Easy piano sheet music FREE, The Snake Charmer. Now with a few "helper" notes for younger beginners!
This melody is mysterious-sounding and FUN.
An easier-to-read arrangement for beginners
Please scroll down the page for the download links.
The old arrangement was easy enough...
... plus it was good sight-reading practice! Why give kids this "baby" version?
Because with "distance teaching," I can't reach through the computer and grab their little hands, or point to a sheet of reference notes. Not quickly, anyway. And sometimes I just want to give them a fun new song!
Like the version below (same notes), when a student begins to find the melody easy to play, it is time to add a Dm left hand chord to the beginning of every measure. See the other arrangement, below.
New lyrics for this old song
The Snake Charmer has a familiar melody, but new (and polite) words. Because this minor-key melody has a history as one of those school playground songs with less than refined lyrics, it took me some time to decide to give it to students.
But since the tune is so great, The Snake Charmer deserved to be rescued, so that is what I have attempted here! I believe I have succeeded, because students work hard at this song:
Please scroll down the page for the link to the printable PDF.
The melody of Snake Charmer takes skill
If your students are just starting to coordinate left hand chords with right hand melody, this easy piano sheet music will almost certainly be a hit. But this song is way beyond the ease of putting hands together that occurs in Mary Had a Little Lamb.
Reading and executing thirds or "skips"
What places The Snake Charmer in a different category? The little skips (3rds) and melodic turnarounds.
I like to say to my students, "This is one of those twisty-turny melodies that tries to fool you! Be on the alert!"
Practice method: "Castle Practicing"
This easy piano sheet music is fun to practice low ("down in the dungeon"), in the middle of the piano ("the castle throne room") and way up high on the piano also ("the tower").
I call this "Castle Practicing," and if I quickly sketch a castle on my student's lesson sheet, it means I want them to practice it this way, for a repetition of 3 times. (You could also add "drawbridge" and "Queen's Chambers, or Queen's Boudoir" for more repetitions.) This is handy for a student who isn't actually reading words yet!
Here is a bigger castle list:
Flag on the tower
Don't let a good song go to waste - now transpose it!
The Snake Charmer is also a good song for transposing, as the melody all fits into a 5-finger pattern. Once kids know this piece well, they enjoy the challenge of moving week by week from Dm to Em, to Fm (very hard), to Gm, then Am (a respite!), the very tricky key of Bm, and then to C minor.
By then, it is certainly time to choose a different song!
But my students who have made it through the gauntlet of the black-key pentascales (Ab, Bb, Db, Eb, Gb) are ready to also try the minor variations of these positions (G#m, Bbm, C#m, Ebm, and F#m) on Snake Charmer.
This is excellent ear training and helps them understand the keys better.
Transposing a minor melody seems harder for young musicians than transposing a major song!
A real snake charmer
Wow! Look at this fellow handle a real live snake! This is not the tune "Snake Charmer," but this the story that the song tells:
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 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.
Comments: Do you have a story or a question about music teaching? Share it!
Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. Also, IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MUSIC THAT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, YOUR REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years...
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