Lots of Goofs

Have you ever worked on composing with your students and noticed how much trouble they have with all the little rules about symbol placement? Sometimes students ask me why it is so important to put everything in the exact place, and I remind them that music notation has been around for hundreds of years and used by people all over the world. We are very precise so it will stay that way.

This sheet will also help students who are preparing for theory exams.  As a state theory grader for many years, I noticed in particular that students put whole and half rests on the wrong line, stems on the wrong side and in the wrong direction, accidentals after the note, and flags are all over the place!

I made this for students who are about 9 and 10 years old and taking level 4 of the Texas State Theory Test, but one of my younger students asked if I would make an easier version because he thought it looked like fun. If you have any ideas of what should be on an easier version for 6 and 7 year olds, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do!

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4 thoughts to “Lots of Goofs!

  • Innesa

    I like how colorful it is. Something as attractive as this always brings my students attention. Good visual material is the best way to learn.

  • Piano Academy of Ireland

    That is an interesting chart you have there. I think it’s a great way to teach the younger kids and it looks fun too! We see these common theory mistakes all the time and it’s great to get another point of view on the pedagogy department! Thanks a mil!

  • Lauren

    That looks great – often my students won’t notice if something’s wrong if they draw it themselves, but I’ve found that they will normally pick up on the mistake if I demonstrate it. These are all classic goofs which most students seem to make at some stage in their musical progress… it’s really such a great, fun worksheet, I think I’ll use it with my step, grade 1 and grade 2 theory pupils as we wind down for the summer this year. Some of them are 7 years old, but most will have encountered these issues in music theory during the year, so with a little explanation and encouragement, I think this worksheet can help them too. For younger students, you might be able to have a sheet or section with correct symbols which they can compare the incorrect ones to, then explain why the latter is wrong. I find that my pupils seem to remember not to make the same mistake if I let them explain to me what’s gone wrong if they’re having some difficulty. Thank you!

    • susanparadis

      Thanks for your suggestions. Actually, before you posted this comment, I had already made one for younger students that is very much like your suggestions, I think! I post it soon for you to look at.


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