music theory text for 4-6 graders
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    suggestions, anyone?
  • Arlene, "MusicAce" software has proven to be a steady favorite of public school teachers for nearly two decades.
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    hmmmm....two things I don't like (I want a book).....and public school.....

    I don't want to be hard to please, but, well, I am.
  • Arlene, dear heart...
    "Public School" isn't a perjorative; we're talking music literacy here, not the break down of western civilization. I got my copy of MusicAce at Costco, not from some educational shill. Heck, after yesterday's liturgies, I might even renew my public teaching credential!
    Books are great. No argument. But turning a blind-eye towards the possibility of self-motivated, self-guided and built-in accountability that software education provides is akin to cutting your nose off to.....
    I'm not dissing the Ward method, Kodaly, Dalcroze or any other "systematic" curriculum. You asked, and there's tons of great, great software that choristers should take advantage of. And how do I know this? Because "singers" flunk out of first year theory in college faster than any other music major sub-group.
  • rogue63
    Posts: 404
    I've been using these two with my 3rd-5th graders and the results have been pretty good; actually, the age range of 4th to 6th would probably be even better, since the 3rd graders are just a bit slow on the uptake. They can recognize and understand the notation so far.

    Jay Althouse--"Ready to Read Music"
    Jay Althouse--"60 Music Quizzes for for Theory and Reading"
    both published by Alfred

    "Ready to Read" is arranged in 4 units, covering basic symbols and rhythm to note names and expressive markings. The quiz book is correlated--more or less--to the "Ready to Read", and a judicious choice of how to blend them is up to the teacher. I like these since they go at a slow enough pace and the quizzes allow for adequate repetition, and if you're working on singing age-appropriate repertoire at the same time, this should lead to some real musical literacy in a few years.
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look at the Althouse books. Anything else? Anyone?

    And Charles, I have nothing against software. I'll be doing Ward with the really little ones. That will be fun. But I don't think software would be useful for the small class of 4-6 graders I have agreed to teach for a homeschooling coop/upstart private school (meeting in the classrooms of a Presbytarian church - no computers in the classrooms) in the fall. A book just seems like a better way to go.

    And there's something else about having a book, too...maybe you could all share your experience here...but mine is that music education is routinely seen as icing on the cake these days. Extracurricular. not required. not serious. homework? oh please. I'm so tired of this. I refuse to tolerate it because I don't have to. If my piano students don't practice? They're no longer my students. So I know I should be grateful for my privileged position.

    When I agreed to teach these two music classes for the burgeoning private school, it was with the understanding that music courses be seen as on par with the other subjects being taught. Scheduled at prime times, same amount of homework expected, same fee, etc. It was a long shot- but the organizers bought it. So it will be a grand experiment. And I think a textbook will be a good thing. Looks serious. Students can put them in their backpacks along with their math books, history books, pencil cases and fly catchers.
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    2 excellent theory workbooks for kids. Johnson is much more detailed than Lawry & Roper. I've used both volumes for many years. Focus is on western notation. There are many free theory websites for music teachers. Check them out. If you wish, I could send you a list or check my website under educational materials or student resources.

    1) Johnson, Julie McIntosh. Basics of Keyboard Theory (10 Volumes-- Prep thru Advanced).
    J. Johnson Music Pulbications
    5062 Siesta Lane
    Yorba Linda, Ca 92886
    Phone: 714-961-0257
    Fax: 714-242-9250

    2) Lawry, A & Roper, R. Just the Facts II: A Music Theory Workbook (14 Volumes--Beginner A,B,C, Prep thru Advanced)
    MusicBag Press
    P.O. Box 866953
    Piano, Tx. 75086-6953
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    Sorry. The website resources can be found on my website tab 'Student Activities' then 'Fun Links.
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    Thanks, Janice. I hadn't really thought about a theory workbook - because the class will be more general, and these kids don't necessarily play any instruments or sing (the sorry state of affairs!!!). But this forces me to get my ducks in a row and figure out exactly what I should cover and how I should go about it. I'll look at your site.
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    The website is very general, mostly kid 'fun stuff'. But there are a few free online theory sites you can access. Workbooks are best. jan
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,053

    May I echo the use of the Althouse. I use them in a private school setting. They work very well, coupled with solfege and other singing exercises. I use them with some changes for adults, too.

  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Arlene, I was going to ask you how you wanted to use those theory books. I found kids love playing recorder. I even tried 5th graders in a private school, and they loved it. (Some older kids I ended up giving lessons for Alto recorder, because they really wated to learn more.) I think you could have them sing solfeges with songs or play some simple instruments like recorder, and it would be very good to combine with the theory. Kids were more motivated to learn to read notes, starting with G, A, B on the recorder. My 2c.