For several years now I have been a big fan of Ricci Adam's web site, musictheory.net. I have used his training exercises with my beginning band students to teach beginning concepts while also helping them practice things like naming notes, key signatures, and aural intervals. When I returned to the site at the beginning of this school year I was met with quite a surprise, Ricci has updated almost every tutorial and exercise on the site as well as adding some new material.
Big Improvements and New Music Theory Applications
Most impressive to me are the improvements to the trainer applications. For example, he has made it possible to customize the exercises to match whatever range of notes you need, from tuba notes all the way up to above the treble clef staff. The lessons portion of the site has also been updated. Instead of the linear, PowerPoint style progression of slides a user can now skip around to whatever slide they need, yet the animations and on screen tools still work as they did in the old version.
Great Music Education Teaching Tools
All in all, Adams now has 37 different lessons and 10 different customizable exercises covering not only note naming but also chord building, intervals, key signatures, and scales. The tools window is also packed with useful stuff including a visual chord generator, a twelve-tone matrix generator, a staff paper generator, and a wonderful pop-up piano keyboard that actually plays!
For those that don't like all of the new features Adam's has maintained a link over to the old set of music theory tools, and those tools can still be downloaded and saved locally to use in case of an Internet outage at your school.
If you are teaching elementary music, band, or beginning orchestra you owe it to yourself to check out these tools. When used on a computer they are great, but used in conjunction with a SmartBoard or other IWB device they become something else entirely, a fun and useful way to get kids to practice their musical skills.