Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Tin Whistle Series: 'Fun' Tunes on the Tin Whistle

It can be difficult to engage some children when teaching the tin whistle, especially in older classes. While I teach a lot of the traditional tin whistle tunes to my children, I like to include the odd familiar non-traditional song to motivate them to play.
Below, I have listed some of the more 'fun' tunes I have taught in the past. Some tunes are easier, while some are more difficult, so hopefully there is something in here for every class!

(Note: Click on the 'air' links to hear the tune and the 'notes' links to view and download the notes)

1. We Will Rock You:

This is a very simple tune which even beginners can master and perform to accompany singing. When I taught my class this tune, it was for a school performance. Half the class played the tin whistle, while the other half of the class sang and clapped. I chose a few students to play the drums also. All in all, it made for an impressive and professional looking performance, which took very little time to prepare.

'We Will Rock You' air

'We Will Rock You' notes

'We Will Rock You' notes and children's version feature in The Right Note 5th and 6th Class Teacher's Manual

2. Star Wars Theme:

If you are teaching a class of beginners, this is an easy, short piece by John Williams that they are bound to know the air of:


'Star Wars' air

'Star Wars' notes

3. Olé Olé Olé Olé:

Another very basic tune for beginners is Olé, Olé, Olé, Olé. This would be a nice one to teach them before the Euros!


'Olé Olé' air

'Olé, Olé, Olé, Olé' notes

4. I'm a Believer:

This song is always a popular one with all age groups. Originally sung by the Monkees, they will probably recognise it from the movie 'Shrek'. It is quite simple to learn as it features quite a lot of repetition.


'I'm a Believer' air

'I'm a Believer' notes

5. Ring of Fire

I'm a big Johnny Cash fan so I had to include a song of his in here somewhere! This version of 'Ring of Fire' is suitable for an 'intermediate' player. Note that smaller letters signify high notes and capital letters represent low notes.


'Ring of Fire' air

'Ring of Fire' notes

6. Ireland's Call:


Quite a manageable tune for the intermediate student, 'Ireland's Call' is a great choice if you have any rugby fans in your class. 


'Ireland's Call' notes

'Ireland's Call' air

7. Touch the Sky:

Touch the Sky is a lively song from the Disney movie 'Brave'. I taught this song to my choir and had 5 or 6 children accompany them on the tin whistle using the notes below.

'Touch the Sky' air

'Touch the Sky' notes

8. Songs from Dami's Blog:

Finally, Dami's Blog features a huge bank of 'pop' songs covered on the tin whistle. Not only can you find the notes for songs like 'Let it Go', 'Hello' and 'Firestone', but you can also listen to them being played as well. Some of these are quite challenging, but an advanced class would definitely enjoy learning them!


If you missed the first three posts in this tin whistle series, you can find them linked below:
Teaching Tin Whistle Tunes for a School Mass
Teaching Tin Whistle to Beginners
Christmas Tunes

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