Sheet Music

Just Released: “Grace”, a Late-Intermediate Solo

Today, I’m pleased to share with you a piece of music called Grace that I composed some years ago, as an undergraduate student.

My first two years of college studies were spent as a piano performance major at Grand Rapids Community College, near my hometown in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have such good memories of my time there. It was a time of great growth for me, both personally and as a musician. I was meeting and making friends with people wonderfully different from those in the “bubble” I had grown up in up to that point. I adored my piano professor. And I felt like my musical senses were becoming more alive every day, thanks to the Aural Comprehension and Music Theory classes I was taking. I was experiencing immersion in a vibrant, diverse, and musical environment.

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Sheet Music

Just Released: “Simplicité”, a Mid-Intermediate Solo

Today, I’m pleased to share with you a composition I wrote a couple of years ago called Simplicite.

I’d been long intending to finish notating Simplicite and create a video recording for the piece. I’m never at a lack of exciting projects to work on, but now in the midst of the current Covid-19 pandemic I found myself looking for a specific kind of thing to focus my energy on. I felt somewhat at a loss until I pulled out this project. It’s been a good project in the practical sense because it’s something I can easily start and stop, working in tandem with my baby daughter’s napping schedule. But more importantly, working on Simplicité has felt…comforting, somehow. This is a testament to the power of music, perhaps!

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Printables, Sheet Music

Student Christmas Gift: Original Piano Composition

Hope you had a nice Christmas and are enjoying a break from teaching!

Now that Christmas is past, I can share about the gifts I made for my piano students this year.  🙂

As you may know, I love creating homemade gifts.  Last year, I home-recorded a CD of a few favorite classical teaching pieces. In 2012, I baked iced music cookies and in 2011 I created personalized glass sheet music ornaments.

For this year’s project, I decided to compose two pieces (one mid-elementary level and one late intermediate level) and give them to my students for Christmas.  Here is a peek at how the elementary piece turned out:

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Music Theory, Printables, Sheet Music

Learning Triads & The Happy Birthday Song

major-snowman-triads-thumbnail1To follow up on my post from last week about my last group class (we call them “Piano Parties”), I wanted to share about the other two activities we did.

We started with this fun triad worksheet from Pianimation.com.  This worksheet was a good reinforcement about what they learned from playing their major five-finger patterns, and was a good preparation for playing the 12-Bar Blues as a duet (as described in the previously-mentioned post).

Before playing the 12-Bar Blues, though, I had them playing the Happy Birthday song as a duet.  I created a simple arrangement of the melody in Finale, with the chord symbols included above the staff.

I assigned the younger student to play the melody as written in the treble range of the keyboard, and instructed the other student to create a simple accompaniment by reading the chord symbols.

Happy Birthday song preview
This was an excellent exercise in learning how to listen to each other!  🙂

I found out later that two of my students played the Happy Birthday duet for an older sibling’s birthday, a couple days later.  What good timing!  I think it is great for students to be able to play basic tunes like the Happy Birthday song for their families.

I also wrote an easy arrangement of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” but we didn’t have time to use it that day.  You can download both arrangements as free pdfs on the Printables > Sheet Music page.

Printables, Sheet Music

Added: 4 New easy Christmas Arrangements

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I know, I know, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and I’m already talking about Christmas!  But since I’ve been updating my Printables page recently anyway, I went ahead and put up some easy Christmas piano arrangments too:

(See Printables > Sheet Music)  These arrangements are suitable for beginner students who are comfortable reading on the staff and playing in the key of C.

Printing Christmas sheet music off the internet is a great alternative to asking students to buy Christmas books — after all, they only get used for about a month or two out of the whole year.  Be sure to visit Susan Paradis’ site as well, if you are looking for more Christmas arrangements (click here for a listing of Holiday Music.)  Hers are much more attractive than mine, I must admit.  I need to learn how to do more with graphics.  =]

Have you found other sites where you’ve found Christmas arrangements for students?  Please share!