Signs and Symbols, Subscribers, Theory worksheets

The musical detective

Playing a piece of music from a score is sometimes a bit like being a detective. If we want to understand a composer’s intentions we have to look at the visual clues on the stave, as well as knowledge we can glean from the context of the composer and their background. These visual clues come in the form of the signs and symbols we find in written music and their place on the page in relation to other elements of music notation.

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The sound before symbol approach shows us that it is important to develop the inner ear of the student as well as their theoretical understanding. Students should learn how to create and hear sounds, whilst also learning which elements of written notation tell us to make particular sounds. This distinction between skills (being able to emphasise a particular note in a melody, for example) and knowledge (understanding what an accent symbol tells us to do), is also important in the piano TRACKS curriculum. For each of the progressive stages in our curriculum the checklists book contains both a skill list and a knowledge list. Different students will struggle with or excel at both parts of learning at various points in their journey.

As teachers, it is our role to help them develop both sides of this same coin to the best of their ability, and at piano TRACKS we have developed some worksheets that help students learn to identify different musical symbols with ease. These eight quizzes, one for each level of our curriculum, ask students to connect symbols to their names and descriptions. Used in connection with appropriate repertoire and technical discovery at their instrument, these quizzes can encourage students to build a firm foundation on which to become more independent in their music making.

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This pack is currently only available to our subscribers, which costs £5 per month. Each month subscribers get access to a selection of theory worksheets, some already available on our store and some new. Each pack of resources will be available for no extra cost for three months, then it will remain available for a small extra charge. As with all our downloadable resources your purchase entitles you to keep a pdf copy of each worksheet you purchase or receive through a subscription, and to make as many copies of it as you need for use within your own teaching studio. Visit the subscription page on our Payhip store for more information.

Stage C Signs and Symbols