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Piano Chords and Accompanying for Kids

Updated on January 12, 2017
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Are you looking for ideas on how to introduce piano chords and accompanying to your piano students? This article shares resources and provides links to the resources that will make it easy.

Recommended Book

The Piano Chord Fun Book is a 25 page digital print book that provides students with a piano chord chart, lead sheets, and plenty of examples on how to create simple arrangements.

What is a Chord?
The book begins by explaining what a chord is. Chord members are named, and examples are provided.

Chord Chart
A 28 chord chord chart is provided. While it doesn’t include diminished chords or extended chords, it’s certainly enough to get students started and does include everything you need to learn the lessons provided in this book.

Left Hand Accompaniment Patterns
The next section dives into arranging songs to accompanying yourself. The book explains that there several very common left hand accompaniment patterns, and examples are provided for each. The first example asks students to play the accompaniment pattern to the tune of Hot Cross Buns. This tune is easy to play, and allows students to focus on the the accompaniment pattern. The next example is almost always a popular piece of classical music, folk song, or Christmas carol. Chord symbols are provided above the music. After students have had a chance to learn the examples and discover how things work, they can head to the back of the book to get the complete lead sheet, and try finishing the arrangement on their own or with the help of their piano teacher.

Accompanying Singers and Instrumentalists
The next section focuses on creating arrangements that you would use to accompany singers or instruments. Here the piano student would take a supportive roll to the singer or player. The left hand accompaniment patterns are applied again to these arrangements.

Chord Voicing
The final lesson in the book is a two page explanation of chord voicing. The instruction helps students to understand the importance of the vertical spacing between chord members, and the importance it has in making their arrangement sound good. Several examples are provided.

Summary

This book includes much of the instruction you might hope to find in a book like this, and it's quite easy to read. Students at the high school level might appreciate a few more examples on how to arrange popular music or how to play a jazz walking bass line. You may also need to supplement the piano chord chart in the future, though all the chords you need for the instruction in the book are provided.

Fake Books

Fake books are books of music containing the chords, melodies, and often lyrics of tunes. The arrangement is up to the performer.

Eight lead sheets are provided at the end of The Piano Chord Fun Book to get your started. After students create their own arrangements for each piece in the book they should be ready to enjoy playing from fake books. The following fakes books are a great place to start.

The Easy Children’s Fake Book – Melody Lyrics & Simplified Chords In The Key Of C
Transposes all songs to the key of C for ease of performance. Includes Addams Family Theme, Beauty and the Beast, Yellow Submarine and more.


The Easy Disney Fake Book – 100 Songs In The Key Of C
Transposes all songs to the key of C for ease of performance. Includes Chim Chim Cher-ee, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes, Heigh-Ho, and more.


The Easy Christmas Fake Book: 100 Songs in the Key of C (Fake Books)
Easy-to-read notation, and all songs are in the key of C for ease of performance. Includes Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Mary Did You Know?, Nuttin' for Christmas, and more.

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