Today I’m sharing a review of one of my favorite music theory resources – Tonic Tutor! If you’d like to try it out in your studio, you’ll find a code near the end of this post for half off your first month!
I just love music theory! i’ve always enjoyed digging deeper into why music works the way it does. I distinctly remembering all of the lightbulbs that went off in my mind when I really started paying closer attention to music theory as a high school student. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated learning about and analyzing chords and scales and all of the other musical patterns that can be explained by music theory.
Unfortunately, my students don’t always share my enthusiasm when it comes to theory. I’ve tried so many different books, games and programs over the years with varying success.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been using Tonic Tutor with all of my students in grades K-5. They love it, I love it and it’s really holding their interest.
Tonic Tutor is a subscription based Website that features a huge variety of music theory games.
It is super easy for both the teacher and the student to use.
How It Works
On my end, I log in and create “groups”. The games are graded and correspond with a number of different popular piano methods. Since many of my students use the Piano Adventures series, I assign them to groups based on where they are in the series. Then, I indicate what level each group is at.
When the student logs in, they get a lesson assignment that has a handful of games that match the leveling that I indicated for their group.
My students complete their assignments at their lesson, but I’m sure many teachers assign the games to be completed at home.
Each week, the lesson resets, so the student can repeat it.
I update the leveling of the groups a few times a semester, but other than that, there is very little maintenance on my end. I have the capability to set goals for students, create contests, send messages and rewards, but for the sake of simplicity, I opt not to use those features. I do make a point to log in regularly to check on their progress. If they’re struggling with a game, it tells me that we need to work on that concept a bit more.
The animation of the games is not super fancy, but it’s modern enough to capture students’ interest. In months with a big holiday, there are festive additions to the animation. For example, around Christmas time, the characters hold presents or wear Santa hats. In October, there are pumpkins and witch’s hats incorporated into the game.
Some months there is also a bonus holiday-related game that students get to play once they complete their assignment. This is particularly motivating to several of my students.
How To Get Started
Go to tonictutor.com and sign up for a monthly premium subscription. For half off your first month, use the code kjp7ts.
You pay for student subscriptions for every 10 students, starting at $7/month for 10 students going up to $45/month for 60 students. Since I use tonic tutor in the place of having my students purchase theory book, I have families pay a small yearly fee for their subscription.
Once you’re signed up, you’ll create accounts for each of your students. There are excellent tutorials right on the website that walk you through how to set up your students’ accounts and assign them lessons. It’s quite easy!
There are a handful of free games that anyone can access for free, but I highly recommend signing up for a monthly premium subscription to understand the full scope of the leveling and variety of the games.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.