of practice every day is better than 1 hour every week. Your ears train the same way as an athlete’s muscles. They need repetition in order to learn and perform. The same amount of practice is more useful if you break it down into regular and smaller sessions than if you do it all at once.
- Each time you pick up your instrument, include 5 minutes of sight singing.
- Each time you practice, include 5 minutes of sight reading.
Useful music theory exercises:
Take the piece you are currently working on.
- Read the names of the notes.
- Sing the rhythm on syllables without the pitches. (If you are not familiar with signing with the names of rhythms, ta-ta-ta will do.)
- Sing the names of the notes in rhythm.
For advanced students:
Every day, pick one of these lines and sing it in all the different clefs (bass, baritone, tenor, alto, mezzo-soprano, soprano, treble, French violin). Why? Because this will make you fluent in all clefs. And why is that useful? Because this will make you fluent with all transpositions.
For some musical family fun, try out some card games and board games about music, instruments or more advanced music theory: