A new program has just been announced through Sheet Music Plus Press (SMP Press) where they have contracted with copyright holders of famous popular songs to allow independent composers to create their own arrangements. Royalties are shared with the copyright holders, SMP Press, and the independent composers. Certain restrictions are in place. For now, songs on the "Arrange Me" are only allowed to be arranged and released in particular ways. Right now, the current "contest" is for Easy Piano Music.
My choice has been to create arrangements of Easy Piano Solos for piano students with Grade 3+ skills. Younger students will appreciate the Disney songs, no doubt. The Older Beginning Piano Student may remember the Beatles tunes with particular interest. But all of this first series should be fun offerings to play.
One of my favorite composers for Musical Theater songs is Alan Menken. His body of work is astounding - from "The Little Mermaid" to "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" to "Pocohantas" to "Newsies" to "Enchanted" and the many others. The diversity of styles and memorable melodies command respect and admiration. At first I wondered if I dared to simplify any of these great songs. Taking anything away from a masterpiece seemed sacrilegious to me. But, I pushed on sincerely wanting to create Easy Piano Solos with integrity to the original source, but holding to the needs of the early piano student. The first four pieces I tried my hand at are "Under the Sea" from "The Little Mermaid," "God Help the Outcasts" from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Arabian Nights" from "Aladdin," and "Be Our Guest" from "Beauty and the Beast."
Other favorites from the Arrange Me List are songs by the Beatles. I admire the Beatles for the great range of topics, styles and emotions represented in their songs. I remember my father telling me that he enjoyed the Beatles music best when performed by other artists. Well, he was from a different generation, but even he acknowledged that the music had cross-over appeal. The first four Beatles tunes I made arrangements for Easy Piano Solos are "All You Need Is Love," "Yesterday," "Eleanor Rigby," and "Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da."
Check them out!