Want the Jaws Theme Song?
Try Sharks!

Jaws theme song? Well, "Sharks" will remind your students of the scary movie theme. Perfect for beginner piano, students can learn this easy piano music as soon as they can recognize Middle C and B. 



This free kids' sheet music is often the first piece I give my students for which they must actually read notes on the staff, instead of just using finger numbers (such as with "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or the black-key songs at the beginning of The Faber Piano Adventure Primer). 





Put expression into this song... slow and scary!

When I introduce it, I like to play it very low on the piano, with lots of expression. It begins slowly with the ominous sound of a half-step, then picks up a little speed in line two. This definitely makes it sound like the Jaws theme song! When I get to the skip from C to A, I always give each "A" a bit of a push, to accentuate the unexpectedness of the melodic twist.  Invariably students' eyes widen as they feel the mood!

Jaws theme music


Download free kids' sheet music Sharks (Jaws theme song) 

But start slow

Don't let THEM speed it up, though! At least not until the counting is well in hand. The metronome is very helpful with this piece, which can start to race and get out of control. Singing the words steadies the tempo, and if you sing along with it, your student will likely join in (if he or she can read).

Turn note-reading into a game

I like to tell my beginning music readers that there are 4 A's "hiding" in the song, which are tricky to find. Then we hunt for them on the page. On their lesson sheet, I also write "Find the 4 A's". This makes for more careful (and fun) note-reading.

Help them master the expressiveness

Because this piece has some built-in emotional elements -- the scariness of the back-and-forth half-steps -- this song makes using dynamics seem natural. And guess what? They almost always LOVE this piece and make it a part of their repertoire. It has even been heard at recitals (only in a pinch, when I have a VERY VERY new student who wants to be in the recital).

A little  improvisation - depart from the music a bit

Encourage them to play it "down" a couple of octaves once they know it well. I always remind them that of course it is WRITTEN at Middle C, B and A, indicating that spot on the piano with a sweep of my hand over the piano company name (which is always painted on the fall-board) and down onto the keys just below the name, but that it is perfectly okay for us to play with the music to make it sound spooky, or just different. 

Only 3 notes to worry about!

With "Sharks," students only have to think about one hand -- the left hand (the least-coordinated hand for most kids), and only three notes -- A, B, and MC.

Assignment: Say the note names aloud

In fact, after the first or second week, when they SHOULD be feeling pretty confident with the Jaws theme song, I would likely make it a part of their assignment to SAY THE NOTE NAMES ALOUD as they play the piece. But I usually ask them to do that just 1x -- one time -- a day, and then play it normally after that, if they wish.

Playing piano is like juggling...

The reason is that it can be very hard for beginners to do more than one thing at a time, particularly young boys, and I don't want them to be frustrated and avoid practising the piece altogether! One time is not too much to ask... eventually, saying and thinking note names will start to become more natural.

So why didn't it sound good at home?

Don't be too surprised if they come back the next week disappointed, having played it in the wrong location all week and thereby having been cheated of the ominous sounds of the Jaws theme song... This is very common and just means they need more reinforcement of piano key names.

Really learning those key names

A good exercise is to have them "Dip Donuts" one time a day going up and down the piano on just one of the keys..."B", for example, every day all week. Then next week, make it a different key. Likely you have a favorite exercise which works well for you.  Seem too easy? Hah! Then move on to the black keys: going right up the piano with one hand, have them say aloud "F#, F#, F#..." going back down the piano with the other hand, moving left, have them say "Gb, Gb, Gb..."

What's necessary for your student to have success

For this little song to come easily, a student needs to have 3 things well in hand: the musical alphabet forwards and backwards ("A-B-C-D-E-F-G; G-F-E-D-C-B-A!"), a firm grasp of where the keys are ("B is the BACK DOOR of Grandma's house", for English speakers), an understanding and recognition of beginning notereading (B sits on top of the bass staff) -- oh, 4 things! They also need to count! So you see, there is a degree of sophistication necessary to conquer even to this simple piece.

This song, even creepier...

By the way, a much better, slower and creepier rendition of the Jaws theme song is the movie trailer, available at Youtube. The full creepiness of the song comes across, but I just couldn't bring myself to post it here, because the images are so disturbing (I'm pretty old-school when it comes to violence).

Have fun with the Jaws theme stand-in, Sharks! 



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Comments

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Elania:
I have been slowly giving my oldest daughter whatever my memory can dredge up, scouring the internet for free music she can do, but your website with its instructions AND tips on how to teach pieces are going to help me SO much in this endeavor. I just wanted to tell you thank you. Really really! THANK YOU!

Perfect Start for Notereading


Kim in Washington:
My son is hooked...I've been introducing piano to my son on and off for a year or so, but he's not had much interest. Then I gave him "Monsters Everywhere". He loved playing it with the organ sound on our piano. He memorized it that week and I'm printing off the other Halloween songs to keep him going. I love the detailed instructions on teaching since he is my first student! Thanks so much.
Dana:
That is so neat that your son has experienced the magic and mystery of music through this little song. That is so exciting to me. Thanks for writing, Kim!



Ashley:
Thank you so so much for this site! I'm teaching my little sister and everything up here is absolutely amazing! I will definitely be making a donation as soon as possible! Thank you again! You're wonderful!

Easy Piano Songs

April:
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!



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Elania:
THANK YOU! This website is a God-send! :D I took piano lessons as a kid, a little music theory, and now I'm a homeschooling mom hoping to pass on anything I can to my kids about music. It is such a gift, for so many reasons!

I have been slowly giving my oldest daughter whatever my memory can dredge up, scouring the internet for free music she can do, but your website with its instructions AND tips on how to teach pieces are going to help me SO much in this endeavor. I just wanted to tell you thank you. Really really! THANK YOU!


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!