This is a question that every music teacher faces – how much do you load students up with theoretical knowledge and how much do you just let them play?

There has never been a subject in which the practical aspect is more important than in music. Learning music should always be about doing in any school Singing, Movement, Playing and listening all play an important part.

No-one would disagree that music lessons in schools should have a lot of practical components. The issue with music teachers is always how much music theory the lessons should include.

If you let it, music theory can become a very dry and boring subject. In a high school or junior high or setting studying keys, scales, transposition and modes can quickly seem irrelevant to the students.

What is important is to link the practical and the theory lessons as much as possible.Whenever possible a theory lesson should start by looking at the piece of music the students are currently playing.

Schools with a Rock based curriculum will find this very easy: plan for a theory lesson as soon as possible after the practical lesson. In this lesson plan the students can a)find and listen to a recording of the song they are playing b) look at written examples of the music c) write down notes and chords, copying out or doing other activities that are appropriate to their level. d) think about suitable arrangements for instruments that would suit the music.

If your school has a more traditional classical or band based approach the theory lesson could be quite similar. The traditional approach is to choose a theory book and make them go through each activity in order, despite the order that they should do things. Instead you could choose a worksheet based on the challenges or problems they are currently facing in their band or orchestra.

Music Theory lessons can be much more fun and rewarding for children learning music in schools if teachers can take more of this integrated approach. music theory worksheets that are written with this in mind certainly will help.