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!
12 thoughts on “Free Printable For Teaching 3 and 4 Chord Songs”
Thanks so much for sharing my Teen Teaching Toolkit with your readers. I hope they enjoy reading it.
I loved reading about your approach with teaching teens pop songs. You’re right! there are so many great 4-chord songs out there. Have you mucked-around with the Notestar App by Yamaha. It’s a great way to make repetitive pop songs much more interesting to play.
Re my eBook, the link you gave isn’t probably the best one to share. Please try this one instead: http://timtopham.com/teen-teaching-toolkit-free-ebook-download/ – should work more effectively for your readers!
Thanks for stopping by, Tim! I believe your book is totally on point. I appreciate you for taking the time to put together such an amazing and needed resource. I’ve fixed the link as well:)
I haven’t used the Notestar App yet, but it’s on my list of things to try!
Reblogged this on main street musicking and commented:
Great idea! Thank you for sharing the printable. I’m going to try it out with a few of my teens this week! We play a lot of popular songs. (If you haven’t seen it yet – check out the “Four Chord Song” by Axis of Awesome on Youtube. There’s a “clean” version of the song that you can show to your students.)
Thank you, Sara! I hadn’t seen the “Four Chord Song”. I just watched it! That is going to make a great illustration of how many many songs can be played with just a few chords.
Yeah how cool is it! Kids can’t believe that music is so simple 🙂
So simple in fact that I’ve even had kids who were previously totally against classical music because of its complexity request to play it after becoming bored with those 4 chord songs!
The link is dead! Any way I can get this file? Thanks! — Todd
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Hi wdwman. I cannot figure out what happened to the link and am having a hard time finding the file. I will try to find it and get back to you. Thanks for stopping by!
Hi wdwman, I found a hard copy of the worksheet and scanned into my computer. If you leave me your email address I can send it directly to you. I haven’t had a chance to put it back on dropbox.
I’m also looking for the link to the worksheet, would you consider digging it up and emailing it?
Hi Jean. Here is the link where you can get the file. I’m also updating it on the blog. Enjoy! https://www.dropbox.com/s/o9xl6fr14ozmblf/Blank%20Keyboards%20for%20Chords.pdf?dl=0