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!

Broken piano chord patterns sheet music

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

Left           Right

This is more meaningful for them.

First they need some finger coordination

Pentascales for piano, for right hand

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!

Pentascales and chords for piano for left hand

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

Broken chord patterns for beginner piano

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!)

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About the Author

Dana Thynes

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.