There is one game I play
with kids at the piano that has the power to universally delight them
while at the same time solidifying their knowledge of chords.
I call it CHORDOMATIC.
It presumes that your
child knows how to play the chords C, F, G, D, E and A. I allow the child
to play a two-note chord, which is really just the bottom two notes of a
triad in root position.
The apparent object of
the game is for the child to beat you to the keys and play a chord before
you do. The real object of the game is to solidify the child's knowledge
of the six basic chords to the point where producing them is almost
In general I allow the
child to imitate me and play the chords with the second and third fingers
of the right hand.
My feeling about kid's
fingering for chords is somewhat different from most teachers. I don't
insist that they play left hand chords with the fingers numbered 1,3 and
5, as most standard texts demand.
The reason for this is
that children's fingers are too weak to find the chords quickly, and
they waste time trying to figure out which fingers to use.
Since this is a chord
game, rather than a fingering game, I generally allow them to play three
note chords (if they are old enough to play three note chords) with their
first three fingers, which are their strongest. That is, thumb, index and
But the object of this
game is speed, so we use two fingers and two note chords, especially if they are very
young or unsure.
First I raise my fingers
(the first two) high above the piano and announce that "Chordomatic"
has been sighted in the area.
In an ostentatious voice,
I demand, "Chordomatic commands you to play a C chord!" and then I
dive for a C chord as fast as I can, inevitably beating the child to the
keys. I make a noise like an airplane buzz diving towards the ground for
extra theatrical impact.
The child senses that
fun is happening, and they will immediately try to beat you.
The next chord, say F, I
get to a little more slowly so that we have a tie. By the third chord, I
let them beat me.
We then embark on two or
three minutes of chord study using this silly game.
sometimes gives more information if they forget that D, E and A chords
have a black key, like this: "Chordomatic commands you to play a D chord
with a black in the middle!"
This game always succeeds
in fascinating kids with chords and increases their ability to produce
them quickly and happily.
After a while all I have
to say is the word "Chordomatic!" and the child leaps to the keys to
beat me, wildly playing every chord they can get their hands on.
The next extension of
this game is to select a chord, say C, and have the child play EVERY C
chord on the piano. You will have to show them that C chords are right
next to the group of two black keys, but this variation teaches the child
the larger pattern of the piano.
Chords are the DNA of
music and every child benefits from having the six basic chords at their
Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved
See also ROOT
See also FIRST
See also SECOND
See also THE
SIX BASIC CHORDS FOR CHILDREN
See also TWO
NOTE CHORDS FOR KIDS
See also PIANO
CHORD GAMES FOR KIDS
See also WHY
CHILDREN SHOULD LEARN ABOUT PIANO CHORDS
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