Happy Birthday, now with an easy chord arrangement that uses helper notes - notes with letters inside! In addition, other arrangements of Happy Birthday are offered here in multiple keys for all instruments, and with several arrangements for piano.
Your students can learn it with this free, printable sheet music.
Here is the newest arrangement, very elementary-level-friendly.
Scroll on down the page for the free downloadable PDF links:
The Happy Birthday piano sheet music arrangement I feature below uses a simple, bouncy left-hand chord accompaniment in the "Oom-pah,pah" style.
My piano teacher (Mrs. Catherine Hahn, a wonderful woman) began her students with this "bass note, chord, chord" approach, using all root-position chords instead of inversions. This made understanding basic chords and even the 7th chords very easy.
The "big piano" sound with Oom-pah-pah chords in the left hand:
Below is the melody of Happy Birthday as a lead sheet, for any instrument. Verse two uses words I heard in Sunday School as a child, but did not understand until I was an adult!
"Happy Birthday to you -- Only one (just having ONE birthday) will not do!"
"Born again" ("Ye must be born again", John Chapter 3 in the New Testament portion of the Bible) means Salvation; How many (how many "birth - days" -- how many times have you been BORN) have you?
Below is a version for brave beginners who want to be able to play all of Happy Birthday themselves, even to the octave stretch and the chords.
It is pretty easy, but kids need a bit of background in chord-playing first, such as Mary Had a Little Lamb.
Happily for young players, this is one of those easy chords songs:
With these small chords, I like to tell my students "This is a D 'pinch' chord" (D & C together). "This is a 'little' C chord" (C & E together).
The version in G may be easier for your students to play, because with the key of F version, each hand has to deal with a Bb note. In the key of G version, only the right hand has a black note.
However, the G arrangement uses several bass clef ledger line notes! You will have to decide. I think the G version is easier.
Here are the Middle-C versions for beginner piano students, the easiest arrangements of all. Use one of these to make a duet with your beginner piano student, or even have two students play together.
First, the new "AlphaNotes" version. These fun notes turn a piece of music into note reading worksheets...
Here is the same music, but with chord symbols for a duet partner:
If you want to turn it into a 2-student duet (the melody or Primo part will have to be played UP an octave), here are the Happy Birthday chords spelled out in this Secondo part (some of them are ROOT chords, and some are CHORD INVERSIONS:)
The links to the printable PDFs:
The lead sheets, with two verses of lyrics:
The links for the easiest piano versions (not lead sheets):
The links to the Middle C melody arrangements:
This song has BECOME traditional -- according to Wikipedia, Happy Birthday is the most-recognized song in the English language.
However, the writers are known to history -- two sisters named Mildred and Patty Hill, who wrote the song in 1893. Originally the words weren't Happy Birthday at all, but "Good morning to you, good morning to you. Good morning, dear children, good morning to you!"
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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Confused About Hands Sharing the Same Note
I am elderly piano beginner and I downloaded your Happy Birthday in Gmaj as a practice piece but I'm finding it a little confusing. In bar 2 "birth" …
Really Good Site for Beginners Not rated yet
Thanks sister, it's a good site for piano learners. I am a piano teacher, for my students I searched for many times. God's grace I caught this site. I …