This has been a particularly busy week for us. In fact, I have yet to sit down in about 48 hours (we have a stand-up computer desk). This means that our household tasks have fallen slightly by the way side. Most noticeably the grocery shopping.
It was while my 6 year old crunched on her milk-less cereal last night with a face of pure dissatisfaction that my mind drifted to theory.
An equally dry subject.
If you had a piano education similar to mine, you dragged a coil-bound theory book back and forth to your piano lessons. You spent hours at the kitchen table drawing enharmonic equivalents, melodic scales, and diatonic semitones. You submitted your book for marking and it came back with check-marks (or not!).
And then you opened your music book and didn’t take notice any of those same things on your page.
Why does this happen? What causes this disconnect between theory book and music?
It’s missing the milk!
Pour Some Milk On It And Watch the Magic Happen
The key to taking the blah out of theory and strengthening the connection between theory and music is two fold. 1) It has to be memorable and 2) It has to be relevant. This is your “milk”. Without these two things theory is just theory. And it’s dry. And tasteless. And hard to chew.
When approaching theory with your piano kids be sure to always remember the milk. Find ways to explain theory concepts in ways that are memorable. Be goofy, be fun, add real-life experiences and above all relate it to their current music. Teach piano theory using your student’s current piece for maximum connection-value.
We’ve done all the leg-work for you when it comes to making piano theory relevant and exciting and usable with any method book series for in-context learning. These 88 theory activities take your regular old oat bran piano theory and turn it into chocolate milk covered cocoa-puffs! Check it out here and join the hundreds of teachers who are turning their theory instruction on its head.