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kiddie-style US theory resources #2299375 07/07/14 02:03 AM
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I am looking for theory resources to recommend to an American friend. He wants to learn theory with a view to improving his music-reading. All the resources I'm familiar with (ABRSM, Trinity) are great at going at nicely paced increments, but confuse him with UK language he doesn't need. He really needs to opportunity to practice things bit by bit, and not be hit by the whole circle of 5ths at once.

Any recommendations?

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Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: ten left thumbs] #2299384 07/07/14 03:09 AM
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http://www.musictheory.net/lessons

http://www.teoria.com/

http://www.8notes.com/theory/

All the above deal in a rather detailed manner the music theory issue...

EDIT: And now I noticed the "kiddie" friendly part in your subject, which probably makes all my links a bit... unusable, but not too much. :P

Last edited by Nikolas; 07/07/14 03:10 AM.
Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: ten left thumbs] #2299424 07/07/14 07:12 AM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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If they are looking for a print series, this is quite solid:

[Linked Image]


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: Nikolas] #2299440 07/07/14 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
http://www.musictheory.net/lessons

http://www.teoria.com/

http://www.8notes.com/theory/

All the above deal in a rather detailed manner the music theory issue...

EDIT: And now I noticed the "kiddie" friendly part in your subject, which probably makes all my links a bit... unusable, but not too much. :P


Thanks Nikolas, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, but this is precisely what I don't want for him. smile He's more needing how you might teach music theory to an 8yo.

Well, how do you teach music theory to an American 8yo?

Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: John v.d.Brook] #2299441 07/07/14 08:26 AM
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Thanks for that John.

Do separate theory exams exist in the US? At kiddie-level, I mean. I know it's bad but exams really drive people here (parents, students, teachers) and it does serve to put focus - on the things they examine. While we ignore the things they don't examine....

Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: ten left thumbs] #2299454 07/07/14 09:06 AM
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Yes, they do. A lot depends on student location. Quite a few states Music Teachers Associations have adopted the Iowa MTA exam program. California has it's own, under the auspices of MTAC. There is also a shred-out program of the Canadian program, but I cannot offer you much info on that.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: ten left thumbs] #2299472 07/07/14 10:17 AM
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The ABRSM language doesn't matter to my daughter (USA). It's not a huge difference.

Last edited by MaggieGirl; 07/07/14 12:10 PM.
Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: ten left thumbs] #2299487 07/07/14 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
At kiddie-level, I mean. I know it's bad but exams really drive people here (parents, students, teachers) and it does serve to put focus - on the things they examine. While we ignore the things they don't examine....

I find ways around it. I now state that testing is for the "mediocre" student who needs the extra boost of external motivation or high school students who need that extra resume padder to get them into Yale. For students who are worse than mediocre, I tell them to take tests at their own risk.

I have several students who don't take tests. We do competitions instead.


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Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: ten left thumbs] #2299489 07/07/14 11:03 AM
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To answer your question:

http://www.kjos.com/sub_section.php?division=6&series=242

These books are awesome.


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Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: AZNpiano] #2299502 07/07/14 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
These books are awesome.

Awesome? Could this possibly be a case of adjective inflation? When Mt Saint Helens erupted, that was awesome. One thing for certain, they are pricey. You formerly used the Snell series if I recall correctly. Do you really think the price differential is justified?


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: John v.d.Brook] #2299524 07/07/14 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
These books are awesome.

Awesome? Could this possibly be a case of adjective inflation? When Mt Saint Helens erupted, that was awesome. One thing for certain, they are pricey. You formerly used the Snell series if I recall correctly. Do you really think the price differential is justified?

I like the Snell/Ashleigh series for the serious students, but since the CM Syllabus has changed so much, I kind of just made my own stuff.

And, yes, those books are awesome. Take a look when you get a chance.


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Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: AZNpiano] #2299718 07/08/14 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
To answer your question:

http://www.kjos.com/sub_section.php?division=6&series=242

These books are awesome.


I can't tell from the sample pages whether they get down to 'serious' theory - is there a level for, OK, I've got the music alphabet but I still get confused in certain key sigs? The review does say they are expensive, and my friend is on a budget, so it would be good to direct him to the right level.

Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: John v.d.Brook] #2299720 07/08/14 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Yes, they do. A lot depends on student location. Quite a few states Music Teachers Associations have adopted the Iowa MTA exam program. California has it's own, under the auspices of MTAC. There is also a shred-out program of the Canadian program, but I cannot offer you much info on that.


Thanks I found info on the Iowa program here:

http://iamta.org/?page_id=172

Are there printed or online materials to help students prepare for these exams? Beyond the few past paper given, I mean.

Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: MaggieGirl] #2299721 07/08/14 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MaggieGirl
The ABRSM language doesn't matter to my daughter (USA). It's not a huge difference.


Yes, there are only a few words, but he was getting confused. The simplest thing may be for him to write them down somewhere visible and refer to it as he goes along.

Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: ten left thumbs] #2299857 07/08/14 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
To answer your question:

http://www.kjos.com/sub_section.php?division=6&series=242

These books are awesome.


I can't tell from the sample pages whether they get down to 'serious' theory - is there a level for, OK, I've got the music alphabet but I still get confused in certain key sigs? The review does say they are expensive, and my friend is on a budget, so it would be good to direct him to the right level.

What do you mean by "serious" theory? Isn't all music theory the same?

I would recommend starting from the most basic level. The books are not expensive. Anyone who is that concerned about the cost of music books probably can't afford piano lessons to begin with. The cost of one lesson here is enough to cover 2-3 of these books.


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Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: AZNpiano] #2299886 07/08/14 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
To answer your question:

http://www.kjos.com/sub_section.php?division=6&series=242

These books are awesome.

Just came back from the music store. TLT, this is probably what you are looking for. It targets elementary school aged students. However, I would not call it awesome. You'll have to give AZN some slack, as he lives in the State of Hyperbole, aka LaLaLand, where if you can roll out of bed in the morning, it's awesome! [Linked Image]


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: ten left thumbs] #2299912 07/08/14 02:31 PM
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Noted, John, thanks for that.

AZN, my friend could never hope to afford piano lessons. He is, however, an excellent guitarist, keen to improve his reading. My advice to him was that as well as actually reading, he would do well to learn some theory.

Thankyou to all responders for your thoughts!

Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: ten left thumbs] #2299921 07/08/14 03:27 PM
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John--

There is actually quite a bit of thought that went into those books. Some of the questions require thinking, and it's not just the "regurgitate the facts" mode of thinking. For some kids, the creative approach works.

It's not for everyone, obviously.


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Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: AZNpiano] #2299953 07/08/14 04:58 PM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
John--

There is actually quite a bit of thought that went into those books. Some of the questions require thinking, and it's not just the "regurgitate the facts" mode of thinking. For some kids, the creative approach works.

It's not for everyone, obviously.

That is obvious, having had a chance to look at it. Which is why I endorsed your recommendation. However, I detest the gross overuse of the word "awesome." No, it's not awesome in any true meaning of the word. It is, however, highly polished and well thought out. And the price reflects that!


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: kiddie-style US theory resources [Re: John v.d.Brook] #2299988 07/08/14 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
John--

There is actually quite a bit of thought that went into those books. Some of the questions require thinking, and it's not just the "regurgitate the facts" mode of thinking. For some kids, the creative approach works.

It's not for everyone, obviously.

That is obvious, having had a chance to look at it. Which is why I endorsed your recommendation. However, I detest the gross overuse of the word "awesome." No, it's not awesome in any true meaning of the word. It is, however, highly polished and well thought out. And the price reflects that!

I've been talking to AZN for at least a couple years, and I don't recall that he ever used "awesome" before.

If he had used "excellent" I assume you would not object. smile

As for whether book A, B or C is excellent, or just good, is a matter of taste, right? smile

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