Free printable sheet music for beginner piano students, Irish Wedding. Now, download THREE different versions of this fun, energetic, and beautiful piece!
With three levels of difficulty, kids can learn Irish Wedding three times. It's worth it -- this piece is incredibly fun! It has something for everyone; beautiful broken chord patterns, and fast rhythmic chords on the strong beats. The right hand moves from one "position" to another, so the new easiest version still requires some work.
The arrangement of "Irish Wedding" played by this young man is very much like mine (but mine has more chord movement and a fancier ending, on the level 3 long version):
This new, easiest arrangement of Irish Wedding is set in Dm position instead of Am. These are familiar notes to first and second-year piano students. I have also simplified the rhythmic emphasis and the hand-over-hand broken chord section. Irish Wedding still retains its character, I think, but now younger students can play it sooner.
Download Irish Wedding, easy version in Dm
The hardest thing about Irish Wedding is learning the melody's rhythm in the opening bars. Music with 3 beats per measure is harder for most students than Common Time, 4/4. Writing the music in 3/4 time instead of 6/8 (which is what it feels like when it gets going fast) makes it much easier for beginners to conquer.
Download Irish Wedding in 3 beats per measure
I like to have younger students count by the method called "unit counting", at least initially, gradually moving into what I call "band counting." (That's the way the band director counts, "One-two-three-four, One-two-three-four," so that the band can stay together.)
Thus, the beginning of Irish Wedding goes "1, 1, 1-2, 1, 1-2, 1, 1-2, 1, 1, 1, 1..." (I hope that makes sense!) Students count it aloud. Sometimes I will have them learn just the right hand the first week, and we'll play it like a duet.
Now, version three of Irish Wedding cannot be played until a student can reach an octave, and not just reach an octave, but stretch to play a chord-plus-a-fourth with a bit of speed (a-c-e-a).
It is a real milestone to be able to play that stretched chord, and it's not very easy. Before I give a student page 2 of the hard version, I assign them the stretched broken chord pattern as an exercise.
Download free printable sheet music Irish Wedding long version
After that part is learned, the repeat takes you back to the beginning, but up an octave for just 8 measures. This page, page 1, sounds exactly like ALL of version 1 of free printable sheet music Irish Wedding, -- it just looks faster because it is written in 6/8 time.
On page 2, skip through the 1st ending and go right into the left hand octave jumps. Hard for many kids at first, but very fun.
The last line is perhaps the trickiest part. The right hand goes far to the right, and the left hand far to the left -- simultaneously! The best way I have found to teach this section is to insist kids play the right hand with their eyes closed, practicing the runs in short, fast bursts, to nail down the fingering. Then they can swoop left with their eyes on the left hand chords.
I know your students will enjoy this free printable sheet music!