It’s hard to believe the 4th of July is just around the corner. With our Independence Day coming up, this is the perfect time to tell you about some music you and your students will really enjoy. Jazzed about 4th of July is filled with well known patriotic pieces arranged by Jerald M. Simon.
The arrangements are designed for the early intermediate/intermediate piano student. With the exception of the very last piece (America- A Patriotic Salute), each arrangement is in the key of C. Which allows the perfect opportunity to transpose these pieces in whatever key if desired.
As with all his books, Jerald includes an introduction at the beginning briefly reviewing theory that they will find in the arrangements. I really appreciate this tool. Because the arrangements are jazz, he also includes LH jazz patterns that will be found in the arrangements. Students can use examples as warmups and review before beginning a particular piece.
Jazzed about 4th of July begins with two pieces, America the Beautiful and My Country, ‘Tis of Thee. Both written in a smooth jazz style that were so relaxing I felt like I was in a fancy restaurant listening to someone play. In both of these pieces you will find lots of glissando’s. The Star Spangled Banner picks things up a little with a light swing and grace notes throughout. Yankee Doodle begins with a walking bass pattern in the left hand and then changes to a blues/rock pattern on the 2nd page. This is a fun piece to play.
Another crowd favorite is Battle Hymn of the Republic. Jerald recommends that it is played with a light swing but can be played straight as well. Rockin’ out to You’re a Grand Old Flag, this piece includes the left hand 5th/6th interval patterns occasionally moving to some 7th’s. I really enjoyed the creative style of When Johnny Comes Marching Home. The tempo description at the top says: “Stealthlike (as though you’re on a secret mission). I thought Anchors Aweigh and The Marine’s Hymn were appropriately arranged in a 50’s rock style. Each giving a unique sound and bass pattern. And now my favorite! The last piece of the book, America- A Patriotic Salute.
I could tell it meant something very special to Jerald as it was the piece that shined the most bright. This book was packed with popular jazz patterns for students to learn. Jazzed about 4th of July makes a fun supplemental book for students who would like to learn and play jazz style pieces. In addition, these pieces would make a perfect recital piece if you were having a patriotic recital or any recital! They lend themselves to good performances pieces that are enjoyable to learn. You can view sample pages in the book here.