Beautiful Irish piano sheet music, now in Am for your late elementary students! Formerly, this piece was only available in Bm.
This very beautiful piece in a minor key will be loved by your students for its lilting melody and gentle broken chords.
We first heard this lovely song on a Irish harp CD some years ago, and one of my daughters came up with a piano arrangement. It has been a "must-have" piano piece for many of my students ever since. (And now you can SING IT, too, if you wish! Check out the original vocal lyrics for Keegan's Waltz, contributed by a young musician named Matthew. Notice that Matthew has changed the order of the music to suit his lyrics.)
Here is the original version - just the same, but in a higher key, with black notes! Also squeezed onto a single page - not quite as student-friendly:
An opportunity for putting emotion into the music
One reason I love to have students select this Irish piano sheet music is because there is so much room for expressive dynamics in Keegan's Waltz. A student who really works at it can learn a lot about shaping melodies, and going with the rise and fall of a phrase.
And learning how to execute grace notes
When the main theme returns in measure 20, it returns with a difference, a bit like theme and variation, but really just with embellishments on the melody. Easy grace notes are attached to just a couple of the already-familiar melody notes, so young pianists aren't intimidated but intrigued instead. In fact, most of the students to whom I give this music try to sneak extra improvisations into Keegan's Waltz -- and I let them!
A light touch on the "echo" sound
There is a figure which appears three times in the song -- the right hand melody note "D" which softly rolls up to an "A," in which the notes of a D chord end up being held. Watch your students as they learn these notes - some students look at the tiny grace notes and guess instead of actually reading. The correct notes are D, E, F#, and A. The chord tones are held, while the E is released. (In the A minor version, all these notes are down one step. We are looking at the 4th full measure for the first instance of this effect.)
This motif is perhaps the most difficult part of the music -- it should sound lightly brushed, almost like a whisper, and not at all heavy. Though tricky to achieve, it is one of the things that makes this piano piece so appealing. It should sound a bit like an echo, not like part of the melody.
I know you will enjoy this beautiful free Celtic sheet music! And check out the vocal version - you will enjoy it, if you like courtly poetry or Irish songs about love.