Intro to Chord Chart Series

Turn frustration into enthusiasm with this fun introduction to chord charts for piano students! Perfect for piano lab time, group lessons, creativity, aural skill development, practical theory, and more. Students learn tunes by ear and then apply them in multiple ways. Fun for both teachers and students!
This exciting series introduces beginner to intermediate level piano students to the art of playing from chord charts and lead sheets. Students learn a short tune by ear, apply theory, add harmony, and arrange their own version. In our studio, we introduce a new song each month - and so we call it "Song of the Month!"
“As a parent, I really appreciate the multi-faceted approach to learning music that encourages students to engage their creativity as well as their aesthetic senses. Music is much more than learning notation and technique. Kristi knows this and has developed a curriculum with a holistic approach that will serve every student throughout their lives.” – Parent

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Intro to Chord Chart Packs

Our Multifaceted Method

Chord charts are the star of our multifaceted show. Here is how we integrate all eight facets in one monthly worksheet:


We begin by singing, internalizing the intervals, and playing by ear.


Through singing, listening, tapping, and playing, students learn to internally sense the rhythmic flow of a song.


We connect aural to visual through notation and analysis of rhythms, patterns, and intervals.


What better way to understand theory than in the context of playing? Students learn to recognize pitches, tonalities, and chords.


Students are challenged to add scale and chord patterns into the song – what a fun way to incorporate those often-isolated technique drills!


Simple familiar tunes provide repertoire that students pick up quickly and can play without a score! Musicians always need a few tricks like this in their pocket!


Each worksheet includes a creative challenge in which students are encouraged to make their own variation or arrangement of the tune!


When every student is learning the same song, it helps develop a sense of community. They  collaborate by sharing their arrangements and turning them into ensembles! 
“It’s fun to learn to play all the songs I learned to sing as a kid.” 
Level 1 Student
"It's fun to do something different once in a while and be creative. I learn how to improvise and transpose. This is important because if you want to be a songwriter, it helps with those skills." 
Level 4 Student
"They're fun, and they're challenging. The best part is when I compose a song because I feel proud of myself when I do." 
Level 1 Student

Here's an idea of how each level progresses:

  • Level 1 – a couple of “hints” for playing the song by ear; simple analysis questions – steps/skips, higher/lower, same/different; ability to play in the C pentascale position.
  • Level 2 – Sing melodies with solfege; simple notation and analysis of phrases; familiarity with the key of C; ability to play melody with 5ths or blocked triads in the bass. 
  • Level 3 – Notation of rhythms and pitches; Familiarity with the keys of C, F, and G along with their primary triads; transposition; Ability to play RH melody with simple LH patterns (waltz, broken chords)
  • Level 4 – Writing lead sheets; familiarity with the keys of D, A, and E; Chord inversions; minor chords; variety of bass patterns.
  • Primer Level! I created a Primer worksheet so that my beginning level pre-readers can work on the same song as my other students! Their sheet is much simpler of course, but full of so much fun!

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Intro to Chord Chart Packs

The Chord Chart Connection

Watch as Kristi walks you through the Song of the Month series.

Hi! I'm Kristi

Owner of Kristi Lee's Music School and creator of The Multifaceted Musician model. I am both a piano teacher and a piano parent, and  I am passionate about the next generation of musicians. My mission is to help teachers and parents integrate all facets of musicianship into their studios and homes so that students walk out our doors with lifetime skills to both enjoy and employ music. Are you with me?

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