Summer Theory Lessons

Summer Theory Lessons reinforce learning

Summer Theory Lessons

Summer - a time for play, sun, relaxation and Summer Theory Lessons. Don't have time (energy or space) to run a Summer Theory Camp? Then try The Ultimate Music Theory Summer Theory Drop-In Club! You can meet Granny D too! (Check out the video below.)

Summer Theory Lessons - What do you need?

When I run my UMT Summer Theory Drop-In Club, all I need is:

  • my dining room table (any table that seats students comfortably)
  • my Ultimate Music Theory Answer Books (for fast marking)
  • my Ultimate Music Theory Whiteboard
  • scissors (to clip every completed page of theory)
  • one styrofoam "cup" for each student who will be attending (to create a personalize "garbage can" for each student's page clips - more on that activity later!)
  • easy access to your piano or keyboard
  • a healthy snack (frozen treats or fresh fruit are favorites with my students, and I can meet all special health needs!)
  • optional - an "easy button" and a "panic button" (those novelty "sound buttons" so students can push one when they finish a page - "That was Easy" - or push a different one when they have a question - "Stay Calm" or some other silly saying)

Summer Theory Lessons - Goal

Summer Theory Lessons are FunThe goal of the Summer Theory Drop-In Club is simply for students to complete a lot of theory in a little amount of time. Oh, and have fun!

For my UMT Summer Theory Drop-In Clubs, any student who is at ANY point in any level in the Ultimate Music Theory Series can attend. At any Drop-In, I might have students representing each of the 4 theory levels (Preparatory, Basic, Intermediate and Advanced). The best Summer Drop-In Lessons have students of all levels.

The joy of this is that when I take a moment to explain a new concept or review a tricky concept, all the other students hear the explanation. Therefore, they either get the review or they get motivated about something new and exciting that is coming up.

Summer Theory Lessons - Length

My Summer Theory Drop-Ins are 2 hours in length. Yes, 2 hours of theory fun and activities...and believe me, I've had kids BEG to not leave at the end of the 2 hours.

Summer Theory Lesson - Lesson Format

Summer Theory Lessons - Mark with the Answer BooksAt their first Drop-In, each child gets to personalize and decorate "their" garbage can - the styrofoam cup then becomes their storage container for clipped completed theory pages. (I keep all their little garbage cans in a box and when they come to their Drop-In, they get to find their garbage can for me.)

You can use your imagination to reward students for each of those little clipped corners. I like "bribery" - each clipped corner is worth a "treat". You can do a "Bead Challenge" - each clipped corner adds a bead to the child's "string". Students could earn "Theory Bucks" to make a "purchase" from the treat box. (Feel free to share your ideas below!)

I run my Summer Theory Drop-In Lessons the same way.

  • First one to arrive is the first to have any "bonus pages" (pages completed at home) marked.
  • While I am marking, the students are simply working ahead in their workbooks. (They read the explanation themselves and start working on the questions.)
  • After all bonus pages are marked (and each child's clipped page corners are put in THEIR "trash can"), I just start marking pages as they are completed.
  • For one hour, I sit there and every time the student hits the "Easy" button (when they complete the writing work on one page), they pass me their book to mark their page!
  • Snack Time! After one hour, we have our (Optional) "commercial break" - we have our snack and watch a music/theory related YouTube Video.

Ultimate Music Theory has your first Two You-Tube Videos right here for your first two Snack Times:

Watch the Ultimate Music Theory Lesson with Granny D - Bass Clef!


Watch the Ultimate Music Theory Lesson with Granny D - Tied Notes!

Then, back to Work until the parents come and drag the kids away from the table!

Summer Theory Lessons - Registration

It is a Drop-In, so students can sign up to participate in 1 group or all the groups.

For me, I simply decide which dates I want my Summer Theory Lessons to be, and send an email to all my students saying something like this:

Ultimate Music Theory Summer Theory Drop-In Lessons are NOW AVAILABLE!

Space is Limited to the first 5 Students for each Drop-In Lesson, so sign up early!

Cost: Here you can choose to use whatever payment plan works best for you.

Option#1: Take your 2 hour lesson fee and charge 1/2 of that rate per student per Drop-In Lesson. The student gets 2 hours for the price of 1, and you can have a financially successful Theory Drop-In with only 2 students.

Option #2: Take your 2 hour lesson fee and charge 1/3 of that rate. Again, you "break even financially" with 3 students. Any more is "bonus".

Now here comes the important part - you must state the following:

To Register: Simply indicate which dates your child will Drop In on the form below. Include a $15 non-refundable registration fee for each Theory Drop-In that you register your child for. The balance of $____ (per Drop-In Lesson) is due in cash when you drop your child off for their Summer Theory Lesson. (Note: You can also do full payment requirement up front too.)

Cancellation Policy: If you must cancel your child's participation, 48 hours notice is required. If less than 48 hours notice is given, or if no notice is given, you will be charged the remaining balance of the Drop-In Lesson Fee. Lessons cancelled with more than 48 hours notice will not be charged the remaining balance. Please note - the Registration Fee of $15 per Drop-In Lesson is non-refundable.

Ultimate Music Theory Drop-In Lesson Dates: Then list the dates. My Summer Theory Drop-In Calendar will look like this, so they simply check the dates they will attend.

  • Tuesday July 5th: __ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm OR  __ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Thursday July 7th: __ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm OR __ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 12th: __ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm OR __ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Thursday July 14th: __ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm OR __ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 19th: __ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm OR __ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Thursday July 21: __ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm OR __ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

OPTION: For Student who want to attend both drop-ins, you can offer a "lunch service"!

Summer Theory Lessons ROCK with UMT!

Summer Theory Lessons - Snack Time!You can offer Summer Theory Drop-In Lessons as often or as little as you want. But it is a super fun way to keep students working on theory (and make some money during the summer).

From my experience, it takes a bit of "coaxing" to get kids hooked on the idea of having fun with Theory - but now I have students who plan their holidays around when I am having Summer Theory Drop-In Lessons! There are no lesson plans to make (except selecting your "commercial break" of the day, and that's optional!) and if it is nice weather, you can even do theory outside! Bonus!


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Keep on Learning... With a Smile and a Song!

Shelagh McKibbon-U'Ren


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