Category Archives: theory

Scarborough Fair

Chords, modes, feisty lyrics and endless variations Downloadable PDFs of Scarborough Fair: Tune line, chords and full lyrics. Scarborough Fair in Dm (the key in the LCM book) Scarborough Fair Am (our key) Scarborough Fair Em (Simon and Garfunkel’s key) One … Continue reading

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Workshop Day! Using Harmony Right fom the Start

The infinite benefits of Um Cha and Um Cha Cha A few Sundays ago I attended the event, Casio workshop for Piano Teachers in Waterloo. It was great to share some of my teaching ideas and techniques with the group … Continue reading

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Mairi’s Wedding

Mairi’s Wedding is a gorgeous folk song that is a real delight to sing and play. I chose it as one of the numbers that everyone would play together in my most recent Big Fat Music Party because of its … Continue reading

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Pick a Bale of Cotton

The group tunes for this term’s Big Fat Music Party were all tunes recently rediscovered from my past. ‘Pick a Bale of Cotton’, a work song from the deep south made famous by Leadbelly, is a great one that I … Continue reading

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Paul Harris and Taking the Time to Learn Well

Thanks so much to Frances Wilson for her clear and comprehensive notes from ‘The Virtuoso Teacher’ seminar with Paul Harris. It is so good to hear from a music teacher who through his teaching has explored all the many aspects of … Continue reading

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Oh Christmas Tree: the Form of (Almost) All Music in a Nutshell

I was asked for this song by two sisters; one a piano student and one on the ukulele. They are big fans of Swiss Family Robinson. ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ turned out to be such a good one for beginners, as … Continue reading

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Jingle Bells: the Perfect Place to Start Harmonising

I’m well into Christmas Carol territory with most of my students now. Carols are great tunes to start people off with harmonising, as they are so familiar. The melody is already there, deep in the player’s subconscious. I don’t know … Continue reading

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Hit the Road Jack

My previous blog was all about songs which have one short chord progression repeated throughout the entire song. But I’ve just realised I missed a real gem: Hit the Road Jack! It’s a joy to teach and jam through. Here’s … Continue reading

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‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’/’Marry You’ Ukulele Mash Up!

Downloadable charts (lyrics with chords) – Don’t Worry Be Happy Marry you in C Marry you in F The top two charts include chord diagrams for the soprano ukulele, but any instrument will work. Playing Around with Cyclical Chord Progessions … Continue reading

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Learning to Harmonise with Peppa Pig

I was asked for the notes of the Peppa Pig theme tune. As this is one of the most frequently heard tunes in my house at the moment, this was not a problem! Actually, it’s quite a neat tune for … Continue reading

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