music theory resources

Groove website-3

“Here’s my top tip for musicians interested in becoming better improvisers: Forget the metronome. Practice with backing tracks, those auto-accompaniment loops that inspire, keep you on the beat, and mesmerize you into practice loops.” -Bradley Sowash, jazz improv specialist.

If you aren’t sure how to find or create backing tracks, I’d like to personally invite you to a webinar called “Groove Your Theory. The idea stems from Bradley’s regular use of backing tracks in his lessons and his own practice. We also use them at our 88 Creative Keys keyboard improvisation workshops that Bradley and I co-founded four years ago.

The webinar will be packed full of ideas that will help you save practice (or lesson) time as you compress theory, timing and technique and creativity into one activity. [···]

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Nothing captures my attention more than creativity. Ok, nothing captures my attention more than clever creativity. Well, how ’bout, nothing captures my attention more than consistently clever creativity. Bonus? Consistently clever, creative and hip too!

That’s what TCW or “Three Cranky Women” (yes that’s what they call themselves) have done with theory/piano teaching materials since 1993. I was attracted to their unique games years ago and continually add more to my ever-growing collection. Like I said–I am an easy target for consistently clever creativity, especially when it is hip AND enhances my students’ music education.

They don’t look too cranky to me…

TCW’s products are now published by Kjos and one of their newest releases is a revised version of a theory book called Theory Gymnastics Accelerando 2. I own other TCW theory book publications and have admired them but not used them with my students for various reasons. However, I plan to use this one as a jump start for tweeners, teens, transfers and adults who need a boost or for those preparing for festival theory tests or AP theory courses. Each page students learn through one-of-a-kind written exercises–more like games–with clever slants and levels of difficulty.


What You Will Find:

1) Comprehensive Curriculum: Count on TCW to include systematic units that cover basic theory knowledge. If a student feels confident with all the content of this book, it will serve them well for a lifetime.

2) Variety: Twenty-one units are offered from Time Signatures, to Inversions, to Form, to Music History, to…The authors state that each unit can be prescribed in any order at the teacher’s discretion. This variety encourages teachers to shift to various concepts as needed and keeps learning fresh. [···]

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