Variations and Combinations
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
I’m planning my big Spring Fling and wanted to share some ideas for your students to try. I always appreciate your and your students’ ideas! I can’t tell you how much my students have enjoyed ‘Chinese’ Dreams.
Several of my students have created new songs by combining elements from 2 Simply Music songs:
* Family Tree LH, Walking w/ Billy RH (she calls it “Walking With Tree”)
* Honey Dew RH with She’ll Be Comin’ LH including rhythm (“She’ll Be Honey Dew”)
* Walking w/ Billy LH, Alma Mater RH
Here are a few I have discovered:
* Fluff Pie as learned, with Tear for a Friend (BH) played an octave higher. This works great for sections 1 and 3 of Tear. The middle section can be played alone, with Fluff Pie coming back in for the last section.
Or the other way around – play Tear for a Friend in the normal range, with the 2nd person playing one hand of Fluff Pie starting on High C (first and last sections only). It gives the Fluff Pie part a minor feel and is really beautiful.
*Honey Dew played as usual, with a 2nd person playing RH of Ode to Joy an octave higher. The 2nd to last note of Ode to Joy just needs to be held 4 counts instead of 2. I think this would be really pretty with Honey Dew Arr.3. Ode would have to be played slowly.
I’d love to hear more ideas for duets and arrangements. It helps spark creativity for composition and improvisation.
Dena M., Iowa
These are great!
I have 2 girls doing Deep River somewhat as a round. It doesn’t work all the way through, so they
adjusted it in parts. It’s really pretty.
We found that Lullaby works at the beginning with Sleeping (part A). That’s all we have figured out so far.
Elaine F., South Carolina
I have a student who plays Sleeping – the first part- super fast and calls it “awake”. She did both at a recent recital and now others want to do awake too!
Ramona H., Alaska
Those are great ideas for variations and combining of songs. I have tried to encourage creating little medleys with my students as well. A couple that we’ll be hearing at our Spring “Open House” this next week are:
- Greensleeves – at the end, instead of playing in the regular position, move up one octave and play the A section – combine with the Dreams Arrangement that’s played up an octave on D (could even be the simpler Dreams variation)
- Tear For a Friend -on the last cycle, when the RH plays C B B A, you’re in position to play Fur Elise – just play five steps of sound to lead into it
- Lead Me to Light – we discovered that Dreams or Dog can be played when the hands are in this position (it’s like playing the song in the key of A, as the finger 3 is already on the C# – you just need to point out that the LH finger 5 goes down to G#)