I hope everyone is recovering from recital season, and getting ready for some much needed time off. I’m planning on getting the New Year off to a great start with some creativity!
January can be a tough month, as students have finished the Christmas recital, and the Spring concert feels a long way off. This makes it the perfect month to do something a little bit different. A little bit of a variation on the norm.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, Happy Birthday has been declared out of copyright! Woohoo!
(Click on the image to download the pdf)
What better way to celebrate than with a Theme and Variation project?! All of my students will be creating their own variation on this ubiquitous song in January.
This is not only a great way to give students some creative license, and get them using their ears, but also to bring the whole studio together. When the variations are complete I’ll record all of them and cut them into a video.
This not only shows all the things you can do with just one song, but let’s my students get to know each other better. Playing piano isn’t so lonely when you’re part of a community all working towards the same collaborative project.
For more on the benefits of teaching composing and arranging, read this post here.
Would you like to join me in the Happy Birthday Variation Project?
I’ll be posting the completed variations on this site when we’re done. I’d love it if you could join us!
2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Variation Project”
What keys / chords do you suggest I would have in the LH?
My students are choosing their own chords for the left hand, by going through all the chords in F major, and choosing the ones they like the sound of. For me it’s not about them choosing the “right” chord, it’s about listening carefully and choosing a chord they like for their particular variation.