Category Archives: Elementary Music

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today – an Easy Version

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

I’m posting an  arrangement of Christ the Lord Is Risen Today for students who want to play easy arrangements of Easter Hymns. This arrangement requires students to shift hands and play some patterns that are not exactly in 5-finger patterns. You will notice this is not as easy as it looks and sounds. The left hand accompaniment in the second measure of the “Alleluia” pattern (the end of each line) can be omitted if it proves to be too difficult. Help your student with the first measure of the last line. That is a tricky passage, as well as the left hand of the last measure. If it is too difficult, try omitting the left hand when it doesn’t have the melody.

This is one of my favorite Easter hymns. The lyrics were written by Charles Wesley (the Anglican Church pastor and the founder of the Methodist movement in the U.S.) and the music is attributed to Lyra Davidica, which is obviously not a person’s name. I am a history buff and I was curious about that, so in my usual way, I did some research.

It turns out that Lyra Davidica ( David’s Harp) was hymn book published in 1708. The full title is Lyra Davidica, or a Collection of Divine Songs and Hymns, partly newly composed, partly translated from the High German and Latin Hymns; and set to easy and pleasant tunes). It seems the English were rather envious of the German’s “pleasant and tuneful melodies,” so this book was a way to bring some of those tunes to England. What musician wouldn’t be jealous of the Germans, who produced some of the greatest musicians who ever lived! Fortunately for English speakers, we were able to nab Handel! 😉

Thanks to the IMSLP Music Library, which has a huge data base of public domain classical music, I was able to look through every page of this old hymn book and see the original melody, which is evidently an anonymous tune. It was slightly more flourisher, but basically the same. Was the composer German? We will never know. The words, of course, are different, since Charles Wesley was born in 1703, but the original tune has Easter lyrics.

Hymn books of that time were very different from hymn books we use now. The old hymn books would alternate between hymns with music notation and other hymns with the verses only and no notation. It is interesting that nowadays in some churches the same thing is done, with the lyrics being projected on a screen or written in a church bulletin with no accompanying music notation.

This is a very old hymn, and the fact that it is still around says something about both the music and the lyrics. I hope by encouraging our students to learn some of these hymns, we can pass along our music legacy.

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Filed under Easter, Elementary Music

Jingle Bells for Three- an Elementary Trio

Jingle Bells for Three Trio

Jingle Bells for Three $7.99

A piano trio for 6 hands and one piano

Every year I write a piano trio for my students to play at their December group lesson. They are always fairly easy so that busy students can learn them quickly and have a lot of fun with them. Older students can sight read them and less experienced players can practice them in advance.

Today I am adding my piano trio arrangement of Jingle Bells for Three (17 pages $7.99) to the store section of my website.  This is a studio license, so a single teacher may print unlimited copies each year. Buying trios digitally allows the music file to include scores in various configurations so the teacher can print they want. This file includes individual parts, a teacher’s (conductor’s) score, a traditional piano trio score, and the cover.

Jingle Bells for Three is really easy because I wanted something for my youngest group.  We started practicing it in November and the group lesson was in December. They were really proud of themselves. I had a few students who had just started, so they provided the jingle bell accompaniment. I had some families use it for their Christmas family gatherings. I even have parents who read a little music come in to the lesson for an impromptu rehearsal. It is such a joy  to play together just for the fun of it!

 

 

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Filed under Christmas, Elementary Music, Group lesson ideas

New Book! Songs I Already Know

Songs I Already Know 

Students love to play songs they know!

Songs I Already Know is a collection of 10 well-known children’s songs arranged for young beginners with lyrics, duet parts, and hand drawn illustrations.  The melodies are written in a variety of 5-finger hand positions on or near middle C to encourage children not to associate a finger with a certain piano key.

Duet parts for parents or older siblings!

Each student part is complete with a primer level melody divided between the hands and lyrics. But there is an optional, easy accompaniment for each song. Parents and siblings often have trouble reading two hands on one staff, which is how most teacher duets are written at this level. However, the accompaniments in Songs I Already Know are written on the treble and bass staves like regular piano music, which makes it easier for parents and older students to accompany the melody.

Songs include:

  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
  • Down by the Station
  • London Bridge is Falling Down
  • Eency Weeny Spider
  • Are You Sleeping
  • Hickory, Dickory Dock
  • It’s Raining It’s Pouring/Rain, Rain, Go Away
  • Do Your Ears Hang Low
  • Bingo
  • The Farmer in the Dell

This is a great book for sight reading, students who are not ready to go on to the next level, or a supplementary fun book. It’s fun because most students are familiar with the songs!

Check out this book in the Store section to see samples of the songs. Thank you for supporting this website by donations and purchasing music!

This is a studio license, so a single teacher can make unlimited copies for years of playing.

 

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Filed under Elementary Music, Preschool Music Resources

Animal Alphabet Songs

AnimalAlphabetSongs

7 Alphabet Animal Songs

I tried to make it easy for everyone by creating one PDF document for all 7 of these songs. But for some reason, no matter how I tried, the links were not correct. So I am starting all over with new links. If this doesn’t work, I will have to come up with another cunning plan. 🙂

You have permission to use these with your students. They may not be sold, the files may not be shared, and they may not be posted on other websites. You are welcome to share a link back to this page. Hot linking the PDF is not allowed. The music, lyrics, and art are my original creations.

When I first published these songs in 2013, each one was a separate blog post. I discussed the creative process in writing them and how very, very difficult it is writing a song with just one or two notes. That is why I composed duets for each one.  They make the music a lot more interesting for student and teacher.

I think students do better at reading in the long run if they learn from the very beginning that middle C is not always going to be a thumb. I know not everyone agrees with this, so please feel free to put whatever finger numbers suit your fancy. In some of the songs, I left the fingering off so that you can do just that.

These pieces are supposed to be like nursery rhymes. The lyrics help with the rhythm and make the songs more fun. Please encourage your students to sing or at least chant along!

Below are links (hopefully!) t0 the original blog posts for each individual song. I had so much fun writing these songs and using them with my youngest students. That is why I enjoy sharing them with you. Do your students have a favorite? I would love to know which one! Even better, I would love to see a video of your student singing and playing!

Alligator, Alligator, All You Play is A

B is for the Baseball Bear

Pat the Cat’s Patting Song

E is for Elephant

The Doughnut Mystery: It’s D Day

Frogs Wearing Flip Flops

G Is For Giraffe

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Elementary Music, Note Identification, Preschool Music Resources