Ode to Joy Piano
Piano Music for Beginners

Ode to Joy is one of Beethoven's most recognized and beloved melodies. 

Surely your student's older brother has played it on his trumpet in school band, or perhaps she has heard it sung in church as "Joyful, Joyful, we adore thee..."

See below many arrangements of the famous music, now with:

  • A new ADVANCED solo arrangement with a "majestic" sound, in 3 keys
  • Two duet versions for teacher plus student, using that majestic arrangement!
  • Two beginner arrangements with the Ode to Joy LYRICS.
  • Several one-hand beginner versions, with and without lettered notes
  •  A late elementary arrangement offering a challenging and interesting set of left hand chords for students in their second year! 
Ode to Joy arranged for advanced piano students or adults, with full-sounding chords

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

This arrangement is available in the keys of C, F, and G.

Here is a close-up look at page one of the F version:

Close-up look at fancy arrangement of Ode to Joy in the key of F
Key of G piano arrangement of Ode to Joy, a closeup look

Above is the G arrangement, a look at the most difficult part of the song.

Thanks to Alison in New Zealand!

She requested that I make a duet accompaniment for her and her daughter, using the "majestic" sound that I demonstrated way down the page with big chords in both hands.

Here are the new piano duets, both of which make use of the solo arrangement above:

Ode to Joy, a piano duet for mixed players: a beginner and an advanced player.
Page 2 of the duet

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Here is page one of almost the exact same duet, but the primo part uses just one line, one hand, and is therefore able to play up just one octave above the secondo part. 

That's my preference, personally.  I always feel like if kids play TOO high, their music starts to sound like mice singing in a closet!

Ode to Joy duet with easy beginner part, and advanced secondo for a more accomplished player.

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Here are the two arrangements which include lyrics.  These are just simple arrangements, the same as what I have below, farther down the page. 

If you are interested in an accompaniment for church playing, check out "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" (Ode to Joy's English hymn lyrics by Henry van Dyke) at my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com

There are 2 very pretty and challenging arrangements there, in 3 keys.

Ode to Joy with lyrics, for beginning piano

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

And here again are the lyrics "Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee," with another easy arrangement for beginners, with a fancier left hand part.

Here are several easy music downloads.  These pieces of simple, free kids sheet music for beginning piano players can be dressed up with chords.

Here is the VERY EASIEST Ode to Joy:

Ode to Joy for beginner piano with lettered notes; note names inside the noteheads.  This is melody only, in the key of C.

Please scroll on down the page for the free downloadable links!  

Those notes with letters inside the heads are called "AlphaNotes", and they give new piano students COURAGE.  

Is this a crutch?  No, a tool.   Pay attention to your student, and you will know when it is time to pull off the "training wheels"!

And here is Ode to Joy with just one measure of AlphaNotes, to help orient the student to the very first notes.  

After finding the starting notes, this song is almost on autopilot, if your student knows the melody at all.

I call these arrangements with just a few lettered notes "helper" versions:

Ode to Joy piano melody in the key of C, with a few notes having letter names inside the note heads.

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

It is just possible your student has heard the song sung by a quartet at the end of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

However it may be, if they have heard this most famous of Beethoven's songs before, they will want to play it themselves!

This is probably how they will want to play it:

Ode to Joy for beginner piano

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

 And eventually, beginners will play it like that. Left hand equals "5, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, CHORD!"

But at first, I simplify the melody so they can concentrate on reading the notes:

Easy piano song Ode to Joy

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

If they automatically play the end of lines one, two, and four with the dotted quarter note rhythm, fine.  I don't try to stop that.

With only minimal fingering, kids read this song just like "Snakes," except I warn them that there are some skips hiding in some of the measures. Sometimes we go looking for the skips (or thirds), and circle them with a colored pen.

This free kids' sheet music represents a simplified version of Beethoven's actual rhythm, of course. (But they may play it with the dotted rhythm anyway, if they have ever heard it before!)

Another change I have made is to turn the melody UP at the end of line 3 instead of down, in order to contain the melody within one hand. That way,we can add chords in a few weeks or months when the melody is very strong.

With chords, Ode to Joy can be dressed up for a duet, or returned to later, when they have gained more skill and their hands are more independent.

Use the sheet below for your adventurous students and treat Ode to Joy like a lead sheet:

Ode to Joy with chord symbols

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

When should you start adding chords? As I said, not until the melody is well in hand.  Here is what a satisfying arrangement might look like:

Ode to Joy with small left hand chords

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

I've had kids play the chord accompaniment different ways in this piece, but always starting it as a duet with them on the melody and me on the chords -- BIG chords.

It's good for them to feel the majesty of this piece and to learn to feel comfortable with all the sounds happening while they strive to keep the melody going rhythmically.

If they get too lost and confused initially, then I drop the fancy accompaniment and just play along with them, doubling their part.  

Here's what I mean by "majestic":

Ode to Joy accompaniment, fancy and majestic, for teachers!

This is the kind of accompaniment I might make - FOR ME, THE TEACHER!

Then we switch places, and I have them try C and G open chords all the way through, striking the chord on beat 1 only.

Changing chords may be a little slow at first, but this student will have been playing the C, F, and G chords of the 12-Bar-Blues for at least a few weeks or months by now.

Open chords with Ode to Joy

Then we do something fun. I point out to them that they can change from C to G and back to C again without even looking at their hand, if they "sneak" through the their thumb on g key, using it as a landmark, and switching to their 5 finger.

"Close your eyes and try it," I tell them, and now it becomes a challenge. They love a challenge!

Then we go through the whole piece, with me on the melody and them on the chords, left hand only, swapping back and forth from C to G to C.  

Line 3 is a lot of work, moving twice a measure. Watch out where there are two C chords in a row!

Line 4 is just like line 2.

Finally, we make one last change... after the energy of line 3, it doesn't seem right to settle back down to just one chord a measure, so we put FOUR chords in each measure of line 4 -- what a difference!

I ask them if they can feel the difference, and they can indeed!

It may be some time before they can put this vigorous left hand together with the right hand melody, but that's okay...in the meantime, you have a great duet, and they are learning chord basics.



The links to the advanced level piano music:


Download the new advanced arrangement of Ode to Joy, in the key of C


Download advanced arrangement of Beethoven's music, in F


Download Beethoven song, difficult version, in the key of G


The links to the piano duets:


Download the piano duet with four staves (treble & bass primo and treble & bass secondo)


Download Ode to Joy piano duet with single staff for primo part


The links for the arrangements with the Ode to Joy lyrics:


Download the music with hymn lyrics "Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee" with very plain left hand and melody


Download Ode to Joy with lyrics, with fancier piano left hand


The links for the very easy piano arrangements of Beethoven's song:


Download piano music with letters Ode to Joy, the EASIEST version, with ALPHANOTES


Download the HELPER version - with a few lettered notes in measure one


Beethoven's Ode to Joy with simple 5-1-5-1 Left Hand 


Beethoven printable piano music easiest version, without lettered notes 


Free kids' sheet music Ode to Joy with chord symbols and blank staff in bass clef


The link for the late elementary arrangement:


Download Beethoven song with fancier left hand small chords


And remember, the Christian hymn lyrics "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," set to Beethoven's Ode to Joy with two lovely arrangements, is available free at my other site, SingTheBibleStory.com.


Give your students the joy of learning Beethoven's famous Für Elise in an easy-to-read format... every note from the ORIGINAL piece is here  in this beautiful new setting


More 5-finger songs at Music-for-Music-Teachers:

Cat Came Back (easiest version) - with fun-to-sing lyrics, many verses!


Erie Canal - Part I has only 5 notes, but is a satisfying introduction to this song


Fuzzy Wuzzy - cute and short!


God is So Good - a sweet melody with sweet words


Jingle Bells - every child knows this one


Mary Had a Little Lamb - a song with many uses!


Ode to Joy, the famous tune by Beethoven


Pizza Please (Hot Cross Buns) - 3 notes, arranged for each hand


Sharks (3 notes, for left hand) - this is like the Jaws theme song


Snake Charmer - with fun lyrics and a mysterious minor melody


Tarantelle - the spider dance, with silly lyrics about tarantulas


When the Saints Go Marching In - with several arrangements!









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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and 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.