CPTP077: How to Teach Lead Sheets and Chord Charts with Susan Deas

teach lead sheets

teach lead sheets

Teach lead sheets and your students will be more likely to be lifelong pianists. In fact, Susan Deas surveyed teachers and found that 90% thought teaching lead sheets was useful skill. Cultivating a love of music and keeping students playing was also rated as a primary focus, and most teachers thought lead sheets would help with this.

So why are many of us still not fitting this creative skill into our lessons?

Susan Deas

Susan Deas takes a practical, straight-forward approach to lead sheet playing. Her book, Improvisation for Classically Trained Pianists, breaks down this skill into a truly step-by-step process.

As Susan says: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, have a go!”. Jump in to episode 77 and find out how you can teach lead sheets in your studio.


If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

Inner Circle Members: You can access your PDF download now from the Resource Library. Not a member?

In this episode, you’ll learn

  • The difference between a chord chart and a lead sheet
  • Why Susan set out to research the area of improvisation
  • What Susan found out about teachers’ attitudes to creativity
  • Why teachers don’t teach lead sheets, and why they should
  • How to get piano parents on board with improvisation
  • How Susan prepares young students for lead sheet playing
  • What you can do to fit more improv into your piano lessons
  • Susan’s top tips for how to teach lead sheets

Links Mentioned

Get $100 off Annual Inner Circle Membership

As a valued podcast listener, you’re eligible for a $100 discount on an annual Inner Circle Membership. This discount lasts for as long as you’re a member and whatever price you sign up for today is the price you’ll pay as long as you remain a member.

Copy this coupon code to use when you see the “Coupon Code” box:  PIANOPODCAST.

Thank you for Tuning In!

There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine.

Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run.

Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons!

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons on the left of the page.

Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes. Reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to show’s ranking and you can bet that I read every single one of them personally.

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

Do you teach lead sheets in your studio?

If so, what approach do you use? If not, what’s stopping you getting started?

Do you like the idea of a more step-by-step process for teaching lead sheets and chord charts?

Your ultimate teaching resource

subscribe to the
Integrated music teaching podcast

Are you ready to upgrade your teaching?

Join the world's largest
creative music teaching membership

30 day money back guarantee

We understand that confirming your membership is a significant decision, so if you purchase a subscription and, within the first month, realise that this is not the right fit for you, simply send a message and we will refund your money immediately.

contact us

Reach out to learn more about our multi-teacher memberships