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Learning to play chord charts in a group environment – lesson one

Prepare to Learn

Chord Charts provide many valuable opportunities to create satisfying musical experiences. Our Way Cool Keyboarding program provides a step-by-step system for learning to play chord charts in a group environment. In this first video, I’ll provide you with lesson plan ideas as you Prepare your class to learn. The chord chart I’m using in this video can be found on page 7 of Way Cool Keyboarding 4 Kids Book 2. Feel free to download the PDF and play along.

As you’re preparing your lesson plan for “Way Cool Chords 7,” keep in mind what concepts and skills your students have already acquired. If your students have experienced the five chord charts in Way Cool Keyboarding 4 Kids Book 1 and the first chord chart in Book 2, they already know C, Csus, C2, and, recently, G chord. As you look at this new chart, you’ll notice this is the first time students have played a bass line with chords in the right hand, and, there is a new left hand position to discover.

Now that you’re aware of what students already know and what is new to them, you’re ready to get started.

Learn New Left Hand
  • Introduce the new left hand position by ear (book closed)
  • Invite students to look at their hand
  • Students open their books
  • Write in finger numbers for left hand
  • Students play left hand along with teacher while looking at the chord chart. Students play with the track. Teacher continues to cue. Repeat.
Review Right Hand Chords
  • Review right hand chords
  • Spend extra time moving from C2 to G and G to C2 – “drop the thumb”
  • Students play right hand slowly with teacher. Students repeat with track
  • Hands separate, only, during this Initial Prep portion of the lesson

The activity above is a portion of an actual group lesson. An off-bench activity or game might be in order next. You might want to close the class playing a favorite tune or improvising together.

Next: Learning Chord Charts in a Group Environment – Lesson Two:  Play Hands Together


"Way Cool" 4 Schools - Group Piano Summer Workshop 2022
Dates and Times:

Friday, July 22nd | 2:00pm-7:00pm
Saturday, July 23rd | 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, July 24th | 10:00am-3:00pm

Travel and Accommodations:

McAllen International Airport

Group block rooms at the historic Casa De Palmas for $119 a night.
Includes shuttle to and from the airport.
Use discount code: SUMMER22

Topics covered during our fun weekend of learning:

  • Interactive group piano experiences
  • Classroom activities both on and off the bench
  • Proven teaching techniques to include in every class
  • Valuable tips and ideas from other educators
  • Creating lesson plans with Way Cool Keyboarding
  • Classroom management with multiple pianos
  • Inclusive Philosophy and Pedagogy that encourages every student
  • Engaging ensembles your students will love to share


  • All training materials for the weekend provided
  • Refreshments provided daily
  • Lunch included Saturday
  • New Yamaha and Roland digital pianos for demonstrations
  • Saturday night trip to local Mexican restaurant
  • Opportunity to make friends in our Way Cool community

Workshop Registration Fee:  $349.00

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