Ch 3: AP Music Theory: Scales, Keys, and Modes Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The AP Music Theory: Scales, Keys and Modes chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the students in your classroom about musical scales, signatures, keys and modes. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the AP Music Theory: Scales, Keys and Modes chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Understanding and building musical scales: Definitions and types of scales;
The chromatic scale;
How to determine major key signatures in music
An exploration of major and minor scales, musical pitch and tonality as well as whole and half steps;
A look at the 12-pitch scale;
Learning about the sharp and flat notes in musical pieces
Tuesday Placing key signatures on the grand staff;
The difference between the key and the key signature;
The Circle of Fifths
Understanding treble clef and bass clef;
Distinguishing between the two;
A look at the relationships between the chromatic scale's 12-pitch classes
Wednesday How to determine minor key signatures in music;
The minor scale pattern;
Performing scales
Locating the relative major and minor keys by counting three half-steps forward or backwards;
A look at half steps in tonal music;
Performing scales in music
Thursday Degrees of scales;
Pentatonic scale;
Whole-tone scale
An exploration of notes and degrees in a scale;
Building major and minor pentatonic scales;
Separating notes with whole steps and intervals
Friday Diminishing scale (Octatonic scale);
Blues scales;
Church modes: Ionian and Aeolian modes
Jazz music's 8-note scale;
The importance of blues scales to the blues music genre;
The scales and notes that comprise church music

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.