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#1261957 - 09/03/09 05:01 PM easy to play children's favorites
Emdragonfly Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 2
I've been searching for a book for primary and level one piano students of familiar and favorite children's songs. The method books only include a small number of familiar songs. Ideally, the book would have words to sing along to their favorites, music written on the staff, and stay in hand positions.

So far, I've run into "Easy piano" books, which are easy for people who play, not for people who are just learning. Also I've found some that are not written on the staff.

Please suggest!

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#1261977 - 09/03/09 05:56 PM Re: easy to play children's favorites [Re: Emdragonfly]
Knabe26 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 221
Loc: Northern California
Welcome to the forum, Emdragonfly!

Check out Faber and Faber's PreTime and PlayTime books: Children's, Favorites and Popular:


Full-Time Private Piano Instructor

#1270487 - 09/18/09 12:24 PM Re: easy to play children's favorites [Re: Knabe26]
Emdragonfly Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 2
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm looking for songs that are familiar to today's kids, and many of these are not.

#1270499 - 09/18/09 12:50 PM Re: easy to play children's favorites [Re: Emdragonfly]
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13826
Loc: Iowa City, IA
What songs do you consider familiar to today's kids? It varies widely by geography and demographic.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#1270544 - 09/18/09 01:58 PM Re: easy to play children's favorites [Re: Kreisler]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
There are so many songs in public domain considered to be children's song some dating back to the early 1800's. I've used a lot of these in my teaching - they are easy to play for the most part. Here's a very short list.

5 finger melodies such as:
Rain, Rain, Go Away
A Tisket, A Tasket
Love Somebody
Aura Lee

Some at Middle C:
30 Days Hath September
Happy Birthday
Twinkle,same melody as Baa, Baa Black Sheep, and ABCDEFG (the Alphabet Song)

Melodies with octaves
Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I don't think it's at all important that the child has heard it before - in fact, it is important to mix them up with things they are unfamiliar with. I make it a point to provide lyrics on the page so we can hear inflection of the voice, we can feel the meter of the music, we can hear the phrasing. I also teach "form" early on. And, I believe that students have to be capable of a steady beat and melodious melodies before playing hands together. I structure my beginning students with steady TA's and half notes and whole notes before adding 1/8 notes or dotted quarters.
That is reflected in my choices for what comes next.

If you want me to send you some music pre-charts and staff music as attachments just ask: bpps98374@comcast.net.

I use these kinds of pieces instead of methods for basic notation and skills and then move on to music education composers for their supplemental music.

Soon after 2-3 lessons I begin teacher duets with them (the boom-chuck variety and waltz types of accompaniment). The sooner they can learn to hold their own with an accompaniment the better the future will be for them. Concentration needs to start young.


#1270583 - 09/18/09 02:50 PM Re: easy to play children's favorites [Re: Kreisler]
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6169
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
What songs do you consider familiar to today's kids? It varies widely by geography and demographic.

Probably not stuff in Thompson or Schaum... smokin

Seriously, I think it is the wrong approach to get songs that students know. It's okay to include some familiar melodies (in pedagogically-sound arrangements), but part of the piano-teaching profession is to expose children to music that is varied and diverse, drawn from several cultures and time periods.
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member


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