Category Archives: 6th Grade

Pomp and Circumstance | Free Piano Sheet Music

At this time of year, there’s one song you’ll be hearing from kindergartens to high schools to college campuses: Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance. Preschoolers in paper hats and doctoral candidates alike will be entering their respective ceremonies to the march that has become ubiquitous at U.S. graduations.

Do you need simple Pomp and Circumstance sheet music to accompany a ceremony of your own? Do you have piano students who heard the regal march and now want to perform it themselves? This free Pomp and Circumstance sheet music for level 4 piano solo captures the dignity and formality of the familiar orchestral piece in an arrangement kids can proudly play.

Get Pomp and Circumstance for Piano by Edward Elgar

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2 Page Printable Digital Download

Pomp and Circumstance wasn’t intended to be a graduation march. In fact, in its native England, the piece wouldn’t be associated with graduation. It would much more likely be identified as the patriotic “Land of Hope and Glory,” and sung with lyrics that were set to it before it ever reached American shores.

When Sir Edward Elgar was awarded an honorary doctorate at Yale in the early 1900s, however, the piece took on a new life in a new land. In Elgar’s honor, his Pomp and Circumstance was played as part of the recessional music. Yale continued to use a portion of his piece as a march in their graduations, and other colleges and universities soon followed suit. Now, even those who may not be able to name the tune would instantly recognize it as “that graduation song.”

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More American Music Composers | Free Printable Biographies, Sheet Music and Worksheets

Today’s post is a continuation of the American Music Composers post which explored the lives and music of great American composers. The three composers featured below make great subjects of study anytime, but especially nearing the end of a year of lessons. Their music is just plain fun to listen to and to play, and even kids who are staring out of classroom windows or slacking on their practice time will be engaged by it.

scott-joplin.jpg Scott Joplin, the second of six children, was born sometime between June 1867 and January 1868 in eastern Texas. His father was a slave, while his mother was born a free black woman. After 1871 Joplin and his family moved to Texarkana, Texas. It was then that young Scott taught himself music on a piano in a home where his mother worked. Get complete free printable biography.

Joplin’s rise to musical success, just one generation removed from slavery, is certainly remarkable. Review his story with Scott Joplin | Word Search Worksheet and Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet, and put a face to the name with Scott Joplin | Coloring Page.

Seldom does one man define a musical genre like Scott Joplin defined ragtime. Recordings of his work make for enjoyable listening activities and are fun to play, too. Young pianists and other instrumentalists can try their hand at some of Joplin’s greatest hits with these sheet music selections:

The Entertainer for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo
The Entertainer for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo – Play and Learn™
The Entertainer for Intermediate/Level 5 Piano Solo
The Entertainer for Intermediate/Level 5 Piano Solo – Play and Learn™
Maple Leaf Rag for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo
Easy Winners for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo
The Entertainer for Easy Flute Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Clarinet Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Alto Saxophone Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Trumpet Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Trombone Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Violin Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Viola Solo with Piano Accompaniment
The Entertainer for Easy Cello Solo with Piano Accompaniment

gershwin.jpgGeorge Gershwin was born as Jacob Gershowitz on September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York. George, the second of four children, was born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents Morris Gershowitz and Rosa Bruskin. His father changed the family name to Gershwin after immigrating from Russia. Get the complete free printable biography.

His is another story of a fascinating rise from high school dropout in a Brooklyn apartment to brotherly partnership and worldwide fame. Free resources for reviewing Gershwin’s biography include George Gershwin | Word Search and Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet.

Gershwin composed a number of hits that have stood the test of time, often accompanied by his brother’s lyrics. Here are a few favorites arranged for easy/ intermediate piano.

Rhapsody in Blue  for piano solo
Summertime for piano solo
They Can’t Take That Away from Me for piano solo

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John Williams was born on February 8, 1932, in Floral Park, New York. In 1948 John moved with his family to Los Angeles, California. He later attended college near his home in Los Angeles where he began to study composition. After college he was drafted into the United States Air Force where he had the opportunity to arrange music for, and conduct the Air Force band. Get complete printable free biography.

From show tunes with Gershwin to movie magic with Williams, the stage and the silver screen have inspired some memorable American music. After reading Williams’s biography, review with John Williams | Word Search Worksheet and
Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet. Then, get on with the show to enjoy the many classic film scores that Williams has composed.

Since his works are recognizable and accessible, they lend themselves well to listening activities for kids of all ages. Guide their listening experience with the following listening glyphs, customized for some of the most well-known Williams pieces. Glyphs allow students to record what they are hearing with color, helping them learn what to listen for and giving them vocabulary to describe music. star-wars-listening-glyph-worksheet.jpg

John Williams | Film Score Music Listening Glyphs
Star Wars (John Williams) | Music Listening Glyph

Jurassic Park (John Williams) | Music Listening Glyph
Indiana Jones (John Williams) | Music Listening Glyph

Besides for the films listed above, Williams is also known for ET, the Harry Potter films, Superman, and Schindler’s List. Kids can make their own soundtrack with the piano sheet music selections below.

Star Wars Main Theme for intermediate piano Solo
Hedwig’s Theme from the Harry Potter films for student (easy)/ teacher duet
Raiders March for intermediate piano solo

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American Music Composers | Free Printable Biographies, Sheet Music and Worksheets

You won’t find Americans on a list of great Baroque composers due to the simple fact that the United States wasn’t quite a country yet during the Baroque Era. The young nation isn’t terribly well known for its Classical or even Romantic Era composers, either. But when the Modern Era dawned, it was time for Americans to shine.

Several revolutionary American composers helped define the Modern Era and are considered among its greatest talents. Get to know these American musical legends with free printable composer biographies, intermediate and easy piano sheet music, and worksheets. Two will be featured in this post, and additional composers will be showcased in an upcoming post.

leonard-bernstein.jpgLeonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1918. His father, Sam Bernstein, did not support young Leonard’s interest in music at first. Despite this, his father took him to many orchestra concerts. At one of these concerts he heard a piano performance that captivated him. It was then that he began to learn to play the piano. Get the complete free biography. Then, review the biography with Leonard Bernstein Word Search and Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet.

Bernstein stood out as a performer, conductor, and composer, but may be most readily recognized as the man behind West Side Story’s memorable musical score. Intermediate piano students can try their hand at “Somewhere” from West Side Story.

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Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 14, 1900 to Jewish parents who immigrated from Russia. His first experience with music came from his older sister who taught him how to play the piano.

By age 17, Aaron decided that he wanted to be a composer, so he began taking composition lessons from a respected private music instructor in Manhattan. During this time, Aaron attended many music performances at the New York Symphony and Brooklyn Academy of Music where he listened to the music of contemporary and classical composers. Following his passion for European music, Aaron left New York for Paris. Get the complete free biography.  Review information from the biography using Aaron Copland Word Search or Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet.

Copland was a truly American composer, incorporating jazz influences and folk songs in his works for orchestra, film score, and ballet. One of his most well-known works was his ballet score Appalachian Spring. The Shaker song “Simple Gifts” is featured prominently in this piece, and although Copland himself did not write it, he ensured that it would be performed and recognized for years to come. Here’s an arrangement of “Simple Gifts” for level 3 piano solo.  The lyrics to the original song are available on this page as well.

Bernstein and Copland aren’t the only great American composers. Watch for another post featuring more outstanding American composers’ stories and works.

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Amazing Grace │ Easy-Intermediate Free Piano Sheet Music (3 Levels)

Teaching kids the technical basics of music is important, of course. It’s also important– and quite a bit harder– to teach students about the emotional power of music.

Some songs can have effects that go beyond the notes on the page. They can evoke emotions and tap into larger traditions and memories. Amazing Grace is certainly one such song. This beloved hymn has been a source of comfort and an expression of faith for generations.

Due to its power and popularity, this song has been recorded and arranged countless times, with all kinds of different instrumentation, styles, and moods. There are numerous arrangements for solo piano alone, and fortunately, this means that students of any skill level can be a part of the tradition. Here are just three free piano arrangements for students of various levels.

Beginner/ Easy
Even the youngest pianist can play the familiar melody of Amazing Grace. This very easy arrangement passes the melody between right and left hands and includes the lyrics of the first verse. Only in the last two measures are two notes played at a time. Otherwise, this simple arrangement consists of the melody only, one note at a time. Students can build confidence by playing a well-known and recognizable song.

Get Amazing Grace Level 1/ Easy Free Piano Sheet Music

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Easy/ Intermediate
As students advance in their skill level, the tune of Amazing Grace can be enhanced. This lovely level 3 arrangements adds arpeggios in the left hand, creating a flowing accompaniment to the melody.

Get Amazing Grace Level 3/ Early Intermediate Free Piano Sheet Music

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Intermediate
More advanced students will appreciate the full sound of this arrangement, which includes right-hand chord clusters with a moving left hand. The rich harmonies make this both a strong accompaniment for singing and a powerful stand alone piece.

Get Amazing Grace Intermediate Free Piano Sheet Music

No matter what level a students is playing at, there is a version of this spiritual favorite for them to play.

Although the melody itself if moving, much of the power of this song rests in its lyrics, famously written by a reformed British slave trader, John Newton:

Lyrics
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come.
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home. Read More…

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Free Music Award Certificates

As the calendar turns to May, the end of the school year is in sight for many music educators. With the conclusion of an academic year comes the opportunity to recognize students’ accomplishments and contributions throughout the year. Whether in a classroom setting, private lessons, or  even homeschool setting, year-end awards leave kids feeling great about their growth, and maybe even motivated to put in some extra practice over the summer.

The library of free printable music award certificates at MakingMusicFun.net makes it easy to prepare attractive and meaningful awards for your students. With over 30 different colorful certificate designs, you can find a style that is just right for your kids, or even choose a variety of styles so that each one is unique. Many certificates allow you to fill in the reason for the award. The certificates below, for example include a “presented to” blank followed by a “for” or a “has” blank, so you can customize the award as you like.

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Other certificates are designated for band, orchestra,  or choir, and there’s even a recorder award! A promotion certificate is also available to mark a transition to a new level of any sort.

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Click on any certificate above to view and print, or view the whole collection of free music award certificates here. Print in color on heavy paper or card stock for highest quality appearance.

Need some ideas for year-end awards beyond participation or completion? Here are a couple of approaches to help you honor your students’ work. These might take some time, but could make a big difference to your kids.

Recognize Character Traits. Music tends to both reveal and build character. Consider calling out the unique traits you have seen your students display. Awards might include perseverance, diligence, reliability, encouragement, creativity, helpfulness, initiative, leadership, inclusiveness, and many more.

Award Specific Musical Skills. Take note of the musical contributions each student made in a group setting or recognize specific areas of excellence for students’ individual playing. Kids find a specific compliment much more meaningful than a general “good job.” For example, you might recognize technical proficiency, musicality, expressiveness, accuracy, range, rhythm, fingering, tone, or other skills specific to the musical setting. Improvement in any of these areas can be pointed out, too.

However you choose to award your students, they will appreciate their hard work and improvement being recognized. Create a scrapbook-worthy certificate that will help them take pride in how far they’ve come and encourage them to keep on improving.

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10 Nursery Rhymes for Guitar | Free Sheet Music

The rhythm and rhyme of traditional nursery rhymes make them great singalongs for young children. The simple, familiar melodies also make excellent easy pieces for kids learning to play guitar. Whether you’re leading a chorus of kindergartners or teaching a young guitarist, this free nursery rhyme sheet music for guitar can help. A lead-sheet format is used, with a melody line on the staff and chord notations above. Each one also comes with lyrics, and many include several verses. Finally, each one of these free nursery rhyme lead sheets for guitar can be instantly downloaded and printed for free.

Aiken Drum | Music, Lyrics and Guitar Chords
Hickory Dickory Dock | Music, Lyrics and Guitar Chords
Hey Diddle Diddle | Music, Lyrics and Guitar Chords
Hush Little Baby | Music, Lyrics and Guitar Chords
Itsy Bitsy Spider | Music, Lyrics and Guitar Chords
Mary Had a Little Lamb |Music, Lyrics (one verse) and guitar chords
Old King Cole | Music, Lyrics and Guitar Chords
Old MacDonald | Music, Lyrics and Guitar Chords
Row, Row, Row, Your Boat |Beginner Music with G Chord and Lyrics
This Old Man Music, Lyrics and Guitar Chords

Enjoy the addition of these classic nursery rhymes to your guitar sheet music library!

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Five Free Sheet Music Websites for Kids

There’s a lot of free sheet music available online, but it can be hard to find exactly what you need. You may run into poor-quality music, sites that don’t respect copyright laws, sites with hidden charges, or sites that are just plain frustrating to navigate. That’s why having a few trustworthy sheet music websites is important. Music teachers need to be able to find what they need quickly and to trust the quality and integrity of the music they assign their students. Students need websites that are safe and easy to use, with clear indicators of what pieces are fitting for their skill level.

This collection of websites all feature a significant amount of free piano sheet music, and some offer free sheet music for other instruments as well. One or more of these sites could become your go-to printable sheet music website.

  1. MakingMusicFun.net. This site offers an extensive variety of free sheet music for piano and numerous other instruments, including guitar, clarinet, flute, violin, harp, cello, and more. The large library of free piano sheet music includes sheet music for beginners through intermediate players. Pieces are organized by level and then categorized into groupings called “Great Composers,” “Traditional,” “Bible Songs/ Hymns” and “Original Works” and “Christmas.” The site also has a handy feature that allows you to listen to the song, so you’ll know exactly what you are downloading. For excellent variety in music instruments, levels and styles, easy-to-use organization, and quality of product, this site is a must-visit.
  2. G Major Music Theory. Although music theory resources are the site’s main focus, it also features a substantial collection of free piano music and free guitar sheet music. Once again, the level of each piece is clearly indicated, and a wide selection of beginner, easy, and intermediate pieces are available. The site has the unique feature of sorting piano music by country, too, and new music is added regularly.
  3. Piano Song Download.  As you might expect, this site focuses on free piano music. In addition to piano solos ranging from beginner to intermediate, it also offers a variety of lead sheets and piano tutorials. The music teacher who organizes this site has chosen to offer all of their music for free, so there is no confusion over whether or not a piece will cost money.
  4. FreeSheetPianoMusic.com. This site heavily features the work of French musician Gayla, and its main offering is lovely easy/ intermediate arrangements of classic piano staples. Most pieces are by well-known composers, so this is one good place to look if you are interested in introducing young students to classical favorites. All music is featured on a single page, so it is quite easy to navigate.
  5. Music for Music Teachers. Music for beginning piano students is the main focus of this site, with an emphasis on the first few years of study. This would be a great place to start for those looking for free resources for beginning piano. Vocal music, violin music, and lead sheets are also available.

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