Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” from ChordTime Piano Hits may be the favourite wedding song of our generation. It also happens to be the perfect song to learn four chords that define western popular music: I, vi, IV, and V. These chords surely sound familiar by now—they’re the same four chords we looked at last week. If you’ve thought about teaching your students to write pop songs, this one is a beautiful model. It employs a waltz-like compound meter (the beat divides into three, rather than two). Sheeran also breaks up the chord progression for the bridge, simply altering the order of the four favourite chords to: vi, IV, I, V.

Dr. Faber approaches this song through our ACE teaching model, using Analysis, Creativity, and Expression. He analyzes the song’s skeletal ingredients by looking at the chords used. Can you challenge your students to do the same, and even use them as a foundation for improvisation and composition in your studio?

New to our Hits books? Explore the series, including ShowTime® (Level 2A), ChordTime® (Level 2B), FunTime® (Levels 3A-3B), and BigTime® (Level 4 and above).