Besides writing and art, I used to teach piano lessons! Over the years I’ve created a few original works, transcribed LDS church hymns for five-finger piano, and adapted a few songs along the way.
New arrangement “Christian Soldiers’ Medley” added 19.Aug.2023!
New arrangement “(Beautiful Bright) Silent Night” added 31.Jul.2023!
A piece that shimmers and breathes. Written in the spirit of Brian Eno and Harold Budd. (The pauses make this one, so don’t rush. I play it slow–like, with my heart’s metronome set at 60.)
- Jade’s Garden (easy piano) One of my grown piano students once fostered a mother cat and her litter. Although the momcat and her kittens were re-homed, my student kept Jade, a beautiful seal-point shorthair. I wrote this picturing Jade enjoying a sunny frolic in her garden.
This is written in quarter notes for the ease of the beginning student, but it should be played with some speed for flow.
Transcriptions and Arrangements
OR download it from Gumroad (pay what you want–but if you enjoyed performing it, a tip would be nice. 🙂
Song background:In an effort to exercise my composing muscles, I’ve asked my friends to name some of their favorite hymns so I can arrange them. This one goes out to my gluten-free bestie, Rindi*. She is one of the strongest people I know, and not just because she can’t eat regular pizza. Her dedication to Christ in the face of life’s challenges inspires me.
This song (in my mind) starts in autumn by a cozy fire (set to the tune of Abide with Me), plummets into a spare and icy winter (Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King), then roars back to life as spring arrives in a joyful procession (God of Our Fathers).
Should be easy for a singer to pick up, but the piano part’s got some fanfare rhythms that might be tricky to pick up by sight alone. The downloadable mp3, imperfect midi though it is, can help my fellow pianists learn the rhythms by ear. Whew!
Enjoyed performing or listening to it? Consider downloading a thank-you copy from Gumroad!
Song background: This one’s for my friend Marcia. She’s the salt of the earth. Period! She loves the Lord and you can feel it anytime you’re with her! It makes me want to be better. I’m terribly lucky to have her as a friend.
I had this Christmas hymn mashup idea for AGES…but didn’t feel like I could prioritize it over arrangements in honor of friends. So I left it alone until my friend Marcia listed “The Day Dawn is Breaking” as one of her favorite songs.
I love how it turned out.
Enjoyed performing or listening to this? Consider downloading a pay-what-you-want thank-you copy from my Gumroad store!
Song background: This one’s for my friend Kaye.
Kaye is a strong woman. Back when she was raising her family, she was a military wife, having to manage a home and children while her husband was away on deployments. She successfully raised children who are strong in the gospel to this day, and now she’s working on her grandsons!
For this arrangement, I wanted to write a song that would carry her strength and testimony to the grandsons she loves so much. Listen close and you’ll hear her calling out “Fear not!” “Courage!” “The Lord is on our side!”
This hymn is a tribute to Kaye–and it’s a tribute to all Christian moms fighting to raise a “sin-resistant generation.” Your job is not easy! I hope this hymn will help you take heart!
OR download it from Gumroad (pay what you want–including $0, but tips are appreciated ;))
I needed a song for a Christmas performance in 2019. I’ve always liked “I Wonder As I Wander” (so haunting!) but 1) didn’t find an arrangement I liked online and 2) I found the song’s original second and third verses to be…lackluster (to be polite).
“Away in a Manger” fit the meter, but without a singer, no one would know that. Kindly ward members found me a soprano who could reliably hit a high D. She was away at college, but agreed to sing for me anyway. Even though the arrangement hadn’t been written yet. Brave girl.
I wanted the third verse to NOT be more “Away in A Manger” but the other two options I looked up in my church’s green hymnbook didn’t do anything for me. I Ducky’d the meter and discovered a public domain hymn by the name of “My Jesus, I Love Thee”. Verse two would work just fine, thanks. Hours later in MuseScore…here we are.
I wrote it to be manageable for the pianist–intermediate level at the most. Even if it looks intimidating, give the third verse a try.
Enjoyed my arrangement? Consider purchasing a thank-you copy from my Gumroad store!
Notice: if you are the kind of person who is offended by the idea of arranging a hymn so it sounds like it could be played in a smoke-filled bar (or at least a Famous Dave’s), please keep scrolling.
This one’s for my pal Brooke. I’m convinced that she, in pre-mortal life, marched up to the Lord’s desk, slapped her hands down upon it, and said, “I wanna do life in HARD MODE!”
And He said, “Sounds good.”
She’s a Broadway fan but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to Broadway this up so instead she got this bluesy version of one of her favorite hymns, “More Holiness Give Me.”
Why’d I put a cigarette on the cover? Because when Brooke was serving as a missionary in Alaska, she once told me missionaries up there LOVED smelling cigarette smoke in sacrament meeting, because that meant investigators were attending!
Enjoyed performing or listening to it? Consider downloading a pay-what-you-want thank-you copy from my Gumroad store.
Song background: This one’s for my friend Gwen. She’s a real sweetheart. When I think about Gwen, I think of someone who is straightforward and cheerful. So I threw “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (her selected song), “My Redeemer Lives”, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, and “The Nutcracker” into a blender and came out with this delicious musical smoothie. Great if you love Christmas tunes year round.
I about jumped out of my seat when I heard this song featured in the trailer for Gravity. You see, I’d had this Arvo Pärt song on CD for years. After discovering MuseScore, I searched for and found a lovely arrangement for piano and violincello.
Hm, I thought. With a little modding, that could be doable for a solo pianist. So I grabbed the file and went to work. My arrangement uses Danwe’s transcription as a major base, but I also made some (what I consider) corrections from listening to the CD. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s pretty good, and I enjoy playing it.
A grown student of mine, Sue, wanted dearly to play some of our church hymns, but we both found the Hymns Made Easy book to be above her level.
In response, I simplified them even further, transforming the melodies into 5-finger arrangements. This means there are zero to no hand position changes and almost no chords!
Though they’re nothing fancy, Sue really enjoyed being able to play the worship songs she loved!
These public-domain hymn arrangements are presented as-is; feel free to write in any fingering or letter name helps! These are FOR YOU!
Click above to download the whole book, or choose ala carte:
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – Choose the Right
- 5-Finger LDS Hymns – Come, Come, Ye Saints
- 5-Finger LDS Hymns – I Know That My Redeemer Lives
- 5-Finger LDS Hymns – In Humility Our Savior
- 5-Finger LDS Hymns – Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee
- 5-Finger LDS Hymns – Lead Kindly Light
- 5-Finger LDS Primary Songs – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
- 5-Finger LDS Primary Songs – Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
- 5-Finger LDS Primary Songs – Jesus Once Was a Little Child
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – There is Sunshine in My Soul Today
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – Abide with Me
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – Be Still My Soul
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – Count Your Blessings
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – Dearest Children God is Near You
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – Do What is Right
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – He Is Risen
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – How Great the Wisdom and the Love
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – How Great Thou Art
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – I Need Thee Every Hour
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – I Stand All Amazed
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – Love At Home
- 5 Finger LDS Hymns – The Spirit of God