This post was contributed by Dyan of And Next Comes L.
A Fun Way to Learn Basic Music Theory for Kids
It’s no secret that I love doing music activities with my boys. So if you have been looking for a way to introduce basic music theory for kids, specifically the different types of music notes, then look no further. This simple music note matching activity uses very few materials including some recyclable containers, a permanent marker, and clear glass stones.
Music Theory for Kids – A Fun Music Note Matching Game
I have been stockpiling probiotic yogurt drink containers for quite some time now, not entirely sure what I was going to do with them. However, they made great containers for this music matching activity. Using a permanent marker, I drew a whole note, quarter note, half note, and eighth note on one side of the container. On the back of each container, I wrote the corresponding word (i.e., “quarter note” for the quarter note one). I wanted to include a literacy component for my little reader J, but this step is completely optional. You could also write the note values on the back, but please keep in mind that an eighth note gets half a count, which means you’ll be introducing fractions. Or you could leave out the eighth note entirely.
I also used a permanent marker to draw the matching music note on the top of each glass stone. I did five for each type of note, which means you’ll have 20 when you’re done drawing.
K particularly enjoyed dumping and pouring the stones in and out of the different containers, like any toddler would.
However, once I pointed out that each stone had a different drawing on it, he took the time to analyze, compare, and match.
Then both J and K decided to work together, carefully matching and sorting the music note stones.
But that eventually led to more dumping and pouring. At least they were working together, am I right?
Looking for more music activities for young children? Then check out the four music games for toddlers and preschoolers, the baby-friendly music sensory bin, and the giant chalk keyboard. Or browse my Music Activities Pinterest board for even more ideas!
Married to her high school sweetheart, Dyan is a stay at home mom to two boys, J and K, who also teaches piano part time out of her home. She began her blog “And Next Comes L” in March 2013 after some mom friends encouraged her to share her creative ideas. You can read more about how her blog came to be here. She loves to dabble in all things creative and crafty, but particularly enjoys making homemade toys and quiet books for her kids.
I’m sure that music learning, like most learning, is absorbed so much easier when kids are young. So I just love this fun way that Dyan came up with to introduce music theory for kids. Brilliant! Thanks, Dyan.
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I love to share at and find inspiration from these link ups!
I just LOVE this activity! I’m featuring this post and one photo at http://everystarisdifferent.blogspot.com as part of a round up of fabulous music theory activities! I’ve also pinned it to my music board.
Krissy @ B-Inspired Mama says
We are just starting to learn about music in our house. Thank you for sharing this unique and fun way to teach the music behind the music. Thank you for sharing and for linking up this week to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop 🙂
Great activity! What follows is not aimed at you personally, a lot of people have a similar misconception about what music theory is, I guess I’m just extra grouchy about it today…
This isn’t music theory. It is a baby step toward READING MUSIC. Calling this “basic music theory” is like having kids sort different types of punctuation or even letter names into milk bottles and calling it “basic comparative literature.” A lot of people do this, probably because some colleges call their remedial music fundamentals classes for kids who have signed up to be music majors with no basic skills “music theory” in order to spare their feelings.
Clarissa Hooper says
What a great activity! I just hosted a mommy and me music class and this would be a great follow up activity for the older kiddos 🙂
I learned so much from this! Featuring this at Family Fun Friday!
I LOVE this idea, and especially love the ideas you are creating for your little ones 🙂 Having these simple tasks are going to be such a great start to music reading and learning in their lives ♫ Pinning now, and can’t wait to try something like this with my own piano students – thanks for sharing!
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Jessica @ Play Trains! says
Your music posts always make me smile, Dyan!
Laura M says
These are so cool, you come up with the best ways to incorporate music & learning into play!