This post is about the Imperial March piano arrangement for the beginning piano student (children that already enjoyed 1 to 2 years of frequent piano lessons).
It includes my three part video training series that shows how to learn and play the Imperial March Theme (Part 1) from Star Wars on the piano.
Imperial March Piano Training Video 1 shows how to play the piece with both hands in different tempi, and is great as a play along.
Imperial March Piano Training Video 2 shows how to learn and perform the melody with the right hand.
Imperial March Piano Training Video 3 shows how to learn and play the accompaniment part with the left hand.
In video 2 I simplified the rhythm in the melody a little bit. Once the pupil masters the melody as taught in video 2, it is time to replace the two consecutive 8th notes with a dotted eighth note followed by a sixteenth note, as shown in the image below. (The top staff shows the new version). It is a little more challenging to play, but it is the original melody after all.
In popular music we use chord symbols to indicate the harmony of a song. One of the most important skills for a contemporary pianist to have is performing from lead sheets (melody + chord symbols) and chord charts.
The following images show two versions of the left hand accompaniment of the Imperial March arrangement.
On the left you see the actual written out arrangement with chord symbols added (click on it to enlarge the image).
On the right you see a chord chart with chord symbols and slashes only.
Tip: The slashes indicate the beats in the measure. (Quarter notes in our example). IMPORTANT: A chord symbol is valet until the next chord symbol appears.
Bald gras ich am Neckar is a beautiful old German folk song.
I arranged it for my beginning piano students. It is suited for children that already took lessons for at least 1 year.
Here is my video tutorial of the songs that shows me playing.
First slowly, then faster with my sheet music and related fingering.
This video shows how to play Beethoven’s Ode To Joy with the right hand only.
- While the child watches me playing the song in the video have her follow along with the sheet music pointing with her index finger from one note to the next.
- Make her read the note names from the first line of the sheet music below.
- Point to one of the notes in the second line of the sheet music below and ask the child to play the corresponding note (use the sheet below). Tip: allow the child to look at the keyboard to pitches table below to find the right name.
This finger exercise for the beginning piano student strengthens and increases mobility of all the fingers, promotes finger independency,
relaxes inactive fingers.
This video shows a technique exercise for all fingers executed with both hands simultaneously.
What is this exercise for?
This is a great warm-up exercise that will
- strengthen and increase mobility of all the fingers,
- promote finger independency,
- relax inactive fingers.
This exercise is most effective when each finger stays in contact with its respective key at all time. The goal is to learn to keep the non-playing fingers inactive. This does not mean, that they must be completely still. They may wiggle a little bit along side the active finger, and that’s ok, as long as the fingertip rests on the key.
This video shows a simple 5 finger exercise (one hand at a time)
This is a nice piece that features a left hand accompaniment which alternates between different fingers and the thump.
Check out my video below. It includes also a practice tip, that helps the student to first master the note changes by simplifying the left hand.
Etude in G by Karl Czerny
This nice song features the famous “Alberti Bass” figure in the left hand which is an accompaniment pattern used in countless pieces.
Definition: Alberti bass is a kind of broken chord or arpeggiated accompaniment, where the notes of the chord are presented in the order lowest, highest, middle, highest. This pattern is then repeated. The broken chord pattern helps to create a smooth, sustained, flowing sound on the piano.
The video shows me playing the song. It includes a play-along section that allows the student to perform along with the recording playing only one hand at a time.
The C Major Scale
The C Major scale – a seven note scale – is also called the “white keys” scale. Many consider it the easiest scale because it does not involve any of the black keys. I will dispute this theory in an other article. Regardless, the C major scale is the first scale most beginning piano students learn.
The major scale consists of the seven pitches. After the seventh pitch the notes repeat in the octave.
There are several challenges when playing the scale. One of it is that we have only 5 fingers. This means we have to use the same fingers several times over. This involves resetting the hand’s position as we move up and down the keyboard. To do this smoothly we use a technique commonly known as “under thump”. This technique takes extensive use of the thump, which can cause problems when not used in the correct manner.
Please note that the rotation of the wrist has been greatly exaggerated in the video for demonstration purposes, as sou can see when I play the scale at a faster pace.
Guten Abend, Gut’ Nacht
This is a popular German lullaby. I arranged it for my beginning piano students.