Piano Chord Patterns
Teaching Broken Chords to Beginners
Piano chord patterns to help your beginners learn broken chords.
This sheet is mostly for YOU, the TEACHER!
Please scroll down the page for the download links.
Why is this sheet for YOU, the teacher?
It is really too confusing for beginners to read... I just use finger numbers for my students when they start out with broken chords, like this:
5 3 1 1 3 5
This is more meaningful for them.
First they need some finger coordination
Before starting these broken chords, kids must be good at their pentascales - the scales that use fingers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, then build a chord using 1, 3, & 5 simultaneously.
This process of building finger coordination may take months for younger children... but perhaps just a few weeks for older students!
Look on the Piano Scales sheet music page to find both these scale sheets... even for non-note readers such as beginner piano students, these scale sheets are quite self-explanatory, especially if they have spent a few weeks with the practice sheets Wormies and Snakes.
Three levels of difficulty
There are three levels of accomplishment here... four, really.
First, kids play the chord tones one at a time. Then again. When "5-3-1, 1-3-5" comes easily enough, ask them to move up next door one key. Then, "5-3-1, 1-3-5" again.
After students have spent a week doing that at home with SUCCESS, ask them to watch you play Piano Chord Pattern #1. Ask them if they can tell what you're doing that is different! They are sure to figure it out.
Chords are fun to play - and beautiful
Because the chords are so pretty, kids will be eager to start them. Encourage them to stretch for the pedal, if they have long enough legs!
This is an "exercise" that kids will love to play. They will enjoy hearing themselves improve, gaining smoothness week by week.
The link for the chord pattern sheet:
Download the piano chord patterns sheet
Music for Music Teachers has other great free resources for piano teachers! Take a look:
Rote Learning - leaving the written page behind (or treating it like a map!)
Vivaldi Spring piano sheet music in two versions for early students, with and without note names. A nice introductory piece to the classical repertoire!
12 major scales & chords: free, printable downloads. One & two-octave scales, I, IV & V chords & inversions & arpeggios, & a new PART 2!
Printable piano music What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor, late elementary & first-year sheets! This may be your student's favorite for a long time.
The Wellerman: sheet music & lyrics for piano & other instruments. Such a fun, high-energy song to sing & play - learn it fast with letters in the notes!
This free piano sheet music PDF for beginners is really a fiddle tune! But don't tell your piano players, as it makes a rambunctious, easy duet! Now with Part 2.
Songs Old & Songs New
All the first-year material I give my beginner students.
Piano keyboard sheets, scales, chords, note-reading exercises, and over 256 pages of music!
Queen Esther in the Bible
This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This", available as a digital download, tells the riveting story of the time when Jews in ancient Persia faced a foe named Haman, and how a brave young queen risked her life to save her people.
A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theater production, or a class of children!
This book is also available from Amazon as a paperback.
Just the Black Keys
This book is available as a digital download from this site. Visit this page to see some free examples from the book.
It is also available from Amazon as a paperback!
This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.
And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!" They will be spending more time at the piano.
The Adventures of Tonsta
A perfect read aloud storybook
for little boys or girls.
The Adventures of Tonsta highlight the travels of a very young boy with a good heart, who goes about helping folk in trouble.
With a red cap on his head and a sack of tools slung over his shoulder, Tonsta seems to meet people in distress wherever he goes.
Lots of trolls in this book - including one who gives him a Christmas gift!
Available at Amazon
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About the Author
Hi, I'm Dana! (Say that like "Anna".) I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.
Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.
You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.