Updated: Sep 22, 2019
The Work Will Teach You ... Estonian Proverb
Are you new to teaching lead sheets? Most piano teachers are trained to teach note reading and interpreting classical music in addition to the technique behind piano playing. Lead sheets can be a mystery.
If you have students who play in church, a high school jazz band, or want to add some easy pop for fun, then you have students who want to know more about chords and lead sheets.
Unless you play for a church or gig at the local jazz club, you likely haven’t had much access to reading chord symbols above a melody. Learning to play lead sheets requires skills that are attainable for all classical teachers. Don't feel you have to master chords and improvisation before you teach it. The work will teach you how to do it.
"How do I start?"
Start with 2-3 students. When you teach a unit or concept, you teach it 2-3 times in a week. Repetition speeds up your learning process!
"Where will I find students?"
Look at your current student base and decide who will likely enjoy lead sheets: - students aged 11 to adult often want something popular in their repertoire - RCM grade 4 - 10 students - reading chord symbols compliment classical teaching by enhancing ear and rhythm skills
- students playing for church or in a high school jazz band will thank you. Even if your piano student is playing sax in the band, they will acquire a better understanding of lead sheets and become great at their improv solos when they learn this skill from you.
Once you have chosen 2 or 3 students tuck in 5 mins of chords at the start or end of their current lesson or suggest adding an extra 15 mins to their lesson time. The goal is persistence. Little steps to a new way of thinking about music.
What is stopping you from taking that first step? Leave your comments and you'll find you are not alone. If you did take that first step, was it a good experience? Let us know!
For more teaching support visit the Play Piano Chords Today WEBINAR page.