The Fur Elise sheet music, part 1, is the perfect classical music for students who've just mastered coordination of right hand melody against left hand broken chords. Beethoven's famous music (part 1) is also well-recognized and loved, sometimes even by kids who don't know any other classical music!
Of course, the student needs to be capable of reaching an octave, and they need to understand -- or be very familiar with -- basic chord structure. They also need to be able to read notes from below the bass staff to the top of the treble staff. But if they are comfortable with these things, then there are some features about Fur Elise -- the original version! -- that make it easy to play. (Remember, I'm talking about Part I only. What comes after Part I is way too hard for beginners.)
First, the hands take turns! The RH begins its sinuous melody, and on the last note of the phrase, the LH chimes in and takes over. Right hand, then left hand. Then right hand again.
Second, the patterns of the LH are repeatable and predictable. The i and V chords of Am in an octave stretch, then an octave plus a third, back to an octave stretch. Repeat. On page 2, move briefly to the key of C I and V chords using the same octave stretch and octave plus a third, then back to the i and V chords of Am again. Easy.
Third, this is a very familiar piece of classical music, one your student has almost surely heard before, and they will likely be very excited to learn it.
Download Fur Elise sheet music
Does the music look funny? Well, of course -- I changed the 3/8 timing to 3/4. 6/4, really. I'm not going to apologize. It sounds exactly right, because mathematically it IS right, and guess what? My younger students can count it! No guesswork, and no having to rely on a recording. Later on, when they're ready for Part 2 and beyond, they'll read it the way Beethoven wrote it, with sixteenth notes.
If your students aren't ready for the big-hand stuff yet, they might be interested in the version below, which features the melody, shared between both hands. No chords. (This could be turned into a duet, with them on melody, and you playing the missing chords.)
Download free classical sheet music Fur Elise easy melody
Because the hands are in an unusual position, some kids will struggle making their left hand "obey." Shake them out of their routine! This is a good way to gradually transition from the Middle C Fur Elise sheet music version to the real thing, especially for kids who love Fur Elise! A lot of them do, and won't mind playing 3 different versions in 3 years.
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Thank you so much for all the information and materials! Your site is very thorough and well organized! I am a piano teacher in New Orleans, LA and in the process of putting together my own curriculum and recordings. You have inspired me to make my materials available to all online!
I am so relieved to have found this site!! I have been struggling as a music student, not having any previous instruction in high school. I am starting from scratch and this is a wonderful tool!! Kudos to you!! God Bless you!
A thousand thanks for your beginning piano and guitar songs. I've already printed several for my children, including the Pretty Little Horses TAB and Carol of the Bells for piano. What a wonderful resource!
Debbie, Nashville, TN:
I have been looking for a very, very long time for a website like this! WOW! I have been teaching for over 20 years and it's nice to have a resource such as this!
Helpful Piano Sites
EyeEarRevolution (a blog)
Martha Beth's Piano Site
Piano Music for Boys (Teach Piano Today)
Piano Adventures Forum
Susan Paradis Teacher Resources
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you....I have a lot of books on graded pieces but not a lot of beginner pieces. I use material I have written myself together with books I encourage my parents to buy... but sometimes parents just can't afford a book- and as a teacher you sometimes do find your self searching for material....Thank you thank you thank you once again!
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I was wondering if it was at all possible to gain permission from you to use some of the pieces of music on this website for my students performing at an Eisteddod in Australia? I have found this website most helpful to my teaching and the students seem to enjoy this music. Would you mind if they played some of these pieces in a public setting?
Hi, Dannielle, Absolutely you may use my pieces in public! Thanks for asking (but no need). Best wishes for a fun performance.
Carrie,Voice and Piano Teacher:
This site is FABULOUS. For all the reasons you explain on the site itself--this is exactly what piano teachers need! (I still need to go look at the vocal music). Wow. THANK YOU SO MUCH!