The Pachelbel Canon in D is the probably the most popular classical music ever. Download this free sheet music for piano -- your students (and their parents) will love it!
Does your student know an inversion from a root chord?
To play these arrangements easily, it is best if the student is already acquainted with chord inversions.
Root position chords such as c-e-g become easy to spot after some experience, but when a C chord is "in disguise" (such as the combination e-g-c) or "scrambled," kids can find it quite baffling.
Here in the beginning of the Canon, almost every RH (right hand) chord is an inversion with a different shape from the chord before it. Help your student find PATTERNS in each hand.
Download free sheet music for Pachelbel Canon in the key of C
Here it is in its original key of D, but otherwise just the same as the C version.
What do I mean, look for patterns?
Here's the best example: the LH goes down 4 steps from C, then up 1, down 4, up 1, down 4, turn around 4, then up 1, and start over! There's always SOME kind of pattern if you look, some kind of trick to help your memory.
Careful fingering helps this arrangement work
The fingering in the tricky but beautiful middle section is really pretty good fingering. It even works in the key of D version with the black notes. Almost certainly, your student will want to ignore this fingering, thus ensuring that they take 10 times longer to learn this section than they would otherwise.
Therefore, I suggest spending time playing short sections -- 2 or 3 measures of it -- over and over at lesson time; little, non-threatening amounts. Don't load it on! Assign them LESS than you believe they can do -- then it will seem do-able to them.
Here is a similar arrangement, for a smaller hand.
Understanding of chords means bigger-sounding music
There are many arrangements of this piece out there on the web. I like these versions of mine because they allow a player whose reading and coordination are still pretty elementary to play a big-sounding piece of music. That is the value of knowing chords! They can be used like repeatable patterns.
Independence of hand movement
In much classical music, what makes even simple pieces hard for beginners is exactly the seeming ABSENCE of pattern. Every finger seems to need a brain of its own, because the hands and fingers move independently. That's where your students are headed. In the meantime, playing a beautiful-sounding piece like this motivates them to keep pushing!
The Pachelbel Canon is number one
A classical radio station in Seattle used to have a Top 100 Countdown of the most popular classical pieces just before New Year's Day each year. Invariably, listeners voted the Pachelbel Canon number one!
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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!