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Discover the beauty of sequential instruction...

Are you interested in Gordon's Music Learning Theory, but are left with more questions than answers?

This new book gives music teachers a brass tacks explanation of MLT in easy to understand language. No PhD required!

The beauty of MLT is that musical skills - reading, writing, improvising, composing, generalization - are all logically organized and sequenced to provide readiness for each musical task. 

And in this book, I show you many pathways through these sequences so that you can create a logical musical curriculum that works for you and your students.

Introducing "MLT Any Music Teacher Can Du...De"

Many teachers, who bought my student book, The Literate Musician, kept asking me to connect the dots and bring the book alive from a curriculum perspective. They asked:

  • What are the teaching techniques you use?
  • How long do you spend on a unit?
  • Do you alternate between tonal instruction and rhythm instruction?
  • When do you introduce reading?
  • When do you introduce writing?
  • How often do you use other tonalities and meters?
  • How do you adapt this material for guitar? Keyboard? Ukulele? Bucket drums?

And so, this book was born. 

Click below for a walkthrough of the book....

The Book

The book is divided into 3 parts.

Part I

In Part I, I discuss the theory of Music Learning Theory. 

  • An Audiation Foundation we can establish for our students
  • Connections between learning music and learning language
  • The Whole-Part-Whole learning model
  • Tonal content according to Gordon
  • Rhythm content according to Gordon
  • An in-depth look at the Skill Learning Sequence
  • How to combine skills and content to put MLT into action

Part II

In Part II, I discuss the two main practical applications of the theory: Learning Sequence Activities and Classroom Activities. 

  • I show you how I tackle LSAs and make them work in my class. All of the patterns and procedures are right here in one place.
  • I go over the two main types of classroom activities and show you how you can reinforce your Learning Sequence Activities in your classroom activities in fun, engaging ways

Part III

And finally, in Part III, I put it all together and offer you a sample curriculum using all of my materials which combines Learning Sequence Activities and Classroom Activities into 10 units based on the theory and practical applications of MLT. The units comprise all levels of discrimination learning and provide bridging opportunities to Generalization and Improvisation. 

  • Units 1 and 2 are Aural/Oral units which focus on major and minor tonalities and duple and triple meters.
  • In units 3 and 4, we give labels to pitches, functions and contexts that we learned in units 1 and 2.
  • Unit 5 is focused on the very important skill of Partial Synthesis which brings context to the forefront in a very profound way.
  • Unit 6 focuses on reading rhythmically.
  • Unit 7 focuses on reading tonally.
  • In unit 8, I will show you how to go back to Aural/Oral and Verbal Association to add in more rhythm content, while in unit 9 I show you how to add in more tonal content.
  • Finally, in unit 10, I show you how to build your own unit using all of the tools I have given you.

Bonus Section: Digital Appendix 

In addition to the almost 300 pages of techniques to get your students hearing, speaking, thinking, reading and writing the language of music, this book also includes a 260 page Digital Appendix.

This invaluable resource contains:

  • Patterns sheets
  • Reproducibles
  • Truncated student pages
  • Reading Benchmarks
  • Links to teaching demonstration videos

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a print version available?

This book is available as an eBook, but is also available in print form from Both options are listed on the purchase page

How do I learn more about MLT?

You can start by perusing all of the free resources I have on my website. This page is a great place to start for teachers. 

I'm not sure about this book Is there a sample I can download?


The first +/- 100 pages of this book are presented in my free eBook, How to Teach the Language of Music. MLT Any Music Teacher Can Du...De includes those 100 pages plus Part III, 177 pages of curriculum development and explanation. 

What if I don't like it? Can I get my money back?

Absolutely! I offer a 100% money-back guarantee. 

Are there videos I can see of MLT in Action?

Yes! Have you checked out the page, Out in the Field with MLT yet? You can also see lots of videos on my YouTube channel

Do I need any other materials, or is everything included in this book?

You don't need anything else, but some teachers (myself included!) also use the Teacher Slideshows for reading tonal patterns and rhythm patterns as a class. 

"The Literate Musician" Teacher Slideshows (2nd edition)

In addition, although all of my songs are included in the book, I have a Digital Resource Pack that accompanies my song book, Fifty Tunes for Teaching that contains additional teaching resources. 

Fifty Tunes for Teaching Digital Resources 1

ANDY MULLEN  //  Author

Andy Mullen is a teacher, folk musician, multi-instrumentalist, recovering singer-songwriter, and lifelong learner. He has taught all levels of students in a number of subjects, and is currently a middle school general music and choir teacher in Burlington, Massachusetts. Mr Mullen holds Masters degrees in Music Education and School Administration, as well as certification from the Gordon Institute of Music Learning (GIML) in Elementary General Level 2 and Early Childhood Music. He is the author of "MLT Any Music Teacher Can Du...De," "The Literate Musician" and "Fifty Tunes for Teaching," and the composer of the children's album, "Chucka Chucka Wawa."

Andy Mullen

© 2024, The Improving Musician