In the next few weeks we prepare for Thanksgiving, which is a great time to reflect on on the good we're blessed with. In the past I've always skipped over music during Thanksgiving, while focusing on the Christmas event. I have students play some fun Thanksgiving games to reinforce notes on the staff, rhythms or music terms. Over the years I've collected some piano music, yet rarely do I take the time to. teach it. I want to try for the next couple weeks, adding easier pedagogy piano selections.
This first one is called Five Fat Turkeys Are We arranged by Gilbert DeBendetti. This very short song is great to students learning notes from bass G (4th space) up to treble G (2nd line). The silly lyrics are funny to read to the students, as they learn the story of five turkeys who hide in a tree from the cook. They share their experience of escaping being served for dinner. The rhythms are quarter, half and eighth notes. Students will enjoy playing this very short song.
Another one is called Run, Mister Turkey! by Gayle Kowlachyk, from Alfred Publishing, where she creates a song about a child encouraging the turkey to leave their house or it will become dinner. This song is the same position as Five Fat Turkeys, which starts with a dynamic level of forte, moving to the B section of mezzo forte and a slower piano section in the B section. This song will certainly get your students moving with an allegretto tempo, throughout most of the song. The music is written with arpeggios of C and G chords, which is great to prepare students later on with other music. Again the students will love the lyrics.
The last one at this point is called I'm Thankful by June C. Montgomery, also from Alfred Publishing. This early intermediate song, written in the key of G is filled with block or arpeggiate chords. Montgomery creates lyrics, that share her heart of gratitude of all the blessings we have. From the autumn breeze, leaves changing colors, sunshine and even the basics of life. The bass clef uses chords with intervals of 3rd's, 4th's and 7th's. She uses block chords and arpeggios with a gorgeous melody in the treble clef. She incorporates an A major chord in the song, which is always great to hear chords that are not part of the key signatures. If you're looking for an easier song to teach your early intermediate students, please consider this song as an option.
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving songs to teach? Would like to know. Thanks for your support. Blessings.