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 30% off an annual membership by using the coupon code 4CCGETSTARTED when you register. Click here to find out more and make sure you select the Annual Plan to take advantage of this offer.

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.