“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” - Plato.
Music has had a profound effect on human history. You'll agree that it's almost impossible to find somebody on this planet who doesn't like music and even harder to find someone who never listens to music!
Humans just love music because there's music for every occasion. Whether you're happy or sad, you can always put a song on.
But what about playing music? It turns out that we love that, too! There are so many people who play musical instruments or like to sing.
It’s also well known that being able to play a musical instrument can make you happier and more creative. Learning to play an instrument and sing can make you more relaxed, too.
As Louise Vertigo, a singing teacher and vocal workshop presenter, says “It’s excellent starting the day by singing.”
Some people are gifted with a perfect ear and have an innate singing ability. Others have to learn to sing either by attending a music school, by getting private music tutorials at home, or by taking online singing lessons. Every private music tutor will say that learning music has to start by studying music theory.
You can’t learn to play piano or become a jazz singer without studying music theory. Most musicians need to know how to read music for sight reading. In music, if you don't know the difference between the bass clef and the treble clef, you'll never play the right notes.
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Have you ever tried singing classes? Even the most gifted self-taught musicians need to work, learn, practice and perfect their gifts. There’s just one problem: Learning to sing with a private music tutor can be expensive!
However, aspiring singers who don’t have the means can learn to read music and music theory online at their own pace. That's why we’re going to look at the best sites offering music theory lessons for every level and all ages in this article.
Sites for When You Start Learning About Music Theory
Learning music from a young age can positively affect a child’s brain in the long term and it's been shown that neuroplasticity is greater in children who learn to read music or play the piano. With that in mind (no pun intended), here are some great sites for teaching children about reading music.
Music Learning Community
This is a website aimed at teaching children classical music theory in a fun and interesting way.
There are plenty of games for younger learners to discover music theory while they have fun. It’s also a useful resource for teachers looking for something fun to do with their students. While this site isn’t free, you can get a family subscription for as little as $7.95 per month (around £6).
If you opt for a yearly subscription, you’ll only end up paying for the equivalent of 10 months.
However, before you open your wallet, there are some free games and activities to try before you start paying your subscription. There’s also a free trial available if you’re still unsure.
It’s a great way for kids to learn about the breve, semibreve, minim, crotchet, and quaver. This will also help them to sing better as they’ll better understand the written music in front of them.
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This is a site dedicated to children and learning. It includes fun music lessons for younger learners. Furthermore, children can learn about the value of music notes as well as the names of the notes: DO, RÉ, MI, FA, SOL, LA, SI.
We recommend that you sing the notes you see on the sheet music. This is a great way to practise music theory since it can train your ear and help you later on when you start improvising or creating your own music.
Learning to read music is done by establishing the relationship between each of the seven notes and the corresponding names of them.
Metronimo is a site with a number of educational apps for learning music theory, learning to play the piano, and learning about musical instruments and classical composers.
While the site is aimed at children, it’s useful for any beginner regardless of their age. You can download the music theory programmes for free, too. They’ll help you to learn how to read musical notes in a range of different keys as well as the names of the different note: breve, semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver, etc.
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To learn keys, for example, the notes are represented by the ghosts from Pacman with four different levels of difficulty. This can help you to remember the different notes while stimulating your visual memory before they’re eaten by Pacman!
Are these music theory games too easy? You can make things more difficult by singing the notes on the page or by playing them and testing your ear.
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Other Sites for Learning Music Theory
Singing makes use of an instrument unlike any other, one that requires impeccable technique and a good knowledge of music theory.
If you want to be able to sing, play the guitar, piano, violin, etc. you need to be able to read sheet music, understand the notes, chords, harmonies, and work on your voice to make sure you don’t hit any wrong notes.
Learning to read sheet music requires that you have a good understanding of music theory, can keep time, and reproduce the written music on your instrument of choice, including your voice. The sheet music tells you explicitly how to play the music.
It’s almost impossible to become a singer or musician if you’ve never learnt anything about music theory or about the different scales: majors, minors, etc.
Fortunately, thanks to the internet, there are plenty of resources on music theory.
While music theory isn’t obligatory, it’s highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn an instrument or how to sing.
Thus, the site MusicTheory.net is somewhere you should consider visiting.
With plenty of different useful resources, the site also has accompanying apps if you’d like to take your lessons everywhere with you. Lessons include:
The names of the notes and their position on a piano
The duration of notes (whole note, half note, quarter note, etc.)
All manner of musical notation
Ranges of voices: soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass.
How to read sheet music.
How to read different keys.
Finally, the main advantage of this site is the huge variety of different resources available and the crisp and clean presentation of the information on it.
This site (which was formerly known as eMusicTheory) includes a plethora of music theory resources for both students and teachers. It has tonnes of resources on music theory including note names, interval identification, chord building, key signatures, etc.
It also includes resources for those learning to play the piano or the guitar as well as exercises for training you ear. There’s a 30 day free trial if you’re not sure. Since the site focuses on teaching music theory, it’s a little pricey for individual students.
The subscriptions are as follows:
$19 per month (up to 25 students)
$39 per month (up to 75 students)
$59 per month (up to 150 students)
One Minute Music Lesson
This is one of the best resources for learning more about music theory. There are lessons on:
Rhythm and Tempo
Training your ear
The exercises on One Minute Music Lesson are perfect for absolute beginners wanting to start learning more about music theory and all the different notes, keys, etc. As the name obviously suggests, these lessons are short. However, that doesn’t mean they’re limited.
This site includes varied resources on music theory and tutorials. You can’t start singing an opera like Pavarotti if the word “sharp” makes you think of knives rather than semitones.
This site includes plenty of tutorials, exercises, and articles on music theory and how to better understand it. There are also plenty of tutorials on reading sheet music, the different elements of music notation, and lessons on elements of music theory such as:
Beat and measures
Good luck! While music theory is sometimes a bit off-putting, in a few months, you’ll know everything you need to know in order to compose your own music.
You should also check out the best tools for recording your voice.