Pop 103 – Introduction to Chords: The I-V-vi-IV Chord Progression




Pop Music Lesson Plans for Grades 5-8: Use Pop Music to Teach an Introduction to Chords

* Suitable for in-person and remote learning – includes Powerpoint presentation file

This lesson pack is inspired by Axis of Awesome’s comedy song “4 Chords”. It uses a mashup of pop songs to illustrate how many popular hits use exactly the same chord progression. This is an excellent jumping-off point for introducing the concept of chords and chord progressions.

* Please Note: The concept of chords is a complex one, with different types of chords (major, minor diminished, etc) and different methods of performing them (arpeggios, inversions, etc). These lessons are meant as an INTRODUCTION to the concept and therefore explain chords at a superficial level. If you are an experienced musician you may consider my definitions and explanations to be incomplete or simplistic: Please rest assured that this is intentional in order to provide an educational building block, rather than oversight. ☺

This lesson was meant to follow the lesson on the major scale in our “Pop 102” product. Students should have a prexisting understanding of the major scale in order for these lessons to be effective. While these lessons can be used independently, we recommend using them within the context of the complete unit found here:

Pop Music Unit: 12 Lessons on the Musical Elements of Pop


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