At our KMTA conference this year, I was asked to present a short session about all the resources that are on the ComposeCreate blog for helping students prepare for the Kansas Music Progressions, the Washington Audition Examinations, and the North Idaho exams. I thought it would be helpful to provide a similar blog post so that you can just easily see where things are located. First, here is the Music Progressions curriculum in case you are interested in following it for your students. It’s a great way to make sure you are covering most all of the bases!
One of the most helpful things that I have done for my students is to develop a section of this site called Web Rewards. On each level of Web Rewards pages, there are online activities (links to games, drills, worksheets I’ve created, even a bit of melodic and rhythmic dictation, etc.) that specifically help students prepare for almost every part of the theory and listening exam. I used to give a small piece of candy for every time the student completed an activity (which is what I called it Web Rewards), but now it is just an assigned part of their lesson every week. Students complete the activity, record their score (or bring the worksheet so that I can check it), and I keep track of their score in my lesson plan each week so that I know on what activities they need more work.
The Web Rewards section can be used by any teacher to help students be prepared for their own music exams as well as just to review or teach concepts. It is located under the Students menu. Just mouse over “Students” and you’ll see the drop down menu with Web Rewards levels listed. Here is a screen shot so that you can see it:
Practice Theory Tests
I developed 10 levels of Practice Theory Tests a number of years ago that help students prepare for the theory exam. Answer key is included in the packet and there is also a Level A for your students not yet ready to be involved in Music Progressions, but to whom you still want to give a test. You can purchase these in the ComposeCreate store. Be sure to purchase the ones called “Theory Tests – PDF download” as the one that is listed as Level A Theory Test is just that…only level A.
Sight Reading Practice Pieces Levels 1-6
KMTA hired me to write all of the sight reading pieces for Levels 1-6 of their Music Progressions curriculum. So, these practice pieces are composed by the same composer and are a good indicator of whether the student is ready or not for the sight reading portion of the exam. Of course, these are not the pieces that are used at Music Progressions, but they are similar in difficulty, requirements, etc. There are 2 pieces for each level 1-6 and you can purchase them in the ComposeCreate store as well.
NEW! Sight Reading Practice Pieces Levels 7-10
Finally, you can purchase sight reading samples for levels 7-10! After writing these and having a number of upper level students, it occurre to me that these levels are really the levels in which sight reading samples are needed. My students are much more worried about sight reading at this level and if nothing else, these pieces give them an idea of what it will be like and some reassurance that they are prepared or need more practice. There are 2 pieces for each level 7, 9, 10 and 4 pieces for level 8 (they have a choice between a hymn and classical piece at this level). You can purchase them now in the ComposeCreate store!
Music Progressions Rhythms
If your students participate in Music Progressions or state auditionship exams, you’ll definitely want to use the free Music Progressions rhythms that are designed for every level of Music Progressions. These are 1 page full of rhythms that will help students determine whether or not they are prepared. For more practice in preparing, check out Rhythm Menagerie. You can go straight to Music Progressions Rhythms or here is a screen shot of where to find those under the Teaching Menu, then teaching resources:
Of course, the best way to prepare students to be a great musician and to have these skills as a part of their life, not just in preparation for the test, is to prepare all year. That is one of the reasons we developed Rhythm Menagerie! It is an exciting, comprehensive way to prepare your students to be fantastic at rhythm. There is absolutely nothing else on the market like this reproducible resource and you can watch a video of it below. Be sure to visit the Rhythm Menagerie page for samples and more information.
Ideas, Updates, and Other Help
If you did not sign up for the ComposeCreate newsletter at the conference, you’ll definitely want to do that as it is a wonderful way to keep informed about new resources, new ideas, and more! The newsletter comes out about every 3 weeks and I promise no spam! Sign up today: