Category Archives: Sheet Music

Patriotic Songs for Piano | Easy Piano Sheet Music

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In the United States, Independence Day is just a few days away. Fourth of July celebrations bring fireworks, picnics, parades, and patriotism, and nothing expresses that sentiment better than traditional American patriotic songs. Whether these songs tell a story from American history or simply pay tribute to the nation, they all inspire pride and patriotism fitting for the 4th of July.

Below are links to patriotic piano sheet music for kids, ranging from level 1 to level 4, all in the easy to early intermediate range. By learning these classic American songs, kids are able to join in the celebration of their country and maybe even learn something new about its history.

Yankee Doodle isn’t the most solemn of patriotic songs. In fact, the song likely originated as an attempt to mock the colonists. The most common lyrics, which tell of Yankee Doodle riding his pony to town, depicted the colonists as simple country folk, poorly attempting to appear dignified or cultured. (“Macaroni” in these lyrics refers to a fashionable style of Italian dress.) However, in true American style, the young nation adopted with pride the song meant to poke fun at them.

Get Yankee Doodle Level 1 Piano Solo

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Just the first three notes of The Star Spangled Banner are likely to get any American on their feet. The United States’s National Anthem is a pairing of Francis Scott Key poem and, ironically, a British tune. Key penned the lyrics in 1814 as he witnessed an assault on the American Fort McHenry. His poem circulated in newspapers and was paired with the already popular melody “To Anacreon in Heaven.” It wasn’t until over 100 years later that “The Star Spangled Banner” was officially named the National Anthem of the United States.

Get Star Spangled Banner for Level 2 Piano Solo

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America the Beautiful doesn’t tell a story– instead, it describes the many beauties of the Unities States. Once again, this song originated as a poem which was soon paired with a tune. The poem was written by Katherine Bates, who was inspired by the scenery on a trip to Colorado, and the tune was composed by church organist Samuel Ward. When combined, the new song became a stirring tribute to the natural beauty of the country.

Get  America the Beautiful for Level 3 Piano Solo by Samuel A. Ward

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The Battle Hymn of the Republic arose out of a time of strife in America. The Civil War had divided the country, and in 1861, soldiers were marching off to battle to fight their own countrymen. One of the songs that developed in the Union camp was “John Brown’s Body,” a rather morbid song sung to the tune  of a folk hymn. When Julia Howe heard the soldiers singing, she was inspired to write new lyrics. When her lyrics were published, a new American tradition was born.

Get  Battle Hymn of the Republic for Level 3 Piano Solo

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Another well-known song to come out of the Civil War is When Johnny Comes Marching Home. While the tune was first heard as a Civil War drinking song, it got new dignity when Patrick Gilmore penned new lyrics. It expresses hope for the end of the war when the soldiers would arrive home to celebration.

Get When Johnny Comes Marching Home for Level 4 Piano Solo

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The country that inspired all of these songs continues to inspire new compositions as well. One of these is a simple song written for beginning piano students. We Love You America by Andrew Fling expresses patriotic sentiments to a easy-to-play melody.

We Love You America for Level 1 Piano Solo

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Have a Happy Independence Day as you celebrate with music and more!

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American Music Composers | Free Printable Biographies, Sheet Music and Worksheets
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Bible Songs & Hymns for Piano | Free Easy Piano Sheet Music

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Printable Piano Books for Kids

Learning to play the piano used to require a trip to the nearest music store– sometimes not so nearby– and a considerable investment in piano method books. Now, music books for beginning piano and beyond are available to print instantly, and often much more affordably, than traditionally published piano books. Printable piano books offer the convenience of printable sheet music with the cohesion and progression of a lesson book. Wherever your students’ piano skill level or interests lie, there’s a printable piano book that will capture their interest and advance their skills.

Piano Books for Beginners

MMF! All-In-One Piano Primer Book for the Young Beginner (33 Page PDF/ Digital Download)

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This book is the perfect starting point for young students with no previous experience. Starting with the most basic note names and rhythms, this guide carefully builds from just one right hand note. Rhythms and dynamics remain limited so that students can build confidence as they walk through a progression of songs carefully crafted to build skills and confidence. Engaging worksheets are also interspersed with the songs to help students solidify the concepts they need to know. The short pieces and variety will keep kids eager to turn the page, and before they know it, they’ll be receiving the certificate of completion that comes at the end of the book!

MMF! All-In-One Beginner Piano Book | Level 1A  (31 Page PDF/ Digital Download)

mmf-piano-book.jpgThis piano book is also designed for beginners, but moves a bit more quickly than the previous book. This would be a great choice for slightly older beginners. Students who completed the primer could review and expand their knowledge of piano basics with this book as well. Partner pieces give students the opportunity to focus on one skill at a time, allowing them to see the same concept applied in two different contexts. Songs and worksheets are short, varied, and strategically paired and sequenced so that students experience maximum success and mastery.

 

Meet the Composer Series

As young pianists progress, they may be ready to meet classic composers sooner than you’d expect. With well-crafted arrangements, some of the greatest classical pieces can be accessible at an easy/ intermediate level. But instead of spending hours searching for the right arrangements to cobble together a collection of classics, try these ready-made printable books. Each book in the series includes a kid-friendly biography of the composer along with several of their most famous works. The arrangements are approachable for kids but retain the well-known melodies and harmonies that make these pieces so timeless and memorable.

Beethoven | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 1 (17 Page PDF/ Digital Download)
Highlights: Ode to Joy, Beethoven’s Fifth, and Moonlight Sonata.

Mozart | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 2 (22 Page PDF/ Digital Download)
Highlights: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (Theme from Ah, vous dirai-je Maman), Marriage of Figaro, and Turkish March.

Tchaikovsky | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 3 (23 Page PDF/ Digital Download)
Highlights:  March of the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet Love Theme.

Bach | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 4  (24 Page PDF/ Digital Download)
Highlights: Minuet in G, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, and Toccata in D Minor.

Special Interests

Composing and accompanying aren’t usually the first skills you’d think of teaching kids. If presented appropriately, though, they can be very approachable and enjoyable for young musicians! These books are perfect for students who might need some variety in their lessons, who like new challenges, and who show creativity or interest in improvisation. These skills can also open doors to new types of music, such as current popular music, classic rock, or worship music.

Composing with Kids | Five “Recipes” for Success

composing-with-kids-book.jpgFor some, composing comes naturally, but there are patterns and skills that can be learned. This printable book walks aspiring composers through five “recipes,” or basic sounds, explaining what musical patterns create that particular effect. Then, students are invited to use their newly acquired knowledge to generate original pieces. Composing with Kids could make a great summer activity for the right student. They may be inspired to fill the blank staff pages with their own musical masterpieces!

The Piano Chords Fun Book™ | A Beginner’s Guide to Accompanying

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The world of lead sheets, chords, and accompanying might seem overwhelming, but this book makes it easy to approach. It starts with the basics of chord naming, including a very helpful chart. Then, several basic rhythmic patterns, such as “boom-chick” are demonstrated. If kids can identify the notes in the chord and follow the pattern, they are well on their way to accompanying using lead sheets. Full of examples and practice exercises, this approach provides a balance of guidance and freedom that will both encourage more hesitant improvisers and inspire the more free-spirited.

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Noah’s Ark | Bible Songs, Piano Sheet Music, and Coloring Page

Noah’s ark is a favorite Bible story for kids. It’s not surprising, then, that the story became a favorite Bible song as well. Generations of kids have sung “Who Built the Ark” at Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and beyond. Its simple question and answer chorus and narrative verses make the song memorable, but there’s a chance you may not remember all six verses. If you want to enjoy the song with a new generation of kids, here are a few lyrics to get you started:

Who built the Ark?
Noah, Noah,
Who built the ark?
Brother Noah built the ark.

Old man Noah build the Ark,
He build it out of hickory bark.
He build it long, both wide and tall.
With plenty of room for the large and small.

Who built the Ark?
Noah, Noah,
Who built the ark?
Brother Noah built the ark.

In came the animals two by two,
Hippopotamus and kangaroo.
In came the animals three by three,
Two big cats and a bumble bee.

Get the rest of the lyrics for “Who Built the Ark?”

Kids who have loved singing the song will also love playing it on the piano. This easy/ level 2 free piano solo is approachable by even young piano students.

Get “Who Built the Ark?” for Easy/ Level 2 Piano Solo

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(2 Page PDF/ Digital Download)

“Who Built the Ark” isn’t the only Bible song based on Noah’s story. “Good Old Noah” also tells the story of animals on the ark. Sung to the tune of “Old MacDonald,” the song also brings in some of the animal-noise fun of Old MacDonald’s farm.

Good old Noah built an ark,
Like God told him to!
And on that ark he took two lions
Like God told him to!
With a roar, roar here and a roar, roar there.
Here a roar! There a roar! Everywhere a roar! roar!
Good old Noah built an ark
Like God told him to!

Good old Noah built an ark,
Like God told him to!
And on that ark he took two ducks
Like God told him to!
With a quack, quack here and a quack, quack there.
Here a quack! There a quack! Everywhere a quack! quack!
Good old Noah built an ark
Like God told him to!

Get the complete lyrics for “Good Old Noah”

Just as songs reinforce the story of Noah and his ark, so does a visual art activity like a coloring page.

Get free Noah’s Ark Coloring Page

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If you’re looking for the lyrics to more favorite Bible songs, visit MakingMusicFun.net’s Bible Song Library.

If you’d like more free printable Bible coloring sheets, check out MakingArtFun.com’s Bible Coloring Page Index.

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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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Orff Orchestrations for Elementary Music Students | Free Sheet Music

The Orff approach is all about getting students actively involved in the music-making process. If you aren’t familiar with it, follow this link to a summary of the Orff-Schulwerk Process.

If you are using Orff orchestrations, you know you can never have too much music or too many ideas. The free Orff orchestrations below are all instantly printable and both lyrics and an option to listen to the piece. Some include activity ideas, too.

Easy Orff Orchestrations With Classroom Activity Ideas

Shake Those ‘Simmons Down | Orff Orchestration

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Little Tommy Tiddlemouse  | Free Orff Orchestration

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Tommy Snooks | Free Orff Orchestration

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Easy Orff Orchestration Sheet Music

Engine Engine No. 9 | Free Orff Orchestration
I’m as Free a Little Bird | Free Orff Orchestration
Oh, Susanna | Free Orff Orchestration
Song of the Bluebird | Free Orff Orchestration
Tideo | Free Orff Orchestration
The Wee Little Scare | Free Orff Orchestration

Intermediate Orff Orchestration with Free Music Lesson Plan

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Run from the Farmer | Free Orff Orchestration
Run from the Farmer | Free Lesson Plan

 

Free Intermediate Orff Orchestration with Activity Idea

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Sourwood Mountain | Free Orff Orchestration

 

Intermediate Orff Orchestration Sheet Music

A Cat Came Fiddlin’ | Free Orff Orchestration
Jack Be Nimble | Free Orff Orchestration
Oh, Susanna | Free Orff Orchestration (Extended Version)
O, The Train’s Off the Track | Free Orff Orchestration
Sakura, Sakura | Free Orff Orchestration

Get students out of their seats and into the action with free Orff sheet music and classroom activities.

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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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