Christmas Handbells for Children

Last night, I had my Christmas piano recital, and I left my little handbells out, along with some simple music I put together so the kids could play around. I’m amazed how even the littlest kids can figure out these bells because of the colors. In fact, one little boy (6yo) who is not a piano student yet, and who has not done anything with music, picked up the bells and started playing “Jingle Bells” by himself. They love it!

Several parents have asked about these bells and the music, so I thought I’d share here.

I bought a pair of simple rainbow-colored handbells years ago, like the ones found here. There are 8 bells ranging from C to C, and from red to pink.

Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells pg1

And here’s the free music I put together.

Songs are:

  • Jolly Old St. Nicholas
  • Jingle Bells
  • The First Noel
  • Joy to the World
  • Angels We Have Heard on High
  • Away in a Manger/Cradle Song
  • Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer

So if you have kids, try it out. It’s seriously the easiest thing ever, and they love it!

 

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The Greatest Showman (Easy and Big Note Piano)

As a quick follow-up to my last post, I’ve written some arrangements of a few songs from “The Greatest Showman” that are available exclusively on Sheet Music Plus.

Big Note/5 Finger:

Easy Piano:

Piano Solo:

 

 

 

Several of my piano students are “The Greatest Showman” fans, and so am I, so this has been a fun little project. I plan to add to the list this week, including some harder arrangements of the same songs. I’ll update this blog as more come available.

Other Soundtrack/Contemporary Piano Arrangements:

Greatest Showman Big Note 5 Finger Piano

Other New Releases:

I also can’t remember when I last updated this blog on my new music, so here are a few other new releases of mine:

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Why “The Greatest Showman” is the Greatest Show

Today, The Greatest Showman is released for digital download, after spending months with theaters full of avid fans.

It comes out on DVD/Blu-RAY in another few weeks.

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Personally, I have seen The Greatest Showman six times in the theater. SIX TIMES! I have never seen a movie even half that many times in the theater. I don’t even go to the movies that often. In fact, it’s an odd year for me to go to more than two in a single year.

But this was so worth it.

I kept finding new people who hadn’t seen it, and I’d take them so I could fall in love with the movie all over again. One time, I took my 19yo daughter back (for the third time) just because she’d missed the opening scene on her second time. And you CAN’T miss the opening scene.

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Two weeks ago, my husband and I decided to take the rest of the kids–again–because we’d listened to the soundtrack so many times. We went on a Saturday morning, 11am, almost three months after the release of the movie. So I didn’t think we needed to arrive early to get tickets.

We nearly lost out. We got the last four tickets. We couldn’t even sit together. The person in line after us was out of luck.

Sold out.

Three months after the movie’s release.

On a Saturday morning.

And when the movie finished, the audience clapped.

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How many Oscars did this successful, magical, popular film win?

A big fat ZERO.

Which proves what we all know: that Hollywood is clueless.

But the author/composer in me can’t stop analyzing why this movie is such a success. So here are some of the reasons I think it’s a smash hit.

(While pictures are great, they just don’t do this movie justice, so I’ve added some awesome Greatest Showman GIFs.)

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Why The Greatest Showman is the greatest show:

 

The Music

It’s absolutely phenomenal. It moves you–quite literally if you’re prone to dancing. It gets your heart pumping, and makes you smile.

Image result for greatest showman dancing on the roof

 

The Story

Following your dreams can lead to big, wonderful things. Outcasts can and should be loved. They can find their place and no longer be seen as odd, but amazing. Even P.T. Barnum isn’t labeled as an outcast in the movie, but technically he started out as one.

Image result for greatest showman gifs this is me

 

The Music

Yes, I’m mentioning the music again. It’s that good.

The performances. The choreography. The integration of the music with the scenes (the hammering, the horses step to the music). I bought the soundtrack before I’d left the theater parking lot the first time. (The “Reach for the Stars” and “The Other Side” scenes are my personal favs.)

Listen to the soundtrack here:

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The Family Friendliness

I think the biggest part of its success is how family friendly this movie is. It’s PG, and not even a fake PG. It’s actually PG.

Critics can’t figure out how this movie has spread by word of mouth. Honestly, I only saw it in January after several of my friends kept posting about it on Facebook. Otherwise I wouldn’t have gone. As I mentioned before, I’m not a huge movie theater person. Now, I can’t get enough people to go see it. Young. Old. It’s for everyone.

Not only is there no sex, as well as minimal swearing and violence, but families are seen in a positive light. Shocking, right? A dad trying to support his family. A mom trying to support him. Cute kids who contribute to his magical ideas. Struggles, both financial and emotional. While I don’t know a single family involved in a circus, this movie has related to millions of people across the globe.

Image result for greatest showman gifs million dreams

And it has two very sweet romances. :)

My 10yo son who hates watching movies (especially movies I like) has fallen in love with this movie as much as I have. He was furious this week when I took his grandparents without him (during school). They loved it, too.

Image result for greatest showman gifs million dreams

 

No Politics

This is another huge part, I think, of its success. There wasn’t a single bit of politics in the whole thing. No social statements. No agendas. Nothing about destroying the environment or gun violence or crooked politicians. We’re all sick to death of news and politics–or at least I am. Two straight years of ugliness, and this was a desperately-needed breath of fresh air!

A happy ending for everyone. Hallelujah! (I’m looking at you La-La Land.)

This world can use A LOT more happy.

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It’s Magical

That’s what it boils down to. The combination of everything makes the story, music, and movie as magical as the circus.

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So . . .

If you haven’t seen it, GO SEE IT!

Buy it.

Get the soundtrack.

And fall in love.

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What do you think of The Greatest Showman? If you love it, why? And how many times have you seen it?

Citizens of Logan Pond Book Giveaway

Hey all,

I’ve had lots going on my life recently, foremost that my 15yo son was diagnosed with cancer. This cancer hit us from out of the blue–which I suppose cancer usually does. Luckily, he’s doing great and he has a phenomenal attitude. Plus, I love being able to spend more time with him now that he’s home for the next six months, undergoing treatment.

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His great sense of humor shining through as he contemplates baldness.

As you can imagine, this little hiccup has given me lots to think about–and do–besides books and music. And yet, strangely, it’s also given me lots to be thankful for. One thing I’ve been most thankful for is people. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, prayers, and support from friends, family, strangers, and even many of you! It’s meant so much to us–and him.

To show thanks, I’ve decided to give away some FREE signed books.

So . . .

Continue reading “Citizens of Logan Pond Book Giveaway”

New Song: “Still Be My Vision”

I finally finished up the song that goes with AUGUSTINA! Better late than never, right?

This is a VOCAL DUET (Alto/Tenor), and it’s a medley of the two hymns Josh and Sadie love:

  • Be Thou My Vision
  • I Stand All Amazed

It’s also available for FREE for SATB, SSA, and SA Vocal Duet here. Feel free to share!

Still Be My Vision, Vocal Duet (Alto/Tenor), by Rebecca Belliston

If you’ve read Sadie or Augustina, you know both are filled with my love of music, both religious and classical. This song is a realization of a dream I’ve had since I started writing novels. Since the beginning, I wanted to combine my two passions: writing books and writing music. While I wrote some lyrics for a song in Sadie, and while Sadie plays another song for Josh that I’ve yet to finish, this song is the first time the two sides of REBECCA BELLISTON became one.

So. Much. Fun. 

Check out all the AUGUSTINA extra fun stuff here.

Thanks!

 

 

Free Christmas Sheet Music

It’s that time of year again. It’s the most . . . won-der-ful time . . . of the year. I know it’s too early to think about Christmas. (Way too early. Seriously store people, settle down.) But, this is the time of year musicians start planning carols and Christmas melodies to perform under starry lights.

So…

Like I did last year, I’m offering a few of my Christmas arrangements for FREE. Yep. Free..

HERE ARE THE SONGS:

  • COME THOU LONG EXPECTED JESUS: SATB

HOW TO GET FREE MUSIC: 

  1. Go here.
  2. At checkout, enter the promo code “FREE MUSIC”

Getting free stuff shouldn’t be hard. If it is, email me here, and I’ll figure out how to get it to you.

Here’s a video of “Noel Medley,” piano solo version.

Thanks!

Merry almost (no, not really) Christmas.