i wonder if i can pick the brains of you wonderful and generous folks;i am teaching my 10 year old grand kids piano.i know what i am giving them may be unorthodox but.i give them the melody notes to practice and i write them out. beneath the melody i give a  2 note shell ? consisting of  a combo  of 1-7 -10. what do you think. they love it and it sounds great  jeepers creepers and it dont mean a thing. thanx
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well, there you go then ...
what a beautiful introduction to music. i wish i could have had such an "unorthodox" instruction as a child.  it would have reduced my search by years.
dear folks thanks for your  very encouraging response
later, charlie
i'm no great expert here, but i'm teaching my 8-yr old son (quite a feat, given that i'm just learning myself).  hal leonard has a series called "easy-play-today", which is a basic lead-sheet notation, but with big typeface with letters in the note-heads (and accidentals everywhere, rather than showing a key signature).  it works well for him (and he hasn't really had trouble transitioning to reading a regular lead-sheet).  there is a lot of material available in this format (obviously, lots of kid stuff, but also broadway, jazz, and even classical).  the chords are usually simplified (all 3-note chords, but 7ths are sometimes annotated above the "main" chord).  i'm just teaching him standard 3-note left-hand (1,3,5) and melody in the right for now.  i'm not sure his hand is big enough to reach a 7th yet (let alone a 10th...although certainly a 3rd).  also, i figure he's better-off knowing the "standard" chord spellings before he gets into "jazzier" voicings.

best of luck
for what it's worth, my dad started me on lead sheets when i was about 4 years old.  i learned all major and minor triads in second inversion, he called it the "pointer method" (i think that stemmed from his organ training)  after i was comfortable with those it was easy to add a 7th since it's right to the left of the root.  i kinda figured the rest out myself
i have a few of those "easy play" books and use them on gigs- they're easy to see and i know enough about harmony,melody,rhythm, and improvisation to make some desent sounding arrangements. i've gotten very good use out all of them especailly the beatles"easy play" book
my daughter is 3 years old. i've always just let her explorebang and picks out little "melodies" with her index finger. just today i said to her "do you want to play a piano game?" she said yes so i got out some washalbe markers and marked c,d,and e with diffenent colors on the keys. then i colored her rh thumb the same color as c, her index finger the same color as d, and her 3rd finger the same color as e. later i'll add the 4th and 5th. so far she liked it and she's uses her fingers instead of just one finger. i'm not sure if this a good method or not.
sounds cool paul (but messy:)
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