This project excited me as soon as I had the idea. I wanted to give my small children and piano students the gift of being able to play some of their favorite primary songs easily. I taught them three root notes of basic chords in the key of C Major (C F G). To help them to later be able to transpose into any key, I referred to the chords as I, IV, and V.
I was pleased that so many songs in the Primary Children’s Songbook were so adaptable to these three chords. Forty pages of songs! And they can play them all!
We also used these in home evening to add novice players on an auto harp, guitar, ukulele, hand bells, piano, and toy xylophone. Oh how the joy resonated in our family while we played and sang these beautiful songs together!
I hope they bring you lots of joy too.
>> Primary Song Lead Sheets <<
The majority of this adaptation is played with the right hand. LH thumb is on D, RH thumb is on E.
Finger 2 in the right hand plays F#.
This is the original key, and may be accompanied by the version in the songbook.
Book of Mormon Stories
Book of Mormon Stories w note names
This song skips between hands frequently. However, many children overcome that challenge just because they are so excited to learn this particular song. This one is best learned one hand at a time, with the teacher/parent playing the other hand.
LH thumb on F, RH thumb on G. Be sure to prepare for the B flats at the beginning!
Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam
Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam w note names
LH thumb on G, RH thumb on A. Watch for the accidentals!
If You Chance to Meet a Frown
This song has tricky timing. Rather than trying to explain the rhythm to a beginner, it is better to teach them to sing it (with syncopation) and the rhythm will just happen naturally. Remember, the focus with these songs is to help them quickly learn familiar songs and fuel their excitement about playing the piano.
LH thumb is on F, and RH thumb is on G. The majority of the playing is done by the RH in this piece.
We Are Different
We Are Different w note names
This one is a little trickier, but is a great one for the beginner who has just learned about skips.
LH thumb on G, RH thumb on A
Hinges w note names
This repetitive song will really happen fast for your beginner.
The hand position places the LH thumb on A, and the RH thumb on B
Be sure to have a quick lesson about what sharp means (the black note just above!)
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes w note names
Left thumb on A, Right thumb on B, with attention to fingers on F# and C#.
Don’t let the accidentals scare you! Beginners can play them just as well, especially because the hand position allows each finger to have the same note throughout the song. Give it a try. You’ll be surprised.
Do As I’m Doing
Do As I’m Doing w note names
This hymn has been adapted to faciliate faster reading by beginners. Stem direction indicates RH/LH, supplemented by fingerings.
Hand position: Left thumb on G, Right thumb on A
Love at Home
Love at Home w note names