Theory Workbook – Ah-HA Moment

theory workbook - Shelagh Ah HA moment

Theory Workbook - Ah-HA Moment

Have you ever read a theory workbook and LEAPED for joy when you had that Ah-HA Moment?

Have your students ever asked you “how to” or “why when looking at a theory workbook?”

And... well, “Because I SAID SO” just doesn’t sound like the right answer?

Have you ever felt silly asking a theory book question because, after all... we are the Teachers and aren’t we “supposed” to know the answers?

Have you ever been asked a theory book question by a student and you truly don’t know the answer?

If so, then you are NOT alone!

I started teaching Piano and Theory at the age of 13 (2nd generation Music Teacher).  I was 19 when I received First Class Honours on my ARCT Teacher’s Written (Viva Voce) Examination.  I had studied and researched to be able to answer the “how to and why” questions for teaching piano.

Unfortunately there were no theory workbook courses on the “how to and why” questions for teaching theory.

For almost 30 years, I devoted a lot of time and energy to creating theory workbook binders full of exercises that I could give my students to show them the “how to and why” of theory as, well, I needed to know “how to and why” too.

I ended up with six 3-inch theory workbook binders full of notes, exercises and worksheets that I regularly went to in order to supplement my student’s theory workbook studies.

I had NO ONE to turn to for answers. I had NOWHERE to go to ask questions.  I wasn’t “getting my Ah-HA moment”, but I was trying.

But when it came to modes, I honestly taught them saying “I don’t understand this but you have to count all these tones and semitones… I don’t know why and I don’t know how to do it…sorry”.


Then the Ultimate Music Theory Workbook came to my attention so I bought the Ultimate Teacher Pack and began doing EACH theory workbook myself – right from Basic Rudiments.

I was hooked. I had my first Ah-HA moment! (Get your Teacher Pack today to start your Ah-HA moments too!)

I would carry my theory workbooks with me, I did theory standing in line at the Grocery Store, I did theory while watching TV, I did theory at the dining room table.

I couldn’t stop myself.

This theory workbook gave me one Ah-HA Moment after another.

FINALLY I was seeing the “How to and WHY” theory workbook answers that I had spent nearly 30 years searching for!

And then it happened!

When I came to the chapter on Modes in the Advanced Rudiments theory workbook, honestly – I started to cry.

I finally “GOT IT! My Ah-HA Moment on Modes”.  FINALLY!

Please share your theory workbook Ah-HA moment at the bottom of the blog...

I switched all my students into the Ultimate Music Theory Workbook Series – even if they were in the middle of their level.

I explained to my Music Parents that I had finally found a Theory Workbook Series that made theory easy for students.  And not one parent minded.

The results? My Students had an “Ah-HA” Moment too. They GOT it. We threw out our Theory Workbook Supplement Binders.  Why?  We didn’t need them.

I was so thankful, I emailed Glory St. Germain and, well... the rest is history (or maybe the topic of another Blog!  *grin*).

P.S. Join the conversation - Enter your theory workbook Ah-HA Moment in the comments below.

P.P.S. Want to learn more on how to teach music theory more effectively?  Check out the Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course for Teachers - The Way To Score Success!


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.

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

Shelagh McKibbon-U'Ren


2 thoughts on “Theory Workbook – Ah-HA Moment”

  • Joan Blench says:

    My theory Ah-HA moment (which unfortunately doesn’t appear in the UMT books) came from Howard Goodall’s Big Bangs documentary series about equal temperament. He explains how the Greek mathematician Pythagoras discovered the 1:2 ratio of octaves and the 2:3 ratio of fifths. These are perfect ratios, hence we have perfect unisons, fourths, fifths and octaves. Thirds and sixths are artificially manipulated by equal temperament tuning to “fit in.” I’m sure I was told this at one time, but it really sunk in while watching the video,

  • Wendy Funk says:

    There have been Way too many “A -HA” moments to mention. And I’m still in the Intermediate level! Page after page of yet another “A-HA”. Seriously!!! I can’t wait for the “A-HA” regarding Modes!!

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