For years, I have been told by piano teachers and friends who work at music stores that there is an incredible need for piano music which will bridge the space between beginner and intermediate hymns. I always had the idea in the back of my mind that I would write a music book of “simpler” hymns and possibly Christmas songs.
One day, my 10-year-old son, the third child in my family to take piano lessons, was practicing. I had one cringe after another, thanks to some questionable chords and harmony in the simplified hymn book he was practicing from. I listened to several songs with chords that clashed, were boring, and didn’t sound good.
I’m sure there is a method and reason to keeping the chords simple, but I’ve always felt like a good composer can strip out the fluff and make a song beautiful with less notes. Just because someone can’t play Beethoven or Rachmaninoff shouldn’t mean their music can’t be beautiful.
This book is the result of my frustration in feeling there is a need for an “in-between book which could help beginning piano students’ progress through the basics to intermediate songs, teach some new finger patterns along the way, and allow them to progress to a more advanced level. If someone learning to play piano sounds good and receives compliments from their listeners, it helps motivate them to keep playing.
Many of the songs in this book come from my more advanced songbooks, but have been modified for smaller hands. In many cases, the songs have been simplified and shortened so they work better for piano lessons and practicing. My hope is that this book will contribute to helping piano students of all ages progress, share their talents, and the opportunity to help others enjoy listening to songs that help the piano player gain confidence and sound better at the piano than they might normally feel while playing from typical music books.