Down to the River to Pray
Down to the River to Pray, sheet music with a satisfying & pretty early intermediate piano arrangement! Four arrangements:
- Lead sheet in F
- Lead sheet in G
- Piano arrangement in F
- Piano arrangement in G
Hear Alison Krauss sing this song:
Piano arrangements in 2 keys
* Listen to an audio of the piano arrangement *
The left hand is fairly predictable; though not simple enough for a beginner, it doesn't move around much.
Then, at the chorus, it changes to nice easy root position open chords.
The very first left hand notes are what I call a "baby" F chord; it may sound silly, but it makes perfect sense to my students!
When I introduce this music to students who have heard this song before, they say, "I LOVE this song!"
Inevitably, there may be a few differences in the version they are familiar with, and the arrangements I have made here. That's the way it is with "traditional" music! And I tell them, in many cases, that they can change up the music and play it the way they like best. Not so with classical music; but with folk/traditional music, why not?
Not really a hymn
This is not a song most people would hear in their church... I do believe it is a spiritual, and that many people know it through the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" I THINK. Correct me if I'm wrong!
A fellow musician told me years ago that "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is an ICONIC movie that everyone should see - so my husband and I watched it - but honestly, the only thing I remember about that movie is this beautiful song "Down to the River."
Lead sheets in 2 keys
My version follows Alison Krauss's melody
As near as I could, I followed the melodic line and rhythm heard in the lovely rendition in the video above. If you have your singers learn and perform this song, be aware that the title "Down TO the River" isn't found in the lyrics; there, it is "Down IN the River." Make sure everyone is on board!
Hear my arrangement again:
* Listen to the piano arrangement again! *
The links for the piano arrangements:
Download Down to the River to Pray sheet music for piano, key of F
Download Down to the River for piano in the key of G
The links for the lead sheets:
Download lead sheet for Down to the River, key of F
Download Down in the River to Pray, lead sheet, key of G
Merry Merry Christmas singing round is fast & pretty, and you may have never heard it before! Super simple lyrics. Get the free sheet music here.
Canon sheet music for beginners. Maybe THE EASIEST CANON arrangement in the world, with broken chords! Seven different versions, & a duet arrangement.
'Twas the Night Before Christmas sheet music for early piano. The entire poem by Clement C. Moore is here, with a rhythmic melody that is easy to play & sing!
Down to the River to Pray, sheet music in the keys of F & G, piano & lead sheets. A satisfying & pretty early intermediate piano arrangement!
I Love You, Lord sheet music - a beautiful arrangement for advancing piano students, plus a guitar tabs sheet that is very easy. In the keys of F and G.
Songs Old & Songs New
All the first-year material I give my beginner students.
Piano keyboard sheets, scales, chords, note-reading exercises, and over 256 pages of music!
Queen Esther in the Bible
This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This", available as a digital download, tells the riveting story of the time when Jews in ancient Persia faced a foe named Haman, and how a brave young queen risked her life to save her people.
A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theater production, or a class of children!
This book is also available from Amazon as a paperback.
Just the Black Keys
This book is available as a digital download from this site. Visit this page to see some free examples from the book.
It is also available from Amazon as a paperback!
This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.
And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!" They will be spending more time at the piano.
The Adventures of Tonsta
A perfect read aloud storybook
for little boys or girls.
The Adventures of Tonsta highlight the travels of a very young boy with a good heart, who goes about helping folk in trouble.
With a red cap on his head and a sack of tools slung over his shoulder, Tonsta seems to meet people in distress wherever he goes.
Lots of trolls in this book - including one who gives him a Christmas gift!
Available at Amazon
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About the Author
Hi, I'm Dana! (Say that like "Anna".) I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.
Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.
You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.