A few years ago, we had lots of fun at Easter with group pieces. Arranging several pieces for 3 or 4 pianos was a good way of getting a whole lot of students into a 40-minute recital.
We will probably be doing an online recital again this year, but for those of you who are back to in-person, feel free to download and use with your students!
Download these and other group-piano-arrangements FREE from TeachersPayTeachers. We would love, love, love to see videos of your students performing them! Share them with us if you like :)
A few years ago, long before I began focusing on group piano, I discovered that I could cut our recital time down significantly if the students played duets and trios. At the time I had about 35 students and didn't want to plan multiple recitals. So I put together a few ensemble arrangements and cut our recital time in half! The students enjoyed playing together, the parents were happy to hear the fuller sound ensembles make, and I was happy to fit everyone into a single recital.
Going through the thousands of miscellaneous folders I now have on my computer, I came across some of these arrangements and started dusting them off and rearranging them slightly for my group classes.
Ode to Joy is one of the more popular ones. Parts 1 & 2 are for students around Level 1 (if their Level 1 method book includes 8th notes - some methods don't introduce 8th notes until Level 2). Part 3 is more suitable for a Level 2 student.
We double up on the parts because some of my groups are 4 or 5 students, so I have two students playing the Piano 1 part, two students playing the Piano 2 part and then just one student playing Piano 3.
Try it with your students and let me know how they like it :)
My teenage groups are "Same-Level" groups rather than 'Multi-Level", and I keep them moving forward together at the same level by giving additional music to those who "get it" faster. So I wrote out additional parts for Eine Kleine and gave these to those who had quickly mastered the "rest thing" so they wouldn't get bored while the others continued to work the rests.
A couple weeks later they really enjoyed the "full" sound they created when they all played their different parts together. I also used it with the elementary school groups. They were so excited about playing a group piece that had no "teacher part" and that they were making this music all by themselves.
Click on the parts below to try the arrangement with your own group students It is for 3 pianos, but you can add a 4th piano to play the melody (Piano 1 Part) an octave higher to give an even fuller sound.
Let me know what your students think :)