Music Theory

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. [···]

Read More

A teacher’s job neither starts nor ends in the studio.  Preparation, brainstorming, caring, ideas, inspiration, creativity… these are only a few words to describe the immense responsibility we have outside of the studio.  Have you ever found yourself writing a letter outside teaching hours to encourage a student who is struggling with their first Minuet or help a parent who needs advice on inspiring their child to practice, or researched the best local pianos for sale?

Take your job seriously in all respects. 🙂  I have discovered that when we, as teachers, enjoy what we do, our students have a sense of ownership, joy, and satisfaction in the accomplishments they have made at their instruments.  You all are wonderful teachers! Keep pouring into your students and enjoy every moment and opportunity you have to make a difference in their lives through music.

I will…


  • pray for my day’s list of students before entering the studio.
  • look students in the eyes, let them know how glad I am to see them, and smile!… be cheerful
  • give clear practice instructions, demand only the best and be patient when practice weeks don’t reach those expectations
Read More