Scary Bedtime Songs: Scary Mary, Zombie John, and Slinking Spiders

I recently took another job as an orchestra teacher.  Seeing how much people have liked the harmonic exercise minor version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" from a few years back, and knowing that my beginning orchestra would have a limited playing range, I decided to take the minor version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and orchestrate it for a beginning orchestra and a more advanced orchestra.

To do this, I placed the main melody in an "A" part for Violin, Viola, and Cello.  I then added harmony parts, Violin Part B, Viola and Violin Part C, Cello D, and Bass E.  To have this become a more "official" piece, I expanded out the structure of the piece so that it would be an ABA structure for the section.

Beyond that, I added two other movements using children's songs as the overall theme for a suite of songs, which I have called "Scary Bedtime Songs."  The first movement is Scary Mary, the 2nd is Zombie John (taking inspiration from Gustav Mahler's Titan Symphony by using the melody Brother John), and the 3rd is Slinking Spiders (taken from The Itsy Bitsy Spider).

In each movement, the beginning orchestra has a chance to shine, and the more advanced orchestra has an opportunity to have more advanced material as well.  The first movement is now up on YouTube to listen to (I had a lot of fun with Photoshop to create the creepy lamb).  You can watch it below, or go to the Rohwer Music Studios channel to find other videos, original compositions, recordings, technique, care of instruments, etc.


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