Special Birthday Song
I wrote this for a student to learn to play for his brother’s birthday. You can use this with any beginning student. I decided not to put finger numbers in the “staff” version so that you can use what ever position you wish to start on. Also, the pre-reading version can be played on the black keys. If you have a young beginner with a summer birthday, this might be a fun song to print!
Isn’t it kind of sad when our students get too old for this kind of thing? Sad, and happy, too, because we can introduce them to a whole new world of music!
I originally drew the illustrations for a birthday game I posted a few years back. Click on the title below for the free download. This game has two levels, so you can play it with more than just beginners. It’s a fun game and it doesn’t have to be their birthday to play. It might be fun to use if you’re having a summer piano camp. The game is a big file, and it may take a while to download.
The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Whenever I update my music or graphics for my own students, I like to share them with you. This has been on my website a long time, but when I was just about to print it out for a student, I decided I wanted to update the picture of the partridge. While I was at it, I spaced out the measures so it would be easier to read.
I tried to make this music look appropriate for all ages, so you can use this with beginning adults as well as children.
It is very easy to improvise a duet with this song, since you can harmonize it with 4 chords while the student plays an octave higher.
Click on the link or the picture to download.
Alligator, Alligator, All You Play is A
I struggled with a poem to go with my alligator drawing. It was so much effort to draw Mr. Alligator that I guess I had nothing left for the poem. Also, I wanted a very easy melody with lots of A’s; something that a 5-year-old can sight-read.
And then, when I was least expecting it, the words and melody came to me. “Alligator, alligator, all you play is A. Can’t you find another note to play for us today?” Even the older brother loves the poem. One of these days I might recycle my poem into a more interesting melody!
My student wanted to know if all the alligator can play is A, why are there three notes in the song. Students and their questions! I told him he was smarter than an alligator, so he can play more notes. He had never played bass F and G, but since we are using the Notey Noteheads cards, it was not a problem for him. It’s all about learning to read by intervals.
The teacher duet was confusing to play along with. So if I were you, I would not use the duet until your students can play the song confidently. The eighth note rhythm is the problem, so try just playing quarter notes if your student has trouble.
If you are new to this blog, this song is part of a set of pieces I am writing that feature a different animal for each letter of the alphabet. Other songs in the set are D is for Doughnut, E is for Elephant, Pat the Cat’s Patting song, Frogs Wearing Flip Flops, and G is for Giraffe. You can see them all here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. You can also look back in the previous posts or do a search on the search tool on the right side.
G is for Giraffe
If you have been following my blog, you know about my new series of short piano teaching pieces that feature letters of the alphabet for students who need more music than is in their method books. Click on the links to read about E is for Elephant, The Doughnut Mystery, Pat the Cat’s Patting Song, and Frogs Wearing Flip Flops. You can use the Search and Find games, which feature the same animals, to reinforce the note names.
Do you find yourself frequently crossing out finger numbers? I plan to use this piece with the right hand thumb on G. However, instead of writing in the fingering, I added a small box instead for you to write in your own fingering.
My preschool student thought this was very much like the Frog Flip Flop song, but in a good way. It gave him some security, and I was happy he could sight read it. Young children like to do the same things over and over, and older children like variety.