One of my beginning students knows this song, but he hasn’t learned to read on the staff yet. He saw the “on-the-staff” version and I could see in his eyes that he really wanted to play it. To give him a little treat, I wrote this pre-reading version. Before you print it out for your students, please make sure they are old enough to follow the notes on the page. This is longer than most pre-reading music and I didn’t want to make two pages, so there are a lot of notes packed into one page.
If you want to use this with a student, here are my suggestions.
1. Sing the song together for several weeks so that your student knows it. Tap it out on the fall board. Do motions with it. Use rhythm instruments. Trust me, if they don’t know this song, it is going to be difficult to follow on the page. Remember, I wrote this out for a child who can already sing it.
2. When he knows the song, you are ready to teach it on the piano. I broke it into 2 lessons and only worked on the first four lines the first week.
3. Young students will have LOTS of trouble following all the repeated notes. All the quarter notes are really supposed to be eighth notes, of course, and there is a reason repeated eighth notes are beamed! So get out your trusty pointer and point to the notes to help the student follow the score.
4. Of course, some of the students are capable of playing this by ear, or partly by ear, so go for it! The days where piano teachers didn’t want students to learn to play by ear are over, thank goodness. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t learn their notes, but nowadays we want a balanced approach.
This is a pre-school song, so your older elementary students will find it babyish. Go with your instincts. There is also an on-the staff version in the Halloween section.