How should beginners to music theory start learning?
There isn't any one right way to learn music. But we would always advise you to start at the beginning! And start at the right time. The best age for a child to begin learning music is between the ages of 5 and 9, but starting earlier can be even better. With Soundbops, you can start learning from the age of 3, and follow a structured series of modules that lead a child from the very first steps to following full music notation. We talked about the best age to start learning music in some detail in an earlier post – here.
Begin at the beginning and study the basics and you will build a solid foundation for the next steps to understanding music theory and reading music fluently.
Look at the Musical Alphabet. Music is a language like any other language, and the building blocks of a language are its alphabet. In the case of music, those letters represent notes. A note is a pitch made by a musical instrument. We only use 7 letters, because we use sets called octaves, which take us back to the first note but in a higher pitch. Look below at the Soundbops bops . These are in different colours, and take us through our basic octave: C-D-E-F-G-A-B and back to a higher C. Below is where the notes sit on a keyboard.
Sharps and Flats
Look at the black keys on our keyboard above. These notes increase the number of notes we use to 12 - the 7 natural notes C-B plus 5 sharp or flat notes. Each sharp note is one note higher than the one below it, and a flat note one note below the one above it. So A# is higher than A while A♭ is lower. As we go up the letters, the pitch gets higher. This is a Scale. Scales give order and direction to music.
Chords are notes - usually in threes - combined into one sound. Below is the C major chord. It is made up of C, E and G. You see how easy it is to build chords with Soundbops. It's as easy as CEG!
Soundbops has its own specially developed notation, or way of writing music. Because we're designed for growing minds, we move through stages of complication until our students are ready for full music. We begin with a clear and obvious connection between the notes on the instrument and the notes on the page. They're the same shape and the same colour, so identifying the right notes is intuitive. Below is Mary Had a Little Lamb from our first book.
Soundbops is designed to introduce a child to music, and guide them through fun and learning over modules that build to a good understanding of musical theory, and get them ready to move on to a traditional instrument.