Chroma Keys Lesson Book 1 - Studio License
Chroma Keys is a unique and imaginative piano book designed to make learning the piano fun—without sacrificing content. Instead of beginning with pre-reading songs using alphabet letters or finger numbers, Chroma Keys uses colored note heads to train the student’s eyes to track the staff notes from the beginning. Chroma Keys builds on the natural learning progression of young kids--that of colors before letters--and the colors also help show patterns in their music.
Chroma Keys features piano friends that are linked with each key/letter to help make learning abstract concepts fun and engaging. Even rhythmic dictation and melodic dictation become kid-friendly with this method. Composing is made easy since students can simply color the notes; I’ve had even young students compose other songs on their own at home!
There are no fixed fingerings in the books so that students don’t associate a certain key with a specific finger. Instead there are blank hands beside each piece, which the teacher can then use to mark each finger with the color of the key to play for that song. This allows the teacher to customize the “fingering” and have students switch fingers as much or as little as they prefer. The visual reminder of the hands also helps students who struggle with right/left—students can simply hold up each hand and match it to the one on the page before they begin. The open fingering also allows little learners to start with a braced index or middle finger instead of traditional fingering too.
Chroma Keys seeks to engage the child’s imagination and creativity. Therefore there are no dynamic markings in Book One. Instead, we ask questions about the piece and what would sound good for each song. For example, in the song “Thunderstorm,” we ask whether the thunder part should be loud or soft. And then we talk about whether we want it to be loud the whole time or have the thunder be a surprise. These kinds of discussions help students experiment and create with their songs and ask questions that link emotion and feeling to music—building the understanding of musical expression.
The Supplemental Book provides extra songs for each unit, whether for sight reading practice or to work laterally and stay on one topic longer.