Thursday, June 16, 2011

Music Tip #76 Folk Songs

Summer is here and piano practicing can go two ways—either lots more practicing gets done because school is out or less practicing gets done because vacations and trips interfere.  My experience is that LESS practicing gets done.  

I want my students to practice their note reading and sight reading skills this summer so I’m having them focus on learning folk songs.  I’m having them learn songs that are a little easier than what they usually play so they can learn them quickly and learn a lot of them.

First I ask my students if they know what folk songs are.  Some do, some don’t.  I tell them that folk songs are songs that have been passed down from one generation to another—songs that their grandparents know, that they know, and that their children will know, too—songs like Mary had a little lamb, Amazing Grace, Old MacDonald, etc.

Then I ask them how old they are.  However old they are will be how many folk songs I want them to learn this summer. And if they do, they’ll get some old fashioned candy to go along with the old fashioned songs they’ll learn!

There are a couple of great web pages where you can get free folk songs in levels 1-4.  I really like these:

Okay, students. On your mark, get set, go practice!


  1. Can I just say I adore your blog?? Thank you for all the amazing information, and especially this. I needed to hear it, and it helped me take a deep breath instead of freaking out about the lack of "official" progress. Thank you!!

  2. Thank you, thank you for your nice comment! I really needed to hear that someone liked my ideas. Happy playing.....




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