The Four Secrets to Harmonizing a Pop Tune


Playing a sonatina with style and elegance is admirable and playing from a chord chart with confidence is equally admirable (in my opinion) but perhaps not part of a typical lesson plan? I shared my secrets--I mean ideas--for building this important skill in a recent post for JoyTunes, the developers of Piano Maestro. Piano Maestro played a crucial role in my itinerary for a summer camp focused on playing from chord charts. My plans led a group of gals to successfully harmonize a favorite tune, "10,000 Reasons,"  featured in the app. The steps could easily be used for a private lesson setting as well.

It all boils down to four "secret" ingredients: the four chords found in the over-played but under-appreciated "Heart and Soul" chord progression. These chords along with some careful instruction can help anyone harmonize just about any pop tune. The videos below demo the curriculum and future outcome. You can read the fully outlined steps here.

GOOD NEWS! Piano Maestro just added exercises to their library for mastering chords, cadences and inversions. This is a terrific aid for building student chord-playing skills! Within your account, go to Library, Exercises and then you'll see a category for Chords. The exercises can be transposed to oodles of different keys.

More GOOD NEWS! Here's an instant download of all the details so you can access the steps and videos easily, any time!

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Below is a video of me playing the chords along with the melody featured in Piano Maestro.

I'd love to hear how you help your students play from chord charts!