When I was learning music I loved listening to and watching others play piano and always wanted to be able to play like them. So when my aunt first started teaching me to play I was ecstatic and loved it. Unfortunately that excitement was extremely short lived. This was in part because of many reasons that I will share in future blogs but one major reason was because I just didn’t want to learn music theory.
I found it mind numbingly boring and simply couldn’t understand why I had to learn music theory when all I wanted to do was play piano like my mom, dad and aunt.
I just couldn’t make the connection of how learning music theory would help me when all I wanted was to have fun on the keys and make awesome music.
If you have never learned music theory or are having kids learning music right now, I’m sure you must also be experiencing the same push back.
Music theory often seems so pointless and so boring that most kids don’t see why they have to bother with it, most parents don’t want their kids to learn theory if they don’t want to and many music teachers themselves do not feel competent enough to teach theory in a fun and engaging way.
The end result then is that most kids don’t learn theory and they miss out on the opportunity to improve their playing and gain the many benefits that the study of music theory could provide them.
In my case I was forced to learn theory and I am extremely thankful for that today.
As I grew up and began teaching younger children I also realized how those that were actively learning music theory were able to progress faster than those that were not.
It was only then that it hit me that learning to play piano without the knowledge of music theory is like going to the gym hoping to become a world class weight lifter, working on weight lifting, but ignoring all the other important aspects like strength training, endurance training and nutrition.
I’m sure you get my point, learning music theory is essential if your child is to develop strong musicmanship skills.
Whether your child is learning to play piano, or some other instrument, whether you child is learning to play music online, in the home school or with a traditional piano teacher, or whether you are unschooling your child, either way learning music theory alongside the practical side of learning an instrument is essential.
Kids who learn music theory when learning to play an instrument are often able to play very complex pieces because they have developed strong note reading and interpretation skills that simply playing an instrument without learning music theory alone cannot provide.
When learning music theory, kids also learn to analyse music pieces and this in turn helps them acquire all the necessary skills to compose and arrange music that is not possible with just learning to play an instrument alone.
Research indicates that kids who learn music theory are able to rapidly transfer the skills from one instrument to another and thereby, learn to play more than one instrument.
Because you see what you are learning, you are able to interpret it and appreciate it better and therefore learning music theory helps to develop kids’ composition skills.
Last but not least, one of the greatest benefits of learning music theory is that it helps kids to retain what they are learning at a much higher rate than those that do not learn music theory. They also gain a better understanding of the subject and learning music theory also helps to engage visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners, which is something that learning to play an instrument without the music theory cannot do.
As you can see, learning music theory is essential. This is one of the reasons why I have included music theory in all of my online homeschool piano courses. Whether it is a mini six week course or a 1 year homeschool piano curriculum, music theory is an essential component of all my programs because I know how important it is. Also since I have first hand experience of how boring it can be, I have taken steps to ensure that all music theory activities are fun and engaging for children of all ages and therefore include lots of games, puzzles and interactive worksheets.
Whether your child is learning to play piano or some other instrument, music theory as you can see, can help to fast track the learning process and provide your child with a solid foundation in music. This is why I have a course that focuses only on Music Theory, my aim is to help kids who are either learning an instrument other than the piano or are attending traditional piano, vocal or music classes with a teacher that does not teach music theory – to have an opportunity to learn music theory and progress faster in their musical journey.
Come check out my Learn Music Theory course and my other courses and let me know what your experiences have been in the past, if you or your child learned music theory.