No sooner than finding sheet music to BEGIN’s Hana, my retired Japanese language professor friend in California introduced an even more nostalgic song from Okinawa. It’s also called Hana. The composer is Kina Shoukichi (喜納昌吉).
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Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” is another request from a student — an artist. There are many Youtube Tutorials on how to play the parallel chords that follow a partial C major pentascale. I checked several versions online before rewriting it for easy piano.
Again, this is another piece you can easily play with the official video on Youtube, as long as your piano is tuned. Presumably, all electric pianos are well-tuned for this exercise.
Click on the image below to get the single page PDF music score.
“What is the song that goes like this?” asked one of my piano students out of the blue, playing a distinct major 7th chord followed by minor chords on his right hand.
After some thought, I said, “Chicago’s Colour My World. That’s Colour with a U in it.”
It’s one of those songs that you never forget.
I found a version on the Internet that requires the right hand (R.H.) to read below middle C and the left hand (L.H.) a few octaves lower. Knowing that beginning piano students are more comfortable reading the notes in the staves rather out of them (ledger or leger lines), I decide to rewrite it. I also replaced the 12/8 time with 4/4 time using triplet eighth notes.
This is another piece you can play with the official video on Youtube in which the L.H. is played by a bass guitar.
Click on the image below for the 2-page PDF score.
John Lennon’s Imagine is a song with piano accompaniment in the key of C major. These days, you can play a well-tuned piano to his official video on youtube, as we did in class to any number of versions I arranged for the different levels of my adult piano students. In all versions, both hands are to play one octave lower than what’s written.
Click on the excerpt to download the full PDF version. It’s Christmas come early.
Slightly more difficult is the following version because I left out the fingerings and the right hand has to do a little more work than before.
To imitate the authentic piano arrangement, we need repetitive broken chords in eighth notes, on the right hand.
Finally, for those whose left hands are powerful enough to play octaves, here’s another version.
The first time I heard it on the piano, I thought it was a variation of Einaudi’s music.
When I heard it again, I realized it was something else.
After my piano class, a student from the next class started playing it on the piano just as I was leaving.
“What is it?”
“River flows in you,” she said.
She added, “It’s from Twilight.”
I don’t remember this piece. Who is it by?
The sticky melody caught my attention. It’s been a long time since I’ve been caught off-guard like this. How could I not know the composer or the title of the work? I have watched all 5 movies of the Twilight Saga and don’t recall this piece at all. The closest one was Carter Burwell’s Bella’s Lullaby, which does not sound like this.
Rather, the piece I heard on the piano was “River Flows in You” by Yiruma, the Korean pianist who has lived in the UK. The sheet music of his works are freely downloadable from his website. Compare the difference, below.
My next step? Check out Yiruma’s music and sightread them all. What is his music so sticky? Maybe that could be project for my students.