Sleepsong for voice, piano, & lead sheet. A Celtic-style piano arrangement imitates Secret Garden's soloist. This beautiful song will motivate your vocalists!
* Listen to a recording of the Sleepsong piano arrangement *
Verse 1 employs a "pedal point" in the left hand (where the bass note doesn't leave the first position - D continues to be the bass note despite the chord changes). This builds tension and expectation, where finally, in verse 2, the bass note changes and feels so satisfying!
The ornate melodic twists match the singer's voice in the following video...
Listen to Secret Garden's soloist, Cathrine Iverson, in this YouTube video put together a few years ago by a fan of The Hobbit.
This song will blow your students away with its sheer beauty... the YouTube contributor has entitled this tribute "My Brother Under the Sun":
This song was written by Brendan Graham and Rolf Lovland, so it is of course UNDER COPYRIGHT. For you newbies, that means I am forbidden from giving it away for free!
My legal arrangement of this lovely song in the key of Dm can be found at SheetMusicDirect, or at SheetMusicPlus.
If you would like the song in the key of Em, go here: SheetMusicDirect, Sleepsong in Em, or at SheetMusicPlus, key of Em.
The score for both keys consists of 6 pages of vocal & piano, and an additional 3 pages of lead sheet with plain melody.
After verse two comes a lovely melodic line for violin, flute, or other melody instrument. It also employs Celtic style ornaments.
A leadsheet, 3 pages long, is tacked on to the end of the piano/vocal arrangement. As you can see, the melody is quite plain, minus the ornamentation I put in the piano arrangements.
As you can see, these chords are easier for young guitarists, and the melody can be played in 1st position by young fiddlers.
I give this song to both pianists and vocalists.
Recently, I asked a student if showing her the YouTube video with Fili and Kili first made any difference to her wanting to play this piece - she said, emphatically, "Yes!"
Hearing the Celtic-style singing won her heart. The interpretation - or style - of the piece does make a difference.
And that seems to describe the rest of my students too. "I LOVE this song!" is a refrain I always hear about this song... and you know what? I love it too!
Even the non-vocalists can't help singing as they play... and isn't that what music is all about?
Strike while the iron is hot!
Sleepsong really has nothing to do with The Hobbit movies, yet the presence of the song in that moving video on YouTube was a happy association for my music students back when I first introduced it, as many of them were caught up in the ongoing drama of The Hobbit.
Though I haven't said as much to them, I think that they sense intuitively that "SLEEP" is another way of saying "DEATH."
Here is the group that wrote and performed Sleepsong:
The key of Em is just a step higher. While it does make a bit of a difference for the vocalist, it will be so much easier for both guitar and fiddle in Em.
With my vocalists, I have them listen to the singer - in the pre-recorded video, not the live video - and imitate her ornaments, which are quite different than ordinary turns or trills.
Does that seem artificial? I don't think so... It's fun, and is an easy way to learn another style, and broaden one's confidence.
I'm also having them compare the light, Celtic interpretation in these videos with the deeper-voiced, classical style that is on the demo at Sheetmusicplus. The emotional impact is entirely different...
As for my pianists, talk about a motivating song!
Note-reading, broken chords, key signature recognition, rhythm -- it's all there and they ALL work to master this beautiful song.
Verse one features a "pedal point" in the left hand - chords suspended above Bass D over and over again, which makes the fulfillment of the regular bass notes when they come in verse 2 even more satisfying.
Many of my students love adding chords to lead sheets, especially when they can sing along.
(If you need a primer on how to add piano chords to a melody, visit my pages Free Lead Sheets, and also Mary Had a Little Lamb. On those pages, I have mini-lessons on how to use chords.)
Here is another video, just for fun. It is a clip, actually, from the extended version of The Hobbit Part 1 (An Unexpected Adventure), where the dwarf company (and Gandalf and Bilbo) are seated at dinner in Rivendell.
A couple of them begin to grow restless, wearied by the sameness (and tameness) of the pretty music played by the elf musicians.
"Change the tune, why don't you? I feel like I'm in a funeral!" says one, and another asks, "Is someone dying?"
Bofur declares, "All right, lads, there's only one thing for it," and climbs up on the table and begins a rousing song about "An inn, an inn, a merry old inn!" The rest of the dwarves join in lustily, and pretty soon there's a food fight.
This scene is a testament to the power of music! :D
All the first-year material I give my beginner students.
Piano keyboard sheets, scales, chords, note-reading exercises, and over 256 pages of music!
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.
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.
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!
Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear 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...
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.