Let's Make A Chord!

by Karl Hitzemann

This simple and educational little tune has one main purpose: to teach your students the concept of making a chord. The song starts with explaining that single notes make a melody. But when you sing notes together, you have harmony. And three or more notes played or sung together make a chord. The best part about this song is that once the three notes are established (in this case C, E, and G), the singers get to sing them together and make, you guessed it, a chord! Of course, once this basic concept is understood, you can expand on it by letting your students know about the many different chords that are possible, and that you can translate all these different chords from one key to another. You could even show them the chords that are used in the piano/vocal score for this song.

As luck would have it, there is another musical concept built into this song – dynamics. Note that at measure 13 the dynamic is marked as "mp cresc." The singers should start quietly and build to a fortissimo by measure 21. Then, at measure 28, they decrescendo and go back to 13 for the repeat. They will also get to do a crescendo beginning at measure 29. Just for fun, consider building the chord as they sing the last four bars. Meaning, have a group continue saying and singing "C," then "E," etc. It will make for an even greater illustration of making a chord.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.