Here’s a collection of very simple tunes for beginner pianists, using just the 5 notes which were shown in Piano Notation Basics Part 5. The free PDF can be downloaded from below the video, or via the Sheet Music section.
Cornelius Gurlitt (1820-1901) was a German composer who wrote a great amount of attractive music for piano students. Here is a selection of pieces from his collection The First Lessons (Anfangs-Stunden in German). These editions have been specially prepared for animatedpiano.com and are free to download. They are hosted by the International Music Score Library Project (imslp.org).
The earlier pieces in The First Lessons have no titles so the following descriptions may be helpful:
No.6, Allegretto grazioso, is a charming little melody which grows out of a C major broken chord pattern.
No.8, Vivace, is a spirited march.
No.9, Allegretto, is a little study which encourages a good, well-balanced hand position.
No.12, Moderato, is a simple scale study. It uses the scale of C major in the right hand and, later, G major in the left hand.
In the Bleak Midwinter is a setting of a poem by Christina Rosetti (1830-94). The music is by Gustav Holst (1874-1934), who is best known as the composer of the orchestral suite The Planets. The sheet music can be downloaded below (underneath the video) or via the Sheet Music page.
This arrangement stays fairly close to Holst’s original setting for 4-part choir. A light touch on the sustaining pedal may be helpful in places, but be careful not to overdo the pedalling.
In this arrangement, both hands stay in position most of the time. But watch out for the right hand thumb-under in bar 11. Notice that all the notes in bars 11-12 can be found in the middle of the 2-octave scale of G major.
Here’s a spooky piece which has been specially written for animatedpiano.com . The free PDF sheet music can be downloaded below (underneath the video) or via the Sheet Music page. Goblins and Ghosts! is a staccato study which will need careful counting. Remember that the spaces between the notes are just as important as the notes themselves!
If you enjoy Goblins and Ghosts!, why not make a video of yourself playing it and upload it to YouTube? For extra effect you could dress up in a Halloween costume! But don’t worry if you’re not able to learn it in time for Halloween, it would be good at any time of the year.
This piece can be played as a solo or as a duet part for Jingle Bells (level A0, featured in the previous post). It may look a bit complicated, but don’t panic! Just remember that fingers 2 and 3 of each hand are on black keys. The only exception is in bar 7, where the right hand plays D natural.
Here is the sheet music and the video:
Here is the teacher reference sheet for Jingle Bells (level A0) and One-horse Open Sleigh (level A3):