Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hymns for beginning pianists

I got this list from

I am posting it here for my own reference.

She also has a list of the easiest hymns in the Hymns Made Easy book, for those who aren't ready for the actual hymnbook yet. You can find it here:

25 Beginner Hymns
(Music Reading Level 4-5 US)
 These hymns are in easy keys, have few hand position changes, fairly simple rhythms, few accidentals, and slow to moderate tempos.
142 Sweet Hour of Prayer
302 I Know My Father Lives
116 Come, Follow Me
309 As Sisters in Zion
239 Choose the Right
152 God Be With you Till We Meet Again
38 Come, All Ye Saints of Zion
106 God Speed the Right
294 Love at Home
92 For the Beauty of the Earth
144 Secret Prayer
306 God’s Daily Care (As I Watch the Rising Sun)
3 Now Let Us Rejoice
304 Teach Me to Walk in the Light
19 We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet
301 I Am a Child of God
241 Count Your Blessings
131 More Holiness Give Me
100 Nearer, My God, To Thee
98 I Need Thee Every Hour
125 How Gentle God’s Commands
339 My Country, ‘Tis of Thee
67 Glory to God on High
94 Come, Ye Thankful People
204 Silent Night

25 Intermediate Hymns
(Music Reading Levels 5-6 US)
These hymns have more hand position changes, trickier rhythms, more accidentals, bigger jumps, and/or faster tempos.

136 I Know That My Redeemer Lives
249 Called to Serve
338 America the Beautiful
105 Master, the Tempest is Raging
199 He Is Risen
243 Let Us All Press On
308 Love One Another
97 Lead, Kindly Light
14 Sweet is the Peace the Gospel Brings
108 The Lord is My Shepherd
30 Come, Come, Ye Saints
237 Do What is Right
89 The Lord Is My Light
7 Israel, Israel, God is Calling
206 Away in a Manger
23 We Ever Pray For Thee
113 Our Savior’s Love
21 Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice
96 Dearest Children, God is Near You
259 Hope of Israel
26 Joseph Smith’s First Prayer
219 Because I Have Been Given Much
193 I Stand All Amazed
85 How Firm a Foundation
319 Ye Elders of Israel

25 Advanced Hymns
(Music Reading Level 7-8 US)
These hymns are fast, have lots of big jumps, require the right hand to play three parts, have challenging rhythms and keys, accidentals, and/or parts that move at different rates.

5 High on the Mountain Top
227 There is Sunshine in My Soul Today
292 O My Father
298 Home Can Be a heaven on Earth
246 Onward, Christian Soldiers
134 I Believe in Christ
29 A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief
264 Hark, All Ye Nations!
2 The Spirit of God
335 Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy
60 Battle Hymn of the Republic
27 Praise to the Man
255 Carry On
86 How Great Thou Art
52 The Day Dawn is Breaking
64 On This Day of Joy and Gladness
200 Christ the Lord is Risen Today
78 God of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand
220 Lord, I Would Follow Thee
35 For the Strength of the Hills
263 Go Forth With Faith
203 Angels We Have Heard on High
340 The Star-Spangled Banner
256 As Zion’s Youth in Latter Days
254 True to the Faith

Children's Songbook for Beginning Pianists

The Children's Songbook contains songs at varying difficulty levels. If you have a beginning pianist, here are some ideas:

p. 21 For Health and Strength
p. 23 Father Up Above
p. 23 Heavenly Father While I Pray
p. 59 Jesus Loved the Little Children
p. 118 Book of Mormon Stories
p. 241 Birds in the Tree
p. 241 Rain is Falling
p. 248 Falling Snow
p. 253 Sing a song
p. 285 You've Had a Birthday

p. 42 Away in a Manger
p. 71 To Think about Jesus
p. 73 Help Us O God to Understand
p. 99 Help Me Dear Father
p. 103 When I am Baptized
p. 151 I am Glad for Many Things
p. 152 Hum Your Favorite Hymn
p. 159 Stand for the Right
p. 189 Family Prayer
p. 198 Happy Family
p. 206 Mother Dear
p. 249 Once there was a Snowman
p. 254 Hello Friends
p. 263 We are Different
p. 266 If You're Happy
p. 275 To Get Quiet

Medium easy:
p. 2 I am a Child of God
p. 18 I Need My Heavenly Father
p. 20 Thanks to our Father
p. 25 I Love to Pray
p. 26 Reverently Quietly
p. 28 I Will Try to be Reverent
p. 30 This is God's House
p. 31 Reverence is Love
p. 39 Little Jesus
p. 55 Jesus Once was a Little Child
p. 61 Jesus Said Love Everyone
p. 70 Jesus Has Risen
p. 110 Follow the Prophet
p. 114 Books in the Old Testament
p. 116 Books in the New Testament
p. 156 Chapel Doors
p. 160 Choose the Right Way
p. 168 I Want to Be a Missionary Now
p. 196 Saturday
p. 216 Little Pioneer Children
p. 281 Wise Man and Foolish Man

p. 7  I Thank Thee Dear Father
p. 14 I Pray in Faith
p. 29 Father I Will Reverent Be
p. 66 Hosanna
p. 77 The Church of Jesus Christ
p. 82 When He Comes Again
p. 92 The Hearts of the Children
p. 94 Family History
p. 105 The Holy Ghost
p. 146 Keep the Commandments
p. 172 We'll Bring the World His Truth

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Oxcart (CS p. 219)

A fun thing to do on this song is to use rhythm instruments that sound like creaking wooden wheels. A guiro tone block or bumpy rhythm sticks rubbed back and forth work great.

Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked (CS p. 214)

Jr primary:
Walk in place during lines 1, 2, and 4 (or walk in a circle if your Primary is small).
Stop and do actions for line 3:
They washed at streams (rub your hands together as if you're washing them)
and worked (hammer one fist on top of the other)
and played (pretend to throw a ball)
Sundays they camped (hands make a tent roof)
and read (hands make a book)
and prayed (fold arms)
[Explain that "camped" means stayed put instead of walking. Discuss keeping the Sabbath day holy. Notice this is the only time during the song you are not walking.]

Sr. primary:
Every time you sing the word "walked" scoot over one chair.
Use the same actions as Jr. for the third line, including the Sabbath Day discussion.

Master the Tempest is Raging (Hymn #105) -- chorus only

Actions to teach the chorus:

The winds and the waves (make a big sideways figure eight with your hands)
shall obey thy will (ASL for obey)
Peace be still (ASL for peace)

Whether the wrath (make a claw with your hand like it's covering your face to look angry)
of the storm-tossed sea (ASL for ocean -- big waves moving away from you)
Or demons (left hand out to the side)
or men (right hand out to the other side)
or whatever it be (with hands already out, shrug your shoulders)

    [**Explain that whether it's a storm or a monster or a bad guy or anything else that may be frightening you, Jesus can help you feel peace.]

No waters can swallow (wag your finger "No" while shaking your head)
The ship where lies (make a boat with your hands cupped)
The Master of ocean (waves moving away from you)
and earth (palms down, hands flat out to show the ground)
and skies (arms up to the sky)

They all (arms outspread) shall sweetly
obey thy will (ASL for obey)
Peace be still (ASL for peace)
Peace be still (ASL for peace)
They all (arms outspread) shall sweetly
obey thy will (ASL for obey)
Peace, peace be still (ASL for peace)

Article of Faith #12

We believe (hands on heart)
in being subject to kings (place an imaginary crown on your head)
presidents (one arm across your body, palm up, sweeping out like you're making a speech to the people)
rulers (end the previous action with your hand up high in a lofty pose; a ruler is higher than anyone else in the land)
and magistrates (explain that a magistrate is a judge; hold an imaginary gavel in your hand and bang it on your imaginary desk)
In obeying (ASL for obey -- one hand on head, other hand on heart, then offer them)
Honoring (with your hands still outsretched, bow your head and bend your knee to show respect)
and Sustaining (sustain means to uphold, so with your hands still outstretched, pretend there is something heavy and important in your hands and you are lifting it back up to standing)
the law (fingers make an L shape)

Article of Faith #9

We believe (hands on heart)
all that God has revealed (left arm goes out to the side -- this is the past)
all that He does now reveal (two hands go straight down on either side of you forming walls -- this is now)
and we believe (hands on heart -- point out this is the only article of faith where we say "we believe" twice!)
He will yet reveal (right arm goes out to the side -- this is the future)
Many great and(ASL for wonderful -- both hands high, then a bit lower)
important things (ASL for important -- both hands in OK position, circle away and up then finger circles meet)
pertaining to the kingdom of God (one arm reaches up to heaven)