15 Minute Theory Lesson

How to Complete Homework - Make the assignment easily available!

Two part writing occurs when one staff is used for two different instruments, voices, or melody/harmony lines.

Four part writing occurs when two staves are used for four different instruments, voices or melody/harmony lines!

As a Teacher for over 40 years (YIKES!), I have noticed how more "sophisticated" music has become - especially for our Elementary Level Students.

Composers seem to enjoy challenging students with some two part writing in their compositions. However, the theory concepts of writing music in Two Part Writing are different from the "normal" rules for music.

In this Blog, we are going to look at 6 Tips for Two Part Writing.

15 Minute Theory Lesson - How, When and Why...

15 Minute Theory - with whiteboardIn a 15 Minute Theory Lesson, how can you cover all the required material, make it relevant and prepare your students for exams?

Begin with a Lesson Plan that outlines what you want to cover in each lesson. Being prepared to teach using these "done for you" lesson plans will make your 15 Minute Theory Lesson time more effective.

If you include theory as part of a piano/violin/voice (etc.) lesson, begin the first 15 minutes of each lesson by teaching the NEW theory concept.

Do 1 or 2 exercises during the lesson and assign the rest for homework. Use the Whiteboards for creativity during the lesson.

15 Minute - Music Theory Lesson Plans all ready for you to print and use in the UMT Free Resources


  • Prep 1 Lesson Plans
  • Prep 2 Lesson Plans
  • Basic Rudiments Lesson Plans
  • Intermediate Rudiments Lesson Plans
  • Advanced Rudiments Lesson Plans
  • Complete Rudiments Lesson Plans

When marking their homework from the previous week, use the Answer Books for quick and accurate marking. Snip the outside corner of the homework page when both sides are corrected (page numbers are in the middle of the page so they won't be cut off).

Have a small garbage can on your desk (you can get a cute one at the dollar store) where you can put the "snips" after your student completes each page and it has been corrected.

By starting the lesson with theory, the concepts learned can be discovered and analyzed in their music.

When do you do the Review Test? The Review Test is done at the end of each lesson and reinforces all the previous concepts. Doing the Review Tests builds confidence and knowledge. Set your goals high. Put a happy face or a sticker on the Review Test if your student gets a mark of over 90%.

You can also incorporate USE (Ultimate Sight and Ear) as part of your Review Test by taking the concept being taught in the lesson and creating Sight Reading and Ear Training exercises. For example, if the concept being taught in the lesson is Major and minor scales, play several scales on the piano and ask your students to identify them as:

  • Major
  • minor harmonic
  • minor melodic
  • minor natural

You may want to add a blues scale or a whole tone scale just to make sure they are "really listening".

Incorporating "USE" Ultimate Sight and Ear activities into each lesson builds strong musicianship.

15 Minute Theory Lesson - whiteboardWhy do you use Whiteboard Activities? Simply because they make learning fun. Use the small whiteboards in your studio.

By including easy games at the end of each lesson (even for a 1 or 2 minute madness game), students leave feeling happy and confident.

Use the whiteboards for:

  • Sight Reading
  • Transposing
  • Note Naming
  • Scales, etc.

15 Minute Theory Lesson - Yes you can.

  • How? Start each lesson with theory so it becomes a successful habit!
  • When? Every week, set goals, review previous concepts, be successful!
  • Why? Use the tools for learning that bring happiness, joy and inspiration. 

Use Flashcards or Whiteboard activities at the end of each lesson just for fun.

Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course Online Teacher Training includes: 50 Video Sessions, All Materials, Online Support,
Exam Marking & Certificate!

Click HERE to discover what you will learn in the Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course.  Your professional development Online Teacher Training starts here.

Teach With Passion... Enriching Life Through Music Education!

Glory St. Germain


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