Star of the County Down beginner piano music, comes with fun ideas for using piano chords. For solo and piano duet -- (see the bottom of the page)!
Some songs spread like wild-fire through a music studio, and this is one of those pieces! It began with some local fiddlers playing it at a few recitals about town, then I wrote it up for my pianists in several versions, and now it just won't go away. I even had a student -- a boy -- choose it over BATMAN! Listen to the Orthodox Celts' version of this song - it will win your heart!
Free kids' sheet music Star of the County Down beginner piano
It looks very simple, but after kids have learned the melody of Star of the County Down, we don't leave it there. It becomes a duet.
The melody or Primo part must be played UP an octave. I pencil in the chord symbols --Am, C, G-- (see the graphic below) above the melody, and tell them to play open chords on beat 1 of each measure. Like directing traffic, I play the melody with my right hand and conduct their chords with my left hand.
Beginner piano sheet music with chord symbols
Then I tell them to play TWO chords per measure. That's even more fun. More energy.
Then I say, "Okay, now we're going to play chords with both hands--Left, Right, Left, Right." This is REALLY fun.
All of these changes are notated for them with only slash marks and the letters "L R L R" for left and right hands. Now and then a very careful student (generally a teenager) will want me to write out an example of the first few chords, and then they're happy. Younger kids will plunge right in, although they may also forget how to do it the first week at home!
That is plenty for one, two, or even several lessons. I wait until they are comfortable and able to keep the tempo up, then I say, "Now I want you to make an introduction for the song! Here's how..." and I instruct them to play those same Am and G chords in a rhythmic pattern that makes a singer want to jump in and start.
This is an important skill to learn, this sense of musical impetus or urgency, and any musician who plays in a group needs to figure out how to make it happen. In music where players begin simultaneously, many musicians evolve into using just a simple "sniff" or lift of the head or even facial muscles... Pianists, who tend to play intros into which they must "invite" other musicians to join them, have to work at their introductions.
Here's what I tell them..."Left, right-right, left, right, left, RIGHT, RIGHT." And here is what it looks like in standard notation, if I were to write it out for them...
Now here is the Star of the County Down beginner duet version, with a Primo and Secondo, using 4/4 time:
Quite without any urging or even, initially, knowledge on my part, three of my young students put together a version of Star of the County Down for a state technology-in-the-schools contest. They called their new version of the song, with its new words, Star of the Slippery Dock, and made a video of it. They won first place in their category, and garnered several prizes for their classroom, including $500.00! I tell you this not to boast of their musical prowess (I had no hand in it), but to attest to the drawing power of this song!
Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? We'd love to hear it!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
H E L P finding a violin song Star of the County Down
Please help me out here, I'm trying very hard to learn to play violin and this is one of the songs I really really want to learn but I can't find sheet …
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!
Thank you for a most excellent site. I am a classical guitar teacher, who endeavors to cover chords and fingerstyle as well. I especially liked the printable Celtic music, as some of my teenage students enjoy it! Thank you, again.
What a fabulous website! I've been a keen amateur piano player since I first learnt 56 years ago at the age of 8. I now have a three year old granddaughter and am hoping fervently that she'll want to learn - at which point I'll teach her. This is just the kind of resource I'll need to make it comprehensible. Thank you very much.
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!
You are awesome. Thank you. I'm a voice and piano teacher and to have so many pieces in one place- for many different levels- is a Godsend. Thank you for the time and effort you have put in to make this so easily available to all of us stressed music teachers!!!
My Favorite Piano Links
Joy: I bought your Halloween Songs, wrote teacher accompaniment for some, and performed with 17 of my students in costume at an assisted living facility. It was a "win-win" situation. The kids and residents loved it and the parents were very pleased with the service aspect of their children's performance as well. Thank you for sharing these lovely pieces that introduce the minor key in a very simple and interesting way to early elementary students.
Wow! I cannot thank you enough for the free collection of piano sheet music that you created here. My daughter and I are following everything you wrote and we LOVE it. It is super fun!!! She loves to play because of your website. We have a small binder now that is slowly growing! THANK YOU!!!!
Thank you so much for this website, I have found just about everything that I need in music.
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.
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!