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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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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