Keyboard skill patterns including scales and chords are the ingredients that make music function. At group lessons and throughout the month piano students will be trying out some of these games to sharpen skills and help them see the application of keyboard skills in their music.
When we learn to identify these repeating patterns in music we can read new music more quickly, improvise and also play familiar songs by ear more easily. For example, the beginning of Joy to the World" is recognized as a descending major scale, and "Heart and Soul" is simply of series of roots with chords played in an energetic rhythm style.
HEAR: Scales and Chords Ear Training GamesTheta Music.com has a newer feature including basic online courses with lessons and games for scales, chords, intervals and progressions. You can choose a course and follow it step by step, or click "show full course list" and browse a variety of games that fit your level. Many of the games like Paddle Pitch and Chord Drops can be played individually in piano lab or round robin style in a small group setting. The games cover various concepts including matching scale pitches, identifying I IV and V patterns, identifying the tonic and recognizing chord qualities.
SEE: Scales and Chords Visual Identification GamesMany of these resources are free and you can view more resources relating to other concepts on my Piano Game Resource Page. They make engaging lesson starters or group lesson activities!
- Chords Go Fish (Keyboard Pentascale or Triad Chord Flashcards)- Recognize the groups of similar major chord/scale patterns (vanillas, hamburger, oreos and oddballs).
- 4DP 5 Finger Pattern Matching (1-2) - Match the keyboard pentascale patterns its scale name.
- HPN TetraChord Tango (2-3) Tetrachords/1 8va Scale pattern
- SP Whole Half Step Game (3) 1 8va Scale Pattern on the keyboard
- TPT Stampin' Up the Scale (3) Timed 1 8va Scale pattern on the keyboard
- PN Scale Step Manipulative Cards (4) 1 8va Scale pattern on the keyboard and staff
- MMF Sing it! Play it! Write it! (3-5) Scale patterns on the keyboard and staff
- HPN Speedy Scale Builders (3-5) Relating scale patterns to key signatures
- HPN 4 Scale Sisters Ear Training (3-5) Major and 3 minor scale ET
- Quizlet Roman Numerals Chord Symbols (1-5)- Match numbers to their Roman numeral symbol (1=I, 2=ii, etc.)
- HPN Collect a Chord (3-5)- Identify the letter names used to build root chords (CEG, DFA, etc.)NM Curvy Chords (4-5) - Play, name or invert chords.
- LMS Go Fish Tonic Triads (4-6) - Identify chord names on the staff
- CK Inversion Diversion (5-7) - Identify if chords are in root, 1st or 2nd inversion on staff/keys.
- PN Tasty Triads (5-7) - Spell major, minor, diminished and augmented chords
- MMF Chord Building (5-6) - Identify chords (Maj, min, dim, Aug) on the keyboard.
- PN Connect-a-Chord (7) - Spell Maj, min, dim, Aug chords
Do you have any favorites to add to the list?
FEEL: Scales and Chords Application
Once you can easily hear and see scales and chords in your music, the real fun begins as students experiment with different scale and chord patterns using some of these activities.
- Primary Songs with I and V Chords- Accompany yourself with I & V chords as you sing Primary Songs.
- Teaching Piano Chord Progressions with Pop Songs - Play I, IV, V chord patterns along with pop songs
- Scaling the Chords - Bradley Sowash - Improvise melodies using scale patterns.
- Composing with Flour and Salt - Steps to create songs by combining scales, chords and arpeggios.
- Get Inspired: Leila Viss Episode 19 Pop Song Chords - Play chord patterns along with youtube pop songs.
4 Types of Scales Video and Free Printable
CK 7 Ways to Practice Scales
CK The Most Fun You'll Ever Have Teaching Piano Scales
Scaling the Chords - Bradley Sowash
Get Inspired: Leila Viss Episode 19 Pop Song Chords
Teaching Piano with Chord Colors
Minor Scale Teaching Poster