Building Chords with Bricks

I’ve been trying to think of an interesting and portable resource to help with uteaching chords and inversions. I never got the hang of these, never ever, until I started learning to harmonise Bach Chorales as part of my teaching diploma.

Then I had a mini-brain-wave, partly sparked off by a post in www.teachpianotoday.com. Their idea involved cutting up pool noodles (what is a pool noodle???? some serious googling required here!  It turns out they are colourful foam noodles made out of the same stuff you use to insulate pipes. Obvious to the teachpianotoday team because they live in the hot sunny part of USA. I suppose you all knew that too.)

Anyway, pool noodles didn’t seem portable to me; but how about little coloured wooded bricks?

chord 1smaller5

I wrote the note letters on them with a black marker pen; red seemed obvious for C, green for G, blue for B. There are only six colours, but I have some tape with fishes on it, so stuck that over some spare red bricks for F.

Now to build chords.. C, F and G

chord 2 smaller 7

Inversions? Piece of cake.

chord 3 smaller 7

How about a cadence?

chord 4 smaller 7

Modulations? Major and minor? Just add sharps and flats to the other sides of the cubes.

chord 5 smaller 7

I can’t wait to use these in theory and practical lessons. Now all I have to do is find a use for the the other 80 cubes left in the box…

Oh my mind is fairly whizzing with more uses for these little bricks. Good-oh, that’s another dozen Music Jungle Posts in the pipeline!

birds on a branch divider

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