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Have You Ever Thought About This?

Kids communicate… they write, they talk, they text… words… a “million” words a day.

And some of them, these kids with so many words flowing, can sing.  Maybe not perfectly in tune… but close enough.

Now here comes the question.  Why don’t these kids, the ones with all the words, write songs?

Isn’t That Asking Too Much?

Think about it a minute.  We work with kids.  We teach them.  We know what they can do.  We ask them to write essays or reports.  They do.  We ask them to write in journals.  They do.  But when we want them to sing, we hand them a song written by someone else – usually someone who has grown up.

So… is there a way we can help kids write their own songs?

The Missing Piece

A little more thought and  the realization comes… it’s not the words, it’s not the creativity, it’s not the storytelling or the desire to communicate that’s missing… it’s something else… a missing piece… and the missing piece dances with words and melodies to make music.

The missing piece is… CHORDS!

And That’s Why Kids Don’t Write Songs

Not just kids… adults too.  Thousands of them.  People who love music, but cannot express themselves that way.  Their thoughts, their longings, their dreams don’t ever flow as a line of music… because they don’t have chords.  And it takes chords to write songs.

Yes, chords… and maybe years… years spent learning how those chords fit together.

Now… Watch!

What would happen if you took “ten years” of music, and dropped it into ten minutes?  Just ten minutes to explain to a child in the fifth grade, or seventh grade, or a high school freshman, how to use a tool… a musical tool which would allow them to explore chords and chord progressions… and one dollar… average cost… say, for 25 kids, just 25 dollars?

This is what I’d like to share.

It’s a map… a musical map… actually, it’s a screenshot from a software program, and you click on the map with a mouse.  It’s that simple… just point and click.  And when you do, all kinds of chords come out.  Major chords, minor chords, chords in their various inversions, 2 chords, 6 chords, 7 chords, 9, 11, and 13 chords… and you can switch the key to any of the major keys… just one click away… and not only do you hear the chords being played, you have the option of seeing the notes displayed on a virtual piano keyboard.  The map looks like this.

It Looks Complicated.

Actually, it’s very easy.  You just click with a mouse… and listen… and click again.  Even a young child can explore chords and progressions… in any major key.  It’s that simple.

And that’s one of the reasons I’m writing…

…to share ideas like this with friends in the Music Education community… and to let everyone know – here’s a tool you can use with your students… to encourage them to explore chords… so that someday, maybe in your classroom, some thoughts and dreams that were once just words… will be Words and Music!

If you would like to find out more, you are invited to visit…

The link is chordmaps.com/YoursToPlayIt/

(Or you can visit chordmaps.com and then look for the link to the playable maps.)

All the best,
Steve Mugglin 

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