Friday, December 6, 2019

I Will Walk With Jesus Simplified Piano with Teaching Strategies

I Will Walk With Jesus - Simple Piano

I loved hearing the new primary song for children "I Will Walk With Jesus" and wanted to make it a bit more accessible for my children and piano students to play at home.
So I created 2 simplified versions that will also help teach specific piano skills.

Teaching Basic Piano Fingering Rules

I Will Walk with Jesus (Simplified Piano - Key of C)
The right hand melody is outside of the 5 finger pattern most beginners and can be a little challenging.  I like to use this song to introduce or reinforce the different fingering concepts needed to play this with just one hand while keeping the melody line smooth and have students write them above the music or add colored post-it flags for reminders.  These same principles will be further practiced later while playing the melodies of the simplified hymns as well.  I wrote in suggested fingering, but I later invite the student to analyze their future pieces to determine which type of fingering changes are needed to allow for legato phrases.

1. Expansion - Just like a balloon expands (gets bigger) sometimes you need to stretch open your hand to reach notes.

2. Contraction - Contractions in English make the word smaller (do not - don't). Contracting your hand in music requires you to close your hand like a deflating balloon so it is smaller than 1 finger per key.

3. Shift - It's okay to "shift to a new position on the keys" in between phrases. Adding post-it flags to point the direction you need to move can be a great visual cue to help you prepare. 

4. Cross-  The thumb tucks and crossovers used in playing 1 octave scales come in handy for keeping a smooth melodic line as well. 

The left hand chords I added  can be played by the teacher or another student for a duet for beginners and intermediate students can tackle both the left and right hand for a challenge once the right hand fingering and phrasing is mastered.
Or they can opt to sing the melody as they accompany themselves with the left hand chords.

Accompanying with a Lead Sheet

This second version of the song does not include fingering marks, as I intended it for my students to use it for chord and harmony practice as they play along with a partner in buddy lessons or accompany their own singing.  One student plays the treble melody, while the other accompanies by playing bass root notes, chords or chord pattern variations. 

I Will Walk with Jesus Lead Sheet (Simplified Piano - Key of C with Chord Labels)

Most piano students also find it easier to start playing simplified hymns with a lead sheet instead of reading the bass clef.  I love how this approach really solidifies their understanding of how chord patterns in music.

More Piano Teaching Resources and Sacred Music

Some of the products linked in my posts may be affiliate links, earning me a small commission on any products purchased via that link.

1 comment: