Videos: Arrangements

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A fundamental principle in Music Moves is showing students how to take something and change it. This is the reasoning behind the core repertoire from the rich heritage of folk songs. Short songs, playable by young, beginning hands, provide material for making arrangements. Projects and directions for how to make arrangements/variations of folk tunes include: 1) Changing keyality (transposing) 2) Changing tonality 3) Changing meter 4) Creating an accompaniment 5) Making a melodic variation 6) Making a rhythmic variation 7) Making a harmonic variation 8) Changing tempo or dynamics 9) Creating a medley 10) Creating a new idea using the rhythm patterns and form from a song After students learn a piece as composed, they may make changes to it. This is not for pieces that will be adjudicated. Some students like to recreate, or rearrange, part of a piece. Making arrangements via weekly projects develops accompanying skill for group singing of familiar songs in a variety of settings.

First performance of a medley of Christmas songs brought to the lesson after Thanksgiving. Good beginning ideas, ready to polish for performance for others.
Students learn the tunes in the Music Moves Christmas book. Then they add the root harmony. The next steps are to make original arrangements and medleys. The tonal and rhythm patterns from each song are included in the Christmas Book.
A goal of Music Moves for Piano is for students to learn how to create arrangements and improvisations using the audiation skills they have learned. First student is 7, second student is 9, and the 3rd student is 10. Next, two HS students create a spontaneous duet ensemble at a recital. Finally, a 13 YO student creates a set of variations on 'Old MacDonald.'
A 13 YO student creates a medley/arrangement to have ready for friends' birthdays.
A 10 YO student arranges and creates medleys from folk songs. He is beginning to venture out into some new ideas, using pitch and rhythm patterns from his acquired music vocabulary.
A goal is met when a 14 YO student can play a tune with accompaniment without previous practice. We asked him to play this song at his lesson. And he did.
Young students play the tune of 'Hokey Pokey' while a middle school student plays the root accompaniment. Audience sing a long.
A 10 year old student arranges a folk tune using what he knows. He enjoys dissonance and making changes.
One of the goals of Music Moves for Piano is for students to learn short folk songs that they will later use to make arrangements using what they have learned. Arrangement skills get to be complex.
A new 8 YO student, 2 months of lessons, brought this medley to her lesson.
Christmas music is performed by students, who draw names for next performer,. Parents and students enjoy cookies and move around quietly.
Changing accompaniments, changing tonality, changing songs. Singing in harmony while playing.
Clever arrangement moving from one melody to another in different tonalities and meters
A simple, expressive LH accompaniment figure using roots and fifths
Student brought this to a lesson worked out at home.
Adding pedal for the first time. Sequential learning through Christmas music. Seven years old.

Online Resources



Learning Opportunities

Video Podcasts

Tim Topham Interview

About MLT-Piano-based instruction. Click here to view.


Music Moves for Piano and Edwin E. Gordon's Music Learning Theory. Click here to view.

Musical U Team

Mind Before Fingers, with Marilyn White Lowe. Click here to view.

MMTA Exclusive

Music Moves for Piano: An Audiation-Based Piano Method here to view.

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