In a recent post I shared an important law that every piano teacher needs to know and abide by, The Law Of Friends, which essentially says that tweens and teens will practice diligently if you teach them music that their friends like. For most teens, this will mean teaching pop music. There is no need to abandon traditional repertoire altogether, but in order to connect deeply with students of this age you will most likely have to bring in some pop or jazz.
How do you do this with a student who doesn’t know enough theory or read music well enough to play songs at this level? The good news is that there are LOTS of songs that use only 3 or 4 chords and today’s FREE PRINTABLE makes it easy for you to teach them how to play these chords.
The sheet has 4 blank keyboards so that you can use it with either a 3 or 4 chord song. During your lesson, let the student know that there are only 3-4 things they must know to play this song. That puts them at ease and opens them up to what you are about to say. As you show them the notes for each chord, have them color in the corresponding keys on the sheet with a color pencil. At that point they are ready to play one of their favorite songs with a very cool sound!
Because there is no music notation involved, you can take this time to help your student understand the layout of the keyboard and how music moves. You can go as deep with the theory as your student can handle – just be sure to follow the student’s lead.
Finally, if you haven’t downloaded Tim Topham’s free e-book on teaching teens, click here to get it. It’s filled with helpful information!