How I Teach Piano Chords and Composition - Creative Music Education

How I Teach Piano Chords and Composition

4 chord composing

Teach Piano Chords

Just about all music (from baroque and classical to jazz, pop and rock) is based on chords and yet explicit instruction around the chord-based nature of music – how it works, the theory behind it and how to create it – seldom enters a traditional piano lesson.

The power of chords to assist students in the reading and performance of traditional music, not to mention the deep theoretical understanding that a chord-based knowledge of music brings to a musician, is critical to a pianist’s sight-reading ability, understanding of musical genres, ability to improvise and understanding of form and structure.

Chord-based teaching provides a bridge between written musical theory textbooks and the practice of making music. It gives students a practical demonstration of, and immersion in, the theory through a student’s real-world love and innate understanding of popular music.

My Chordal Framework

I have written extensively on the benefits of using chords in piano teaching. Chords are a great way to get your students learning musical concepts, playing pop music and perhaps most importantly, creating their own compositions.

I created my 4 Chord Composing online course to assist teachers in getting their students – of all abilities – composing music from an early stage.

Many teachers don’t have much experience in getting their students to write music – it can be a daunting task! That’s why I put this online course together, and I hope it can help you.

Lesson One

Watch lesson one of my 4 Chord Composing course right here.

The Full Course

My 4 Chord Composing course is available to members of my Inner Circle community.

Here is what you will get access to:

  • Lesson 1: Learning Major and Minor Chords
  • Lesson 2: Pop-style Piano Playing
  • Lesson 3: Composing with 4 Chords
  • Lesson 4: Creating Melodies
  • Lesson 5: Adding New Chord Types: Sus, add2, Slash Chords
  • Lesson 6: Styles and Patterns
  • Lesson 7: Form and Structure
  • Lesson 8: 7ths, Borrowed Chords and Basslines
  • Lesson 9: 4CC Apps and Technology in Action
  • Lesson 10: Where to Now? Arranging and Advanced Ideas

You can get access today and take $150 off an annual membership just by clicking on this link here. I’ll see you in the Inner Circle!

Free Resources

If you need a bit more convincing, here are some free resources to help get you on your way teaching chords.

4 Chord Composing Webinar

Teaching students about chords and how easy it is to compose great sounding music through a chordal approach is one of my favourite activities in a modern piano lesson.

In this training, I’ll take you through my 4 Chord Composing approach so you can get started with these ideas straight away. It’s perfect for transfer students, teens and adults in particular. 

You can catch a free replay of my 4 Chord Composing webinar online at a time that suits you.

Click here to see when the next replay is and enjoy one-hour of online training.

Lesson Download

You can have the first three lessons in my 10-week 4 Chord Composing right now! Feel free to download these lessons and implement chordal teaching in your studio.

Blog Posts

Make sure you check out some of these fantastic chord-related blog posts.