Copyright 2019,  Emma O’Rourke

Copyright 2019, Emma O’Rourke

Announcing Baby Bach!

To celebrate Bach’s 334th birthday I am launching a collection of works by J.S. Bach arranged for the elementary level pianist. These arrangements are intended to generate excitement and enthusiasm for the baroque style through early experiences with Bach. There are only four pieces ready to go at this point, but throughout the year I will add to the collection. If you have a request please submit it via the contact page!

About the Arrangements

Most of the arrangements include specific challenges for elementary level students such as new key signatures, two note slurs and hand crossing. The hands rarely play together, but most pieces do involve some moving of hand position.

Mein gläubiges Herze, BWV 68

This aria requires minimal amounts of changing hand position and utilizes a simple quarter note eighth note rhythm. The full score can and used as an accompaniment (repeat m. 9-12 for last phrase). If played as a solo the long rests may be omitted.

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 645

Although this may appear tricky for a beginner, students will find the beautiful melody and two note slur gestures truly rewarding! This is an opportunity to teach whole and half steps, E-flat Major, two and three note slurs and sixteenth notes. I recommend teaching students improvise two note slurs in the key of E flat major first. This piece is also an excellent way to introduce sixteenth note rhythms as rhythmic patterns remain mostly consistent throughout. I find that students learn these rhythms easily when words are used for the different groupings. The full score may be used as an accompaniment.

Bourrée, from Lute Suite in E Minor, BWV 996

This piece features the insistent dactylic rhythm that characterizes the bourrée. This arrangement requires trading parts between the hands, building physical awareness of different fingers and coordination. The original score may be used as an accompaniment.

Prelude and Fugue in C minor, WTC Book 1, BWV 847

The super short prelude involves frequent crossing and uncrossing of the hands. The fugue requires less movement, and the rhythms have been augmented to make it a bit easier. This is an opportunity to introduce terms such as subject, counter-subject and sequences.