Common Theory Mistakes in Piano Class

As music theory and piano class teachers, we’re always observing the same mistakes occuring in homework assignments!  So, we’ve created a list of the top 5 Common Music Theory Mistakes.  Keep an eye out for these easy to have errors when you submit your homework!

1.Are your stems printing in the right way?

2.Did you remember to include treble and bass clef?

3.Do you meters match?

4.Do all measures have the correct amount of beats?

5.Miss spellings

Ways to ensure your homework is correct.

Before submitting your homework, scan over what you have completed.  Be on the look out for:

  1.  Stem direction – any music note that has the note head (black circle) above the middle line should have a stem (line attached to the note) on the left hand side, pointing in a down direction.  Any music note that has the note head (black circle) below the middle line should have a stem (line attached to the note) on the right side, pointing in a down direction.

Check out our worksheet books for example music lesson homework activities which focus on stem direction.

Happy Birthday July Baby

2.  Double check that the note letters are correctly placed.

Make sure that your song has accurate notes on the correct line positions to show which alphabet letter to play on the staff.  To do this, review each letter one by one while asking yourself “what letter should this be, and what letter is it?”  Prove it to yourself, by reading every letter one more time, and identifying the line which it is sitting on the staff.  To do this you can say out loud, “every good boy deserves fudge” to prove that it is the right note in the right alphabet line.

Here is a video which might help you learn the alphabet letters!

If you have common mistakes, ask your teacher for help.

If you notice that you have mistakes that are happening often, speak to your teacher. Perhaps you have memorized an alphabet letter line wrong.  Or, maybe you are forgetting to add in your clef symbols! Having your teacher understand your specific error can help you identify the problem. Identifying the issue is the most difficult part of correcting an error.  However, once you do this you are on your way to improvement!

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