Music Literacy Resources

All of the files below may be used free of charge. Feel free to share these with others, but I do request that you NOT make any money from these resources provided here. If you would like something not provided here, please send me a note and I’ll see what I can do. You can reach me at

I know that half the battle of starting to use these materials is finding the time and resources to make them. All of the materials here are free, but if you prefer, I can make them and mail them to you for a modest fee. Please email me if you are interested in purchasing flashcards from me.

Special thanks goes to Dr. Carol Krueger whose willingness to freely share her own materials with me has inspired me to provide this website resource for others.

-Mike Driscoll


In the Summer and Winter of 2010, “Mass Music News” (Massachusetts Music Educators Association’s quarterly publication) published the first two articles in a series of articles I wrote on teaching music literacy that I called “But I Don’t Have Time! A Case for Teaching Music Literacy.” The articles discuss how teaching music literacy does not have to be extremely time consuming. Links to the first two articles and a suggested repertoire list are below. The third parts of the article will be available as they are published.

But I Dont Have Time! (part 1)

But I Dont Have Time! (part 2)

Repertoire Suggestions

But I Dont Have Time! – (part 2: suggested repertoire)

Some of my personal editions on CPDL

“Alleluia” by Johann Kuhnau (Conductor score and instrument parts also available on CPDL.)

“L’Acceso” by Giovanni Gastoldi

“Verleih’ uns Frieden” by Felix Mendelssohn (Vocal score. Conductor score and instrument parts also available on CDPL.)

Additional Resources

Three Easy Rules for Finding ‘do’

It’s not necessary to learn all of the key signatures in order to find the tonic. If you’re using la-based minor, these three rules work for any key signature, any mode and any clef.


Tonal Flashcards

Many free flashcards are available for download on the Tonal Resources page.

Rhythm Flashcards

Many free flashcards are available download on the Rhythm Resources page.

Tonal & Rhythm Flashcard Templates

The links below are to ZIP files containing Finale 2011 & Sibelius 6 files that you can use to create your own Tonal and Rhythm flashcards.

Finale Templates – Rhythm and Tonal Flashcards (added 10/24/10)

Sibelius Templates – Rhythm and Tonal Flashcards (added 2/14/12)

Clefs, Key Signatures, Note Names

Treble, Bass, Alto & Tenor Clefs; 4 per page

Student-sized flashcards. These can be used to create key signature flashcards by adding key signatures.  They can also be used to create note name flashcards by adding notes. Print this out onto 8.5″ x 11″ paper and then cut the paper into quarters.

Large Key Signatures; Bass & Treble Clefs

Classroom-sized flashcards with all key signatures on both the bass and treble clefs.

Note Names; Bass, Treble, Alto & Tenor Clefs

Classroom-sized flashcards with most notes in the bass, treble, alto and tenor clefs.

18 Responses to Music Literacy Resources

  1. Harmony August 13, 2018 at 8:37 am #


    I have been searching everywhere for something like these. I am so happy to have found these. Thank you for sharing!


    • Michael August 18, 2018 at 12:04 pm #

      You’re welcome – glad they’re useful!

  2. Josh Markham December 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Hi Michael,

    You and I corresponded a few years ago. I am presenting an Interest Session on teaching sight-singing at Southern ACDA in Jacksonville, FL and want to reference your work and list it under resources/recommended reading if that is okay.

    Thanks for putting the Sibelius template up on the site. Have you ever considered doing the interval patterns following the Kodaly method?



  3. Miken Dayton August 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Thank you so much! Your clear, coherent method for teaching rhythms is going to be a life saver this year. I have three choirs this year–looking to expand to 4 by next year–but I need to continue to develop their musicianship skills so that each choir is performing at their peak. I’d love to have more recordings of your groups. I plan on using them as representative samples for students listening and analysis. 🙂


    • Michael August 14, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

      Thank you – glad you find my site useful! Don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions. My email is on the ‘contact’ page.


  4. Anne Megan May 9, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Dear Michael,

    I attended your seminar at the ACDA in Providence and it was very interesting. Your
    website is fabulous. Thank you for such access to your hard work.

    I am working with the Eastern CT Children’s Chorus and will find this info very useful.

    Thanks again!

    Anne Megan
    co-director, ECCC

    • Michael May 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

      Thank you – please spread the word! I plan to put up more tonal flashcards over the summer…the ones uploaded now are very basic.


  5. Dan Z. March 27, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Hey Michael,
    Thanks for the resources! Just started at a school that has learned everything by rote, not by note. I have been trying to scramble to find ways to teach my student how to read for the past two weeks, and still praise them for what they can do and your site is the answer to some prayers. Thanks again!

  6. Missy January 16, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    THANK YOU! I have just landed a chorus gig and I have a piano, chairs and risers. Just started this year and I am coming into the middle of the school year! Your website is AWESOME! Don’t know that I will get to Alto and Tenor clef but your thoroughness is great! I really wish this was around back when I was in college… THANKS again for saving me so much time and resources!

  7. Tianna October 5, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    This is SO helpful! I am a first-time music theory student, so everything on your site, especially the flashcards, are a major help to me. Thank you very much! I will be letting my instructor know about your site.

    • Michael October 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

      Great! Glad it’s useful!

  8. Philip Halladay August 17, 2011 at 5:50 am #

    Great resources !
    Thanks for sharing them.

  9. Maurice Burgess March 31, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    I was looking up Dr. K to see if she was giving any workshops near me this summer and happened across this page. Thanks for sharing! I hope you have been well!

  10. Talia Greenberg February 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    I finally figured out how to comment on your blog, so now I can be as cool as Claire Nalven and post here. Do you reply to current students on the blog? Well anyways, as noted above, you rock. See you tomorrow 🙂

  11. Robin Harrison February 10, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    Dear Michael,

    I’ve been developing ‘movable do’ learning with Year 1 (5-6 year olds) in my school in the UK. The transition from movable Do to notation is proving a little complex for them and so I was really pleased to find your flashcards – in a way they’re so obvious… but then, why didn’t I think of them?

    Many thanks!

    Robin, “Doc H”

    • Michael February 10, 2011 at 6:18 am #

      Dear Robin,

      I’m so glad you found them useful! I’m going to be posting more tonal flashcards soon, so keep checking back.


  12. Claire Nalven February 8, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    you’re amazing. every day in theory I realize how much I learned and how much of a waste of time this theory is….

    • Michael February 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

      Thank you! Your check will be in the mail. 🙂

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