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I often see the sad faces of students when it comes to the topic of elementary music
theory; for many of them the subject is boring and unexciting. One reason for this
aversion is that teachers do not use music theory games during these lessons.
Why? With this question I went to several teachers and heard the following reasons:
lack of money to buy and no time to search for music theory games as well as their
use in the classroom. The lion's share of the lesson is spent on checking homework
and mostly on explaining new material to the students. In practice almost no time
left. On the one hand the reason is actually justifiable. After all, the lessons
only last 60 minutes once a week. Moving from lesson to lesson, students quickly
forget what the teacher explained last time and what they practiced. And nobody at
home can help...
The importance of music theory cannot be overstated. It is for musicians what mathematics
is for regular people. You cannot do without it.
I think you will agree with me that if teachers plan only to explain a new topic
and check the old one, then not only will children get bored but adults too. This
subject consists entirely of rules that you need to be familiar with and be able
to apply. Every young musician should learn the ropes in it, if he wants to move
further up the ladder of knowledge.
Teachers’ paucity of funds for music theory games is also a very valid reason, but
only for beginners, because experienced teachers can find funds for additional educational
materials. Please remember: a good teacher always has a busy schedule!
Let us assume that your teacher is experienced but still, for some reason, he or
she does not use music theory games in the classroom. Why? Maybe because he may simply
not know that there are games that can be used not only to explain new material well
and get excellent practice done during class, but also for students to practice at
home. When playing the music theory games, the child simply does not notice the complexity
of the material because he is not learning; he is playing! Music theory games significantly
increase the interest and motivation of children to learn lessons, believe my experience.
I often meet people who say they do not like computer games, and they repeat other
people's arguments about their dangers. You know why? Because these people are not
aware that there are good educational games available, or they just do not know how
to play them! Do not criticize them; just teach them how to play and you will see
how their lives will become more interesting and exciting.
How to improve the situation? How to find a compromise? How to blur the line between
lack of money and indifference to the music theory games?
If you, dear parents and supporters of educational games, really want to help your
child improve his or her knowledge of music theory, search on the Internet for music
theory games, show the teacher everything that is up to date on this subject, and
ask him to choose one of the games for your child. Obviously the game should be related
to the topic that your child is studying at the moment. Ask the teacher to learn
the game himself and teach it to your son or daughter.
Once your child learns it, ask him to demonstrate it to you, dear parents and his
younger sister or brother.
Keep yourself up to date with your child’s music theory lessons and learn newer music
theory games accordingly. You will then see a significant change for the better not
only in your child but also in his teachers!