Free sheet music to print for your beginner piano students learning chords, this echo song, Medieval Bells, sounds mysterious but pretty. When their hands are ready for 3-finger root position chords, they are ready for this free printable sheet music...but a little at a time!
Look at all those notes... how far along does a student have to be to play this?
Medieval Bells requires hand control. If your student can't quite lay 3 fingers down in a chord without all 5 trying to get into the act, hold off on this piece.
Wait until they can play a 5-note scale followed by a triad (3-note chord). In the right hand, for example, "1-2-3-4-5, CHORD." In the left hand, "5-4-3-2-1, CHORD."
Once they can do that, they are ready to start Medieval Bells.
A nice feature of Medieval Bells is that the chords move stepwise for most of the song. Also, the chords which begin the first and second phrases are built on easily identifiable notes, even for beginners: D (the "Daddy" note, in my studio - the head of the note holds the staff up) and the G, which the treble clef wraps around.
Can your students tell what the name of the chord is?
Instead of just drawing in the chord names for them like a lead sheet, see if they can isolate the bottom note of each chord...that will be the name of the chord. In the left hand echo part, see if they can recognize the note at the TOP of the chords; those are the notes most likely to be familiar to them, as they are all from Middle C position.
What about drawing the chords on staff paper or a white board?
It's also helpful to take students over to the drawing board, if you have one, and have them help you draw triads on a staff. (A plain piece of paper works fine, too...let them help draw the staff lines. Reinforcement, review...reinforcement, review...)
Being "thick" with chords, Medieval Bells naturally goes slowly, which seems to suit the feeling of far away and long ago.
Try it with the pedal
This free sheet music to print is a great candidate for first-time pedal song. Because it is a song about bells, the natural echo and reverberation of a depressed pedal (which we ordinarily try to minimize) is entirely suitable.
I tell my students they can leave the pedal down as long as it sounds good to them, in this song! Most of the little guys who will play this song may need to stand up in order to use the pedal, but since they're not playing this way all the time, they'll be able to endure.