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Welcome to the Piano Muse.

black little clef

Here you will find a collection of easy music scores for budding pianists.  All of these pieces are free to download, share and enjoy.  All of them have been composed specifically to allow the student the pleasure of making “real” music while learning the basic techniques he will use when ready to tackle the classics.

Most teachers prefer to base their early lessons on any of a number of standard piano courses which are presented in graded volumes of selected pieces and exercises.   For the first year or so, this is a reliable method of assuring that each pupil will aquire a working knowledge of the mechanics of playing the piano while advancing towards the day when they can begin to enjoy some of the simpler classics.

But there’s a big gap between “Jumping  Bean” or any of the similarly tritely titled pieces in those piano courses and the universally loved “Fur Elise.”   And there’s  a lot of learning required while trying to bridge that gap,  a gap which too often becomes the Waterloo of many students and their teachers.

The scarcity of good music for those first two or three years is one of the most obvious reasons for so many students losing interest in their lessons.  If they can experience the pleasure of playing music which sounds like music, rather than a child’s exercise, they will be more likely to continue with their music.

Before I began to write music for my students, I gradually realized that there was a remarkable consistency in their choice of favorite pieces in the various piano books.  I could accurately predict that when each student reached “Mountain Waterfall” or “Snowflakes”  they would enjoy it.  And the age of the student seemed to make no difference.  Everyone enjoyed these same few pieces.

It was fairly easy to pinpoint exactly why these pieces seem to appeal to virtually all the students.  First, they sounded  richer and more complex.  They all contained broken chords or simple chord patterns for the left hand,  but the number of those chord changes was extremely small.  Sometimes no more than three different chords.

muic LH pattern

So the left hand was making a lot of sound with very little actual note reading while the student could apply his attention to the right hand.  Which was invariably melodic and attractive.  Very few students enjoyed the pieces with dissonant notes, which are often included in the more recent piano courses in a misguided attempt to seem modern and trendy.  Dissonance is an acquired taste and in those early stages, merely confuses the student.

In short, the pieces were relatively easy and gave a lot of “bang for the buck”.   They were strong on melody and very sparing with any dissonances.

Armed with this knowledge I began to compose in a style which mimicked those pieces which time and again had proven popular with my students. Each piece sounds more difficult than it really is, each is melodic and almost no dissonances are used.  The student is almost certain to enjoy playing them and at the same time is learning the notes and acquiring a nice finger fluency. And by incorporating many of the simpler elements of the classics, I am preparing the student for that wonderful leap into the work of the masters.   Bach and Mozart and Beethoven are waiting in the wings.

Although as a teacher I deplore recitals … I hope that these pieces might lighten the burden on students who do participate in those recitals by providing easy music with a little flash.   And a  judicious sprinkling of these pieces between those in the standard piano series books can be a welcome breath of fresh air for flagging students.

Try them  … they’re free.  And each budding pianist who enjoys one of my pieces fulfills one of my life purposes.  If you republish or include in a collection for sale,  just  be sure to acknowledge the composer … which is me …

Nikki Ty-Tomkins … The Piano Muse 

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♥   Check out my anchor site … The Happy Piano Professor    (Lots of hints and advice on teaching as well as some entertaining tales)

                                 http://thehappypianoprofessor.wordpress.com/                                     .

♥   Check out Tips above on Masthead   … (shortcuts to learning these pieces quickly)

 

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6 Responses to Home

  1. Johan says:

    Hello, Niki, are these pieces of music “the originals”, or are they made simpler for beginners?
    Many Thanks, Johan

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    • nikkitytom says:

      They are all my original compositions. None have been “simplified”. The Sonatinas are actually fairly difficult.

      They are all copyright but I encourage downloads and sharing with attribution.

      Arrangements are nearly always disappointing in one way or another. If the original piece was composed for piano, then the arrangement will be watered down and weak. If the original was meant for another instrument, the result will frequently be a catastrophe.

      “Flight of the Bumblebee” is one of the few transcriptions which actually works. Rachmaninoff did the transcription from the original orchestral interlude ( with violin) by Rimsky Korsakov. And it’s brilliant.

      Often students want to learn a “popular” song and are disappointed when they find the music is unwieldy and hard to learn. Why? Because these songs aren’t written FOR the piano and that makes all the difference. The way the notes fall under the fingers, the appropriate use of arpeggios and chords. One of the few successful arrangement is “Memories” from “Cats”. This was edited by a master. But most are disappointing.

      An experienced pianist playing popular songs normally uses the vocal line … called the “fake line” to which he adds his own improvised chords.

      It’s far better for the student to play easier originals than struggle with badly transcribed or arranged pieces. Remember that Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin wrote FOR the piano and performed their own works. ( But Chopin disliked performing, Beethoven did his duty and only Mozart truly reveled in being a star performer.)

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  2. Sha Ranney says:

    Hey there! I found a post of yours on piano world discussing the arm weight “drop”. I have a lot of trouble doing this but the few times I’ve pulled it off, it made a groundbreaking change in my playing. Again the next day, I wouldn’t be able to do it. Would you have any words of wisdom on this matter? I always find I’m either too tense crashing into the keys or it’s not crisp enough for the key to feel deep and get that tone. Feel free to e-mail if you want to discuss. Great site 🙂

    Like

    • nikkitytom says:

      The arm weight “drop” sounds a lot easier than it actually is. There is a risk of injury to the hand if you attempt this without a very conscientious teacher. I spent about 6 months … around two hours a day… doing nothing but dropping my hands onto those keys. At the lesson, if I weren’t relaxed enough, my teacher would seize my wrist and wait until she felt me relax completely. Then she’d let go. My hand would fall full weight onto the keys. SHe knew I was relaxed enough to avoid damage. If you drop with the slightest bit of stiffness you could sprain a finger. Easily.
      The results today forty years later are worth it. Although my hands are frequently stiff and sore from typing … when I touch those keys, there is no pain. And I’m so relaxed that people remark my fingers look like an octopus oozing across the keys.

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  3. This is cool! thanks for sharing 🙂

    Classes A to Z

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