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  • Competitions and Exams

    Just wanted to share with you a happy Simply Music experience. I have been teaching SM for about 3 years now. This year I entered 2 of my students in the Toowoomba Eisteddfod. Unfortunately, the piano section has preset boundaries as to what can be played. Pieces played must be part of the AMEB syllabus…

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  • Need Duet Ideas for Readers

    I have an adult husband and wife team who are in upper SM levels and reading fairly well. I would love to find a book of duets of pieces that might be familiar to them. They love classical music and are in their early 70’s. Any suggestions for a duet book I could order would…

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  • Duet Ideas

    I have been through the library of ECL posts on the topic of duets and gleaned the following ideas: Honey Dew with Melody on top Jackson Blues (or any other blues song) with blues scale improv on top Amazing Grace with melody on top Chester with abbreviated Jackson (Cm, Fm) on bottom Australian Waterfall as…

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  • Chester Blues Duet

    As I am getting students ready for the end of year recital I thought I would share this simple level one idea with you for a duet. While one student plays Chester in the normal position, another student can play Jackson Blues with changes on the top part of the piano. The only difference is…

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  • Group Composition‏ Progression 

    I’ve been trying a few of Kristin Fairfield’s song writing tips lately. I tried to do the group chord progression where I ask my students to give me 4 random chords. I actually forgot to limit it to all whites or all blacks but anyway, this is one that a group came up with. Am…

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  • Creating Medleys

    I am very interested for myself and my students to create medleys. Inspired by Laurie Richards amazing SM Levels 1 through 4 medley. I’m wondering if there are special things to know besides what I already know. What I already know is that one can play the 5th of the next key as a transition…

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  • Classical Composition Projects

    I have increased my own composing recently using the “Family of Chords” that Miss Murphy sent awhile back. I have found it really helpful to make songs I could sing (contemporary), blues/jazz, hymns, and accompaniments. I am now wondering about ideas to help me make “classical” songs using the “family of chords” ideas. I know…

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  • Chinese Dreams

    Hi all,

Had a very bright little 7 year-old boy start lessons this summer. After learning Dreams and Dreams 2 he came back the next week with “Chinese Dreams.” He played the entire song on black keys—10 fingers over 10 notes, but all black keys, ranging from C# below middle C to Bb above middle C.…

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  • Compound Time

    Advanced Teachers: Talk to me about how to approach teaching compound time is this in relation to any particular piece? For example Greensleeves is in 6/8 and High Five is in 12/8. I would keep the explanation simple to students, but it’s basically dividing the beat into 3 parts rather than 2. It’s a different…

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  • Two Holiday Time Ideas

    Here are two holiday ideas for you: 1) My son and I taught a community education class this week where he taught five Christmas songs in the key of C to half the class on the guitar while I was teaching the same five songs to the other half on the piano. The second hour…

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  • Silent Night Simply Music Version

    Here’s an updated version of Silent Night I sent to the ECL last year. Hopefully, it will be clearer to everyone. I had beginning students playing this with no problem. One beginning student even played this in his church for Christmas. He had a wonderful experience sharing this song with others. I picked a Christmas…

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  • Playing Based Christmas Hits

    My students LOVED learning Carol of the Bells that Lynn Frank shared with us. It was so easy and sounded so advanced. Does anyone have another such song taught SM style? I’m looking for another WOW experience for those that did Carol of Bells last year. There is a book piano Christmas pieces called “Carols…

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