Resources, seasonal / holiday

11 Sheet Music Craft Ideas

After posting about the sheet music ornament star last week, I was inspired to dig around the web for other music-related crafts!  There are tons of ways to recycle old sheet music (which you can often find at thrift stores, garage sales, auctions, and antique stores).  Here’s a sampling of what I found!  All links lead back to the original bloggers’/crafters’ websites.  Click the photos to view them larger.

1.   Sheet Music Garland | This fun garland is fast and easy, made by cutting out sheet music circles and sewing them together.  It’s perfect for decorating a music room, fireplace mantel, or Christmas tree.


2.   Sheet Music Light Switch Plates | Cover your plain light switch plates with sheet music to give the room a little zing!


3.   Advent Calendar Cones | These sheet music cones can be used to stash Advent calendar goodies.


4.   Sheet Music Wreath | Hang this beauty on your door or above your piano.  Another example is shown here.  Also try mini ornament wreaths like the one as shown on this blog.

< Continue reading “11 Sheet Music Craft Ideas”

repertoire / methods, Resources, seasonal / holiday

List of Free Christmas Music Arrangements on the Web

Christmas is on the way, whether you are ready or not!  My students are already starting to ask about Christmas music.

I have a lending library of Christmas books that I’ve built over the years (including used books I find at garage sales and thrift shops), and I also like for my students to own their own Christmas books. But sometimes, it’s helpful to be able to find simple arrangements for free, printed from online. Below, I’ll list a few places I’ve found free Christmas arrangement sheet music for piano.

By the way, I am a stickler about observing copyright especially when it comes to sheet music…and I encourage you to be the same! Composers and arrangers deserve every penny of their royalty fees, and I am proud to support my fellow artists. Let’s do our due diligence and be sure to use sheet music legally. If you are wondering whether a free arrangement you find online is legal for you to use, please confirm that (1) the tune being arranged is no longer under copyright and is therefore in the public domain (otherwise the arranger is breaking copyright by not paying royalty fees to the copyright holder), and (2) the copyright holder of the arrangement is the one providing the arrangement to you (otherwise the person providing the arrangement is breaking copyright by giving you something that is not theirs). If you’d like to read more about copyright when it comes to music, check out this article from the U.S. Copyright Office. Continue reading “List of Free Christmas Music Arrangements on the Web”

repertoire / methods, Resources

Links page has been updated

The Links page here at has been updated!  I’ve created a new category devoted to sites with free sheet music, preferably for piano.

My personal favorite:

IMSLP / The Petruccit Library

This site contains TONS of sheet music pdfs of the great classical works!  Just this week, for example, I was looking to round out one of my student’s “musical diet” by giving her a piece from the Romantic Era.  After browsing around on the IMSLP site, I came across the Burgmüller Etudes Op. 100, which includes some lovely little pieces which were among my favorite pieces to play when I was a kid.  Examples: “Arabesque,” “Grace,” “Progress,” “Innocence,” and “Ballade.”

Do you have a favorite site where you print free sheet music?  Please let us know and I’ll add it to the list!

Announcements, improving as a teacher, repertoire / methods

Organizing your Music Books

DSC_20090831_6801How do your organize your library of music books?  About a month ago, I purchased a new bookshelf (see photo) for my music, because most of my books were still in boxes with no place to go since our move to our new apartment.  In just a few hours, I managed to re-organize all my music books, and I’m proud to say I can actually find stuff I’m looking for when I need it!

Here’s how I organize my books:

I divide my music into two major categories:

  1. Student-level repertoire
  2. Advanced repertoire

Within the above categories, I divide my books further into the following categories:

  • Sheet music — organized by level (e.g., early elementary, late intermediate, etc.).
  • Classical music — alphabetized by composer last name.
  • Classical Anthologies — books that contain pieces by a number of different composers.  When possible, I organize these books chronologically (i.e., by music period).
  • Sacred music — books of hymn arrangements.

I also have a few other categories:

  • Method Books — such as Alfred, Faber, etc., organized by method series and then by level.
  • Technique — such as Finger Power, Dozen A Day, Hanon exercises, etc.
  • Theory — such as Notespellers, books of theory worksheets, etc.

How do you organize your music library?

repertoire / methods, Resources

Best Free Sheet Music Sites

Picture 3You can never have too much free music!  Head on over to and check out this post:  11 Best Free Sheet Music Sites.  It is an excellent list of sites that contain free pdfs of sheet music.  A word of caution: not all free sheet music online is copyright free.  Always be careful to observe copyright restrictions, if any.

repertoire / methods, Resources

Free piano arrangements of anime music

I recently received a new transfer adult student.  She’s an excellent sight-reader and a fun person to be around!  She has a great interest in anime (for those of you not familiar with anime [AH-nee-may], it is “a style of animation developed in Japan,” according to  Shehas been teaching me quite a bit about anime and video game music.  I think I am learning just as much from her as she is from me.  =)

Evidently, there is a wealth of free piano arrangements of anime music themes online.  The arrangements she has been working on (they are “just for fun” pieces, which accompany her classical repertoire, of course) basically sound like new age solo piano music (think Jim Brickman or George Winston).  Below, I’m passing on a few links she shared with me:

  • Check out this recording of “Sadame” for piano here, and then find the sheet music here (scroll down to the “Animes” section, and click the pdf icon for “Destiny – Sadame” ).
  • Other sites for finding free anime sheet music can be found herehere, and here.
  • It can seem overwhelming to browse through these anime sites, especially when you’re not sure what you are looking for.  For me, it’s a whole new world within the sheet music realm!  According to my student, anything from Final Fantasy, Naruto, and Inuyasha is good.

I hope you find this information helpful for any high-school or college-aged piano students you might have.  Happy browsing!

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!

repertoire / methods, Resources

Free Sheet Music @

Picture 4Free sheet music is always a good thing, right?  :]

By signing up for a free Silver membership over at, you’ll have access to free pdfs of classical music scores, including:

  • Bach – 15 Inventions
  • Beethoven – 32 Sonatas
  • Burgmuller – 3 pieces from 25 Easy and Progressive Studies
  • Schumann – Traumerei
  • Tchaikovsky – 2 pieces from Album for the Young
  • . . .and other random pieces by composers such as Mozart, Clementi, Listz, and Brahms — including an arrangements of Pachelbel’s Canon in D and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee.

If you upgrade to a Gold Membership, you’ll have access to even more music.  Personally, I am planning to stick with my free Silver membership.  I am thrilled to be able to print (for free!) these great classics for my students, particularly for the ones with little money to spare for piano lessons during these rough economic times.

Announcements, repertoire / methods, Resources

Earn 8% when you order sheet music

Picture 6Sheet Music Plus has begun a new promotional program for music teachers to earn 8% back in rebates when they or their students order from  I was thrilled to hear about this program last week, because I just so happened to need a few music books!  

Other perks:

  • $2.99 budget shipping.
  • Going on now: save 20% on piano method series (ends September 2). 

So sign up now, and start earning 8% back in rebates when you order your sheet music!


Free Easy Piano Arrangements for Students

Have you ever had a student who has a particular interest for learning familiar tunes?  The internet is becoming a wonderful resource for easy piano arrangements – which you can commonly download and print for free.  One site in particular that I have turned to frequently for my students is a site called G Music Theory by Gilbert DeBenedetti.  His arrangements were perfect for a student I once had who wanted to be able to play some of her favorite songs.  So I assigned a few of these “just for fun” pieces for her to learn on her own.  It was a big hit – she loved them. 

When you visit his site and click on Free Piano Music, you’ll find that he has a large amount of music sorted by difficulty (from Beginning to Intermediate) – including some duet music.  What a great resource for those adults or little ones who want to learn to play their favorite tunes! 

Be sure to check out the rest of the site – there are a number of music theory worksheets and other resources available as well.