What to do if a student refuses to complete their music theory worksheet

Learning Music Theory is an essential part of becoming a musician.

Like it or not, music students are going to have to face the fact that there is no other choice but to sit down with a pencil in the hand and make the music theory study happen.

A search for “music theory” on twitter every day will show you how students feel about preparing for music theory assessments and doing music theory homework. This is a very enlightening thing for a teacher to do, as you really do get a concept of how the students are feeling about the subject.

There is no real reason for the students to dislike learning music theory. Personally I find that music theory is a very satisfying activity in itself, and I find that I enjoy sitting down with a pencil and paper and working out a harmony exercise. I find that one of the best ways that I can get the students inspired about music theory is to share my enthusiasm for the subject. If I am enthusiastic about music theory, then the students will be as well.

But what do you say when the student comes to their lesson, and their music theory worksheet is not done, and its been happening over and over?

Well there is no value in taking privileges away from them – or trying to somehow “punish” them for not doing it, as this will just make the activity more negative in the student’s mind.

There is also not a great value in Extrinsic rewards, like sticker charts or stars, as this might work in the short term, but not really in the long term. The only thing that really will work is getting the student to enjoy the activity for the activity’s sake.

If students can enjoy music theory for what it is, then they will find doing music theory worksheets a breeze!

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