Left Hand Accompaniment Styles on Keyboard

Left Hand Accompaniment Styles on Keyboard

Meryl Moore
[email protected]
Portsmouth High School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments


High School




MIDI keyboards
Notation software (Finale Notepad or other)


70 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Beginner keyboard skills
Read notation in treble, bass clef
Can play C, F, G7 block chords in left hand with a simple melodic line in right hand.

NAfME Standard of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standard of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing 

NAfME Standard of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
NAfME Standard of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 


Piano lesson book being used in class (Bastien Piano Methods book for Older Beginner)


Student will improvise LH accompaniment patterns to a melody played with right hand.

Student will choose an appropriate pattern to notate on the staff.


Student chooses a simple 8 measure song featuring a melodic right hand part accompanied by block chords in left hand.
Practice playing each hand separately until both parts are learned (20 minutes)

Teacher plays several examples of alternate left hand accompaniment styles, keeping fingers in block chord formation (arpeggiated, broken chords, etc.) Student imitates teachers examples in several meters and keys (15 minutes)

Student returns to song learned earlier and improvises different LH styles. Chooses one that works well with song, practicing until song can be played with both hands without pauses at an appropriate tempo. Notates entire song using notation software such as Finale Notepad. (35 minutes)


Teacher evaluates (by listening) how well student has learned parts separately. (Smooth execution of each part, no pauses or breaks in playing)

Teacher evaluates and advises student during improvisational part of lesson. (Accompaniment style must fit the meter, represent the correct chord)

Final evaluation of notation and performance of song, grade based on rubric (Performance technique, musical accuracy, notation accuracy, use of class time)

Follow Up:

Perform songs for class. Pass out notated copies and play each others songs.
Transpose song at sight into 2 different keys.
Repeat the same lesson using a more difficult song (longer, more chord changes). Change accompaniment styles from one section of the song to another as appropriate.

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