By: Ben Fraser
We are almost through our first month of 2020 and everyone seems to be settling back into normal schedules. Hopefully we are staying on track with all our musical resolutions for the year. That being said, the chill of winter is certainly upon us. Although it seems to have arrived a bit later than usual this season, I know we are all feeling it each time we step outside. What better time is there to stay in and practice? Whether we are prepping for our Spring Recital, improving our techniques, or playing through our favorite winter music, it truly is a great time of the year to learn new music!
One excellent song for the season is “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. This collaboration of two great talents is truly astonishing. It has been featured in countless TV shows and events since its release in 2008. Set in Bb minor, “Winter Song” captures the beauty and aesthetic of snowfall. A great song for vocalists and all instrumentalists, the lyrics evoke feelings of nostalgia and hope.
Another great winter selection is “Let It Go” from Disney’s animated film, Frozen. This song was composed by Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. In the movie, it is performed by Idina Menzel who played Queen Elsa. Starting in F minor and eventually modulating to Ab Major, this song is a deeply emotional and victorious tune. This power ballad is set in four-four and has a tempo of almost 140 bpm. There are many arrangements available ranging from easy to difficult.
One last song of winter is called “The Snow is Dancing” from “Children’s Corner” by Claude Debussy. Requiring semi-detached playing in both hands with the melody between them, the piece is quite difficult. The left hand becomes fuller towards the middle and becomes detached and alternating again towards the end. Due to its remarkable color effects, it perfectly portrays snow and the less visible images behind it.
Rejoice in winter by playing some music inspired by the season of cold and frost.