How To Teach Music Theory When Your Students Don’t Care About it?

Are you one of those music teachers whose music theory class appears to be so quiet and boring?

Additionally, when you are one of those, then for sure, your students are not really interested in your music theory lessons.

If the class appears boring and students are disinterested, then can you say that you’re an effective music teacher?

Worry no more because there are different ways on how you can make your music theory class interesting and fun.

Ways on How to Make your Music Theory class a fun one:

  1. Teach by making use of musical instruments.
  2. Teach by listening to a song or music.
  3. Teach by playing games.
  4. Teach through film showing or educational videos.
  5. Teach by doing an educational tour or nature walk.

1. Teach by making use of musical instruments.

Yes I know that it’s a music theory class, but even though it’s a theory class, still you can make use of the musical instruments to make the class fun and enjoyable.

Well definitely using a musical instrument in music theory class is a must. Why? Because it can give a physical image or representation of the things that you are discussing in a music theory.

So for example, you are discussing the topic “Musical Chords”. So you might get a guitar and try to play a song and then let the students observe and identify what chords are and how the chords were used to make the guitar produce a sound.

Based on their answers, you can ask them to define in their own a language what is a “music chord”?

See? The class will definitely become more interested by seeing you play a music instrument and enjoy the song that you are playing. 

They become entertained, become curious that they start thinking and for sure they can learn something.

2. Teach by listening to a song or music.

Aside from using a music instrument as part of your teaching tools in a music theory class, you can also play a song, maybe through a music player, something that loud enough so the whole class can hear.

You must choose a song that you think would be a good fit for your topic or something that you think is a trend nowadays because for sure the whole class will be interested in that song or music.

Also, you can ask them what song or music they like or they want to listen to.

So for example, your topic is about “Music Notes”. You can give the class a copy of the lyrics of the song/music and discuss them while the song is playing at the background, all about the topic “Notes”. 

After that when they already have the idea, let them identify the notes used in the song that is playing at the background.

3. Teach by playing games.

When you hear the word “game”, what is the first thing that will come into your mind?

Fun. Yes games are really fun!

So might try to make your music class fun by incorporating a game within it.

There are many kinds of games and it is up to you what kind of game will you use during your music theory class.

So for example, your topic is about “Musical Symbols”. You might print cards containing the names of the musical symbols and then you will divide the class into groups and each group has those cards with the names of the symbols.

Then you will show images of those symbols in front and let the group identify the name of the symbol that you showed to them. The group that can answer correctly will earn  graded points. After that you might want them to explain the use of the musical symbol in their own words. Then all you have to do is add explanations to their answers.

4. Teach through film showing or educational videos.

Entertain. Yes! Entertain your student! How? Why not do a film showing in your music theory class?

So make sure to choose a nice movie, documentary or educational videos. Also, make sure that whatever you choose, you can relate it to your music theory topic.

Also, do not forget the element that must be present in your film showing which is – fun! Your class must be able to laugh. Ofcourse, no one wants to be bored just sitting there and watching a boring movie, not interesting at all.

5. Teach by doing an educational tour or nature walk.

They say music is all around us. That is why we can talk about music everywhere.

So if you want a really fun and enjoyable experience of your music theory class, try to walk your class outside your classroom. Let them experience and understand music theory through nature and the things that they see and hear everywhere.

It’s refreshing and very much filled with adventure. Nature can offer a music theory lesson that no other music teacher can do.

According to George Santayana, “The earth has music for those who listen.” It can be said that to understand and appreciate nature is to also understand music.

So for example, while doing the tour, you might ask questions to the students about all the sounds that they heard and let them explain what they feel about it. And also, you can discuss your topic while doing the tour by relating it to the things and sounds in nature.

Also, at the end of the tour, you might want them to write a reflection paper about how they can relate music to nature.

The above ways on how to make your students enjoy music theory class are just examples and there are still a lot of ways you can incorporate in your class.

Try to be creative and imaginative. Always make sure that whatever method you’ll use, your class will not only enjoy but will surely learn the music topic also.

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