Lindsay Brazell

Music Educator and Creative Professional

Review –

If you teach private lessons or a class piano/guitar course at your school, there is often the flexibility to explore your own resources to teach your curriculum. Or on the contrary, maybe you feel like you need to make your own resources because your budget doesn’t allow for purchasing theory texts or workbooks. Or maybe you just haven’t found something you like!

I know that all of the above applies to me, mostly the creating my own worksheets and such. It does the job quickly, but you should really see my handwriting. The worksheets look like students made them! Not ideal, and definitely not professional looking work to the observer!

I recently saw a tweet from Robert Hylton who provides resources for music teachers on his website: I clicked on his link and found dozens upon dozens of resources that I could have been using YESTERDAY!

What Robert has done is create worksheets for various theory lessons and developed chord and keyboard reference sheets. They are awesome! I wish I had come across these earlier!

The theory handouts include the notes of the keyboard, the four main types of triads, four main types of seventh chords, blues scales, Dorian mode, major and minor scales, major and minor pentatonic scales, and a scale and diatonic harmony reference sheet. These sheets have a two-octave keyboard illustrating the concept or demonstrating the chords. Each of these handouts has coordinating worksheets. In conjunction with those sheets, there are accompanying theory tests that get progressively more difficult for each lesson. If not for tests, I would still use these as worksheets.

There are also worksheets specifically dedicated to scales and the chords within. Students are first introduced to a particular scale and then asked to spell out the letter names from the root to an octave above. Then there is a staff provided for the student to notate the key signature as well as write the scale out in note form. Lastly, the student is asked to identify the seven chords within the particular scale and write the triad on a staff.

I really enjoyed looking through the guitar sheets Robert developed as well. First he provides a sheet with blank tab staves and chord charts, as well as a sheet titled “First Guitar Chords” that include eight beginning chords: A, D, E, G, C, dm, am, and em. He also has sheets notating a blues scale, where he provides a keyboard in addition to two guitar fret boards: one transferring the formula from the keyboard, and the other showing that formula with fingerings. That’s probably my favorite feature of all of the sheets. I love seeing the ideas transferred from keyboard to guitar. It’s especially effective if the student has piano experience prior to learning guitar, making the transition easier while providing relationships and connections to similar concepts on different instruments.

When I acquire new students, I would like to implement these worksheets into my teaching. It would enhance and organize the way I bring theory into lessons, especially if the student has no prior musical knowledge or instruction.

Visit his website to access these great resources:

If you have a product, website, or any other music service that you would like reviewed, please contact me. I’d be happy to help!

About Lindsay

I’m Lindsay, a choral music educator by day, a singer-songwriter by evening, and a writer when time allows. You can find my latest album, The Room I Found – Lindsay Morelli on iTunes.

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