Tag Archives: Sheet Music

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

john-williams.jpg

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

___________________________________
Related Posts
John Williams Music Lesson Resources | Lesson Plan Guide
John Williams Composer of the Month Bulletin Board Pack
Modern Era Essentials | Easy/ Intermediate Piano Sheet Music
Ragtime Piano Sheet Music for Easy-Intermediate Solo (Digital Print)
Top 10 Easy/ Intermediate Piano Solos | Piano Sheet Music

more-american-music-composers-free-curriculum.png

Advertisements

Springtime Piano Solos | Easy Piano Sheet Music to Celebrate Spring

Spring technically arrives in March, but it usually isn’t until April that it starts to feel like the seasons have changed For those of us in northern climates especially, the arrival of spring is cause for celebration. Many composers have also found inspiration in the sights and sounds of springtime. This sheet music collection will help you and your piano students welcome spring in style. Click on any of the links below to read lyrics, listen to the arrangement, and to purchase or download free sheet music.

Little Green Frog (Galumph) for Level 1 Piano Solo. The sound of galumphing frogs is a sure sign of spring! Their calls combine with the chirps of insects to create a pleasant evening hum.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game for Level 1 Piano Solo. Springtime means baseball season is starting up again. Get in the spirit with this ballpark favorite.
Blue Bumblebee for Level 2 Piano Solo by Andrew Fling. A buzzing bee means blooming flowers. This play on “Flight of the Bumblebee” adds a fun and bluesy twist.
Song of the Bluebird for Level 2 Piano Solo by Harkins/Fling. Of course, you can’t talk about the sounds of spring without at least one mention of birds’ songs!
Spring (Four Seasons) for Level 2 Piano Solo by Vivaldi. No explanation needed!
A Tisket A Tasket for Level 2 Piano Solo. Easter baskets, May baskets, baskets of flowers…this song isn’t directly about spring, but there are plenty of connections!
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring for Level 2 Piano Solo. You can’t have spring without April showers.
Michael Row the Boat Ashore for Level 2 Piano Solo. This one might be a bit of a stretch, but no one’s rowing any boats ashore when the lakes and rivers are frozen! Getting back out on open water is an exciting part of spring and summer.
Six Little Ducks for Level 2 Piano Solo. In many areas, you are bound to see ducklings, goslings, or other baby birds emerging into the springtime sun.
Hallelujah Chorus for Level 3 Piano Solo by George Frideric Handel. If you’ve ever survived a Midwestern winter, you can confirm that this piece captures the feeling of knowing it’s over!
Country Gardens for Level 3 Piano Solo. Planting gardens and watching them begin to sprout has always been one of the great joys of spring. This English folk song dates back to the 1700s, so we know people have been appreciating gardens for centuries!
For the Beauty of the Earth for Level 3 Piano Solo by Pierpoint. Both the melody and lyrics of this song celebrate the sheer beauty of nature, which is especially visible in the spring.
Sheep May Safely Graze for Level 4 Piano Solo by J. S. Bach. This Bach classic evokes a peaceful pastoral scene, complete with contented sheep.

Some songs celebrate spring as a whole, while others focus on just one small creature or aspect of the season. In any case, introducing new easy piano sheet music that fits with the season is a fun way to keep students engaged and connect their music to the world around them.

____________________________________
Related Posts
Free Piano Sheet Music for Beginners (PDF)
Great Composer Masterworks for Kids | Free Piano Sheet Music (Level 3)
Top 10 Piano Pieces for Beginners | Piano Sheet Music
Top 10 Easy/ Intermediate Piano Solos | Piano Sheet Music
Irish Folk Songs for Piano|Free Easy/ Intermediate Piano Sheet Music
Bible Songs & Hymns for Piano | Free Easy Piano Sheet Music
Ragtime Piano Sheet Music for Easy-Intermediate Solo (Digital Print)

springtime-piano-solos-easy-sheet-music.png

Modern Era Essentials | Easy/ Intermediate Piano Sheet Music

The works of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic composers are essential to a well-rounded study of piano. When we look to the past for great music, though, we shouldn’t forget the more recent past. The Modern Era, starting around the turn of the 20th Century, includes many innovative composers whose distinctive works opened up new musical possibilities.

Though they don’t boast centuries of history like music from earlier eras, music from the Modern Era has most definitely played a part in shaping music history. Adding piano sheet music from this era to students’ repertoires also brings variety in style and sound, and its relatively recent origins can pique students’ interest. Being able to place the compositions into historical contexts they are more familiar with helps the music come alive to them in a unique way.

The ten Modern piano sheet music pieces below represents a wide range of works of the Modern Era arranged for Easy/ Intermediate piano. From ragtime to orchestral to Broadway musicals and film scores, the composers and pieces below have helped shape Modern music, and some are recognized among the greatest compositions of the Era.

Simple Gifts by Aaron Copland for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo
The Entertainer by Scott Joplin for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo – Play and Learn™
The Entertainer by Scott Joplin for Intermediate/Level 5 Piano Solo – Play and Learn™
Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo
Dance by Dmitri Kabelevsky for Easy/Level 2 Piano Solo
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major by Dmitri Shostakovich for Intermediate Piano Solo
Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin for Easy Piano Solo
Somewhere from Westside Story by Leonard Bernstein for Easy/ Intermediate Piano Solo
Memory from Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber for Easy/ Intermediate Piano Solo
Theme from Jurassic Park by John Williams for Intermediate Piano Solo
Star Wars (Main Title) by John Williams for Intermediate Piano Solo

Learn more about the lives and contributions of the composers above and composers from other eras by visiting the Meet the Composer index on MakingMusicFun.

Some sources may say that the Modern Era ended decades ago, but others contend it continues into the present time. Either way, these pieces demonstrate that music doesn’t necessarily need to be old to be excellent. Even some of the musical and film score pieces on the list are recognized as the best of their genre, and they represent new facets of musical expression that were introduced during this era.

Incorporating piano music from the Modern Era into your students’ lessons can stoke their enthusiasm. It can also demonstrate how music changed through the decades as well as the qualities that have always made great music great, regardless of time or place.

________________________________
Related Posts
Great Composer Masterworks for Kids | Free Piano Sheet Music (Level 3)
Essential Bach | Piano Sheet Music
Essential Beethoven | Piano Sheet Music
Essential Tchaikovsky | Piano Sheet Music
Essential Mozart | Piano Sheet Music

modern-era-piano-essentials.png