As a follow-up to the Connect-A-Chord game I used at my April group classes, I whipped up several short melody harmonization worksheets. I’m planning to do more composing and improv with students over the summer, and these make a great “warm-up” activity to get us thinking that way again.
The Connect-A-Chord game challenged students to think of all the possible triads that could go with a given note. I’ve been asking students to use that same skill to add some “color” to these worksheets. We start by filling out the sheet using basic I, IV and V7 harmonies. Then, we choose a couple of chords that students would like to make more interesting. We list several different possibilities – perhaps a minor or even diminished chord would help us to accent an unusual word in the lyrics. Students then play the phrase using each of their new chord options and select one. As time permits, we experiment with different accompaniment styles. It’s been a great activity to fill some time and give students a little bit of variety in the weeks leading up to our studio recital without adding to their home practice load during this busy time of year.
There are 4 different songs available for download on my studio site: Baby Bumblebee, Boom Boom Ain’t It Great to Be Crazy, I’m Going Out To Eat Worms and Great Green Gobs. (Notice the ‘silly’ theme? I’ve been having a lot of fun surfing through the BusSongs website I recently discovered and have found that my students don’t know a lot of these great ‘classics’! We’re going to have to do something about that!!)