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Silent Night - Super Easy (Units 2-4)

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Hello and welcome. I'm Joseph Hoffman,
and in this piano lesson you'll learn how to play my super easy version of "Silent Night".
perfect if you're a beginner with less than one year of piano experience.
If you're looking for something more challenging, check out my easy or intermediate level tutorials.
Alright, let's get started by checking out the sheet music.
Here's the sheet music to "Silent Night".
Now in my tutorials, I like to do more than just show you how to play the notes. You can get that in any tutorial.
With me, I like to help you understand the music so you can apply it to any song you play.
If we check out the time signature we see that we're in 3/4 time.
What does that mean?
3/4 means there will be 3 quarter note beats in every measure.
What are measures?
They're separated by these thin vertical black lines. So here's measure one, here's measure two, measure three, etc.
Now, how is that useful information?
Well as we're playing, we want to think about these 3 beats.
Every 3 beats forms a group
of sounds,
and it's important for you to keep those beats in mind as you're playing or you won't have the right timing.
Now you'll notice that I put this beat 2 before this little eighth note.
I could add one extra note over here to my chart of rhythms. An eighth note is just equal to 1/2 of a beat.
For reference quarter notes are 1 beat, dotted quarter notes are 1 1/2 beats long.
Half notes are 2 beats, dotted half notes are 3 beats.
Now again, this will help us use the right timing.
So we start off with a dotted quarter note, which gets 1 1/2 beats, so it will take up half of beat 2,
making this note land on the between beats 2 and 3. That between place we call an & in music.
So we could count this rhythm 1 2-& 3. Let's try to clap that.
It's a very important rhythm in "Silent Night", because we're going to see it again and again, so we've got to get it right.
Let's try clapping. Go: 1 2-& 3
Let's practice that again. Try to count these beats out loud with me and clap.
Ready, go: 1 2-& 3, and that makes ♫Silent♫
If you're not counting, I find that students will tend to rush these notes. ♫Silent♫
1 2-& 3 You've got to wait for the &, or you're going to make this note too short. And then when you get to this dotted half note, be sure you hold that 3 beats.
Again, I often hear beginner piano students skipping beats. They're in a rush for some reason.
Part of music is knowing the right timing and how long to hold each note. Listen: 1 2-& 3 1 2 3 We've got to hold that note 3 full beats before we go on. 1 2-& 3 1 2 3
Now let's try to clap it while you count the beat with me. Ready, go: 1 2-& 3 1 2 keep going!
1 2-& 3 1 2 3
Great, let's try to play it.
If you look in the top left corner of your sheet music, you'll see this little chart that shows you where to place your hands.
Your right hand will be on C D E F G, one finger for each key,
each white key, and the left hand finger 1, which is your thumb. Thumbs are always 1,
will share this middle C, and you know if it feels annoying to have them both sitting there you can kind of
tuck one a little bit below the other.
Just find what's comfortable for you, but your finger 1's will share the middle C. Finger 2 will need to be on this B-flat,
and your other fingers will be positioned like this, just like you see in the chart. So go ahead and get your fingers ready on your piano, because we're going to try this together. Your right hand starts with finger one on middle C, and we play 1 2-& 3. Now you try, go:
You see we just start on C, we step up to D, then back to C, and make sure you get the rhythm correct. Say the beats out loud, and that will help you. Say 1 2-& 3. Try it with me, go: 1 2-& 3
I really want you to count those beats out loud so you get that rhythm just right. That timing is important for the song.
Then your left hand is going to play finger 3 on A right here, and you count 3 beats: 1 2 3. Try it with me, go: 1 2 3
Be sure to hold it all 3 beats. Don't cheat a beat. All 3
beats are important.
Now let's put it together: 1 2-& 3 1 2 3. Try it with me, ready, go: 1 2-& 3 1 2 3, then we do it again.
1 2-& 3 1 2 3 Great, now pause the video and I'd like you to play these first four measures on your own while you count the beat out loud. Make sure you can do that confidently, and then press play to go on.
Next up, the right hand is going to play a G, and it's a half note, which equals 2 beats.
So we'll count 1 2, and then on beat 3 we play that G again. 1 2 3, and then we skip down to E
for 3 beats. 1 2 3 1 2 3. Now you try. Ready, go:
Again, remember to count while you play. That will help your rhythm be correct 1 2 3 1 2 3, and then we step up to F. 1 2 3 1 2 3, and that makes ♫all is bright♫.
You'll notice there we skip from F all the way down to C.
Now let's try 'all is bright' together on F right here, ready, go:
1 2 3 1 2 3
Good, now let's put that together with 'All is calm.'
♫All is calm,♫ 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
Now, eventually we'll add the lyrics, but for now let's mostly work on counting the beat,
because again that's going to help you get all the rhythms correct.
Now pause the video, and I'd like you to work on these first eight measures
from the very beginning all the way up to the word 'bright here before this repeat sign.
Practice that on your own, then press play and let's look at the next section.
Now let's go on to 'Round yon virgin'. If you look you'll see this repeat sign.
When you first come to this you ignore it, and this first note here is 'Round'. By the way, if you're wondering well, why do we ignore it? You're going to need it in a minute. It will be a place we come back to, but for the first time through we can just kind of ignore it.
So on 'Round'
we have this D we hold for 2 beats 1 2 3, and then we skip up to F.
1 2-& 3 Here's that dotted quarter note, remember which is 1 2-& 3 on the word 'virgin'.
F E D, now you try, go:
Let's put that together. ♫Round yon♫ 1 2-& 3
Now you try, go:
And then we get ♫mother and child♫. Does that look familiar?
It should! It's the same notes as what we played in the very beginning of the song. So let's try it. 'Mother and child', go:
♫mother and child♫
And then notice we have a repeat sign pointing backward, so this teleports us back to this repeat sign that I said to ignore earlier. So now we go back and do this section again,
and you'll see these new words underneath this time.
♫Holy infant so tender and mild♫
And I said we'd be counting the beat, so let's try it with beats. 1 2 3 1 2-& 3
1 2-& 3 1 2 3
Pause the video and work on this section within the repeat signs, and then press play to go on.
Now here in the music you'll see a number three with a circle around it.
That circle is saying hey look out there's a finger number which is going to cause you to change hand position.
We've had our right hand here on these five notes so far, but here you're going to shift
to this position, and you'll see this new chart here in the music
to show you where your right hand needs to move to. Your left hand can stay put where it's been the whole time,
but now we're going to need this black key in a minute on 'heavenly', so watch this: We have ♫sleep♫ with finger 3 on G 1 2 3 1 2-& 3
And notice on 'heavenly' we just skip down these three notes. ♫heavenly♫ Now you try.
Let's put that together with 'sleep'. ♫Sleep in heavenly♫ Now you try.
Good, after we skip down through 'heavenly', then we step up to F. 1 2 3 1 2 3, and that makes
Okay, put it together we get: 'Sleep in heavenly peace'
All right, pause the video and work on this section. Make sure you shift your right hand up
for 'sleep', and practice that on your own, then press play and we'll learn the ending.
For the end we get, ♫sleep in♫, notice our right hand starts on F,
then our left hand takes over for C, skip down to A. ♫sleep in♫ Now your turn.
Good, now this part's a little tricky, watch. 1 2-& 3 for ♫heavenly♫ Why is that tricky? Well because we have a step down to this black key, and then a skip down to this white key. ♫heavenly♫ Now you try.
Good, let's put that together with 'sleep in'. ♫Sleep in heavenly♫
Now your turn, go:
And then what's the last note?
Do you know this one?
♫peace♫ That's an F but you'll play with finger 5 of the left hand.
You'll hold that for 3 beats and then the right hand very softly I want you to add this chord just like the music says. We'll play an F
and an A with fingers 2 and 4 just for like a beautiful sweet sound at the end.
Let's put all of that together. ♫Sleep in heavenly♫
1 2 3 1 2 3, and I challenge you to make it very soft and sweet
just like baby Jesus is sleeping and you don't wanna wake him up.
Very peaceful.
All right,
now let's listen to the whole thing from the beginning.
If you like you can try playing along with me or you can just listen.
I'll count 3 beats and then we'll start.
The whole song now: 1 2 3
1 2-& 3 1 2 3
1 2-& 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2-& 3
1 2-& 3 1 2 3
Repeat: 1 2 3 1 2-& 3
1 2-& 3 1 2 3 shift the hand,
1 2 3 1 2-& 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2-& 3
1 2 3 1 2 3
Great work learning how to play "Silent Night" today.
I hope you enjoyed playing it. Merry Christmas and happy playing!
Mr. Hoffman, where did the song "Silent Night" come from?
Well, it was first performed on Christmas eve in 1818 at the Saint Nicholas church in Oberndorf Austria.
The people of Austria had just lived through a terrible war, and when the war was finally over, a young priest named Joseph Mohr was walking late at night around Christmas time.
He was inspired by the peace he saw, so he wrote a poem that began 'Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,'.
Uh, what does that mean?
It's German for 'Silent night, holy night'.
Oh, so the original "Silent Night" is in German?
That's right. Joseph Mohr gave the poem he had written to his friend, a musician named Franz Gruber, who composed a melody for it.
Then, on Christmas eve in 1818 just over 200 years ago, "Silent Night" was performed for the very first time.
As these two friends sang it together in harmony, while joseph played the guitar.
Do you know what I learned about "Silent Night"?
What Princess?
During World War I, on Christmas eve many soldiers from both sides completely stopped fighting with each other.
They sang "Silent Night" and other Christmas carols.
They even came out on the battlefield to play games and trade things.
I love that story.
Is it a true story?
Princess is right. It is!
Wow, Christmas was able to stop a whole war?
It did for a time. I think Christmas helped to remind them that we're all brothers and sisters, and instead of fighting with each other
we should be sharing with each other.
And playing games!
And singing!
That's right, we should do more of all of those things, and not just at Christmas time but all year long.
Thanks for sharing that story Mr. Hoffman, and you too Princess!
You're welcome Scuba, and Merry Christmas to everyone at home, and Merry Christmas to you too!
Merry Christmas Mr. Hoffman!
And Happy New Year!