Star of the County Down
Beginner Piano

Star of the County Down beginner piano music, comes with fun ideas for using piano chords. For solo and piano duet -- (see the bottom of the page)! 

Some music spreads like wild-fire

This is one of those pieces that everyone wants to play, once they've heard it and seen it performed a few times!

It began with some local fiddlers playing it at a few recitals about town, then I wrote it up for my pianists in several versions, and now it just won't go away.

How good IS this song?

I even had a student -- a boy -- choose it over BATMAN! Listen to the Orthodox Celts' version of this song - it will win your heart!   Queue this up for your students!

Star of the County Down sheet music

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Now that they've learned it, turn it into a duet!

It looks very simple, but after kids have learned the melody of Star of the County Down, we don't leave it there. It becomes a duet. 

The melody or Primo part must be played UP an octave.  But it's their turn to do the chords!  They will play OPEN fifths - the root and fifth of each chord.

Like directing traffic, I play the melody with my right hand and conduct their chords with my left hand. 

Once they get it, increase the difficulty

Then I tell them to play TWO chords per measure. That's even more fun. More energy.  See the example below of what it would look like, IF I were to notate it for them:


Then I say, "Okay, now we're going to play chords with both hands--Left, Right, Left, Right." This is REALLY fun.  See the bottom line, below:


All of these changes are notated for them with only slash marks and the letters "L R L R" for left and right hands. Now and then a very careful student (generally a teenager) will want me to write out an example of the first few chords, and then they're happy.

Younger kids will plunge right in, although they may also forget how to do it the first week at home!

This song will keep them busy for a while

That is plenty here for three, four, or even several lessons. 

I wait until they are comfortable and able to keep the tempo up, then I say, "Now I want you to make an introduction for the song! Here's how..." and I instruct them to play those same Am and G chords in a rhythmic pattern that makes a singer, or piano duet partner, want to jump in and START!

Learning how to make an introduction

This is an important skill to learn, this sense of musical impetus or urgency, and any musician who plays in a group needs to figure out how to make it happen...  

In music where players begin simultaneously, many musicians evolve into using just a simple "sniff" or lift of the head or even facial muscles...  

Pianists, who tend to play intros into which they must "invite" other musicians to join them, have to work at their introductions. 

It doesn't happen by itself!

Here's what I tell them..."Left, right-right, left, right, left, RIGHT, RIGHT." And here is what it looks like in standard notation, if I were to write it out for them... 


Here are a couple of my younger students working on this piece for an upcoming recital.  A sister and brother, by the time the recital rolled around, they were very accurate and FASTER than what you hear below:


I was very, very pleased.

Now here is the Star of the County Down beginner duet version, with a Primo and Secondo, using regular 4/4 time: 

Piano duet Irish music

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

How I like to play the chords:

Duet sheet music for beginners

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Years ago, three of my young students put together a version of Star of the County Down for a state of Alaska technology-in-the-schools contest. They called their new version of the song, with its new words, Star of the Slippery Dock, and made a video of it.

Although in my opinion they should have spent MUCH MORE TIME rehearsing (!!!) they still won first place in their category, and garnered several prizes for their classroom, including $500.00!

I tell you this not to boast of their musical prowess (I had no hand in it, and to tell the truth, not much about that video was very musical), but to attest to the drawing power of this song.

If you are interested in a fancier arrangement with more chords, plus lyrics to a Bible verse written to this melody, check out this page, "For God So Loved the World", at my newer site, Sing The Bible Story.




The links to the piano music:



Beginner piano sheet music with chord symbols



Find TWO versions with lettered notes & eighth note rhythm by clicking over to THIS PAGE



Download Primo for Irish piano duet



Download Secondo for Irish piano duet for beginners








Interested in songs from the Bible for your students or church?  Check out my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com!

SingTheBibleStory.com clickable logo link

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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, 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.