Simple, pretty flute songs for kids.
September 9, 2018 4:12 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me find a simple song that’s wedding appropriate, not religious, and that a kid who’s only been playing flute for a year could learn inside three months?

My 9 year old niece is learning the flute and isn’t so much with the practising. I told her during the week (without entirely thinking it through) that if she practiced hard she could play a song at my wedding in November. Her Mum text me today to say niece is very excited about this and “has found the perfect song lol”. The song is Molly Malone, aka Cockles and Mussels. I’m glad this has encouraged her and I do think it’ll be sweet to have her play. Still, call me old-fashioned, but I’d very much like to find an alternative that’s a touch less “fishmonger dies of typhoid” in sentiment.

She’s also learning Annie’s Song which would be perfect except that it has connections to my partner’s first wedding so it’s out, but that’s the kind of thing I mean. It’s a civil marriage so we’re not allowed anything religious, it has to be simple to learn because I don’t want to stress her out, and something that doesn’t need accompaniment. The idea is that she’ll play it while we sign the register so it’s just a little piece of background music but I’d like her to feel confident and happy with it.

I’ve been googling but all I can find for kids are nursery rhymes and Christmas carols. Is there anything at all that springs to mind? Thanks.
posted by billiebee to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is Arirang diffcult? Pretty Korean tune.
posted by Iteki at 7:02 AM on September 9, 2018

I'm pretty sure Color my World by Chicago is not very hard. It's been a while, but I remember playing it when I was not a great flute player.
posted by pangolin party at 7:04 AM on September 9, 2018

"Star of the County Down" is similar in complexity and range to Molly Malone but more of a love story!
posted by nonane at 7:25 AM on September 9, 2018

Arirang is really pretty but I think probably beyond her just yet. Hadn’t heard Color My World before, I maybe should have said it would be good if it was something easily recognised by the people there, not sure that’s a Chicago song that made it over here? Star of the Co Down is a great tune but my Da’s a Fermanagh man so it wouldn’t fly #insideGAAreferences :)
posted by billiebee at 7:44 AM on September 9, 2018

“Aura Lee” is pretty easy, and it has the same tune as the Elvis song “Love Me Tender”, so people should recognize it.
posted by eirin at 8:28 AM on September 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

Is Simple Gifts too religious? It was written as a Shaker hymn, but it doesn't mention any sort of divinity, and it's fairly, well, simple to play. Dunno how recognizable it is outside the States.
posted by basalganglia at 8:38 AM on September 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

My niece played a brief flute solo at my wedding at my request. Johann Strauss 'Blue Danube Waltz' simplified version (just the melody).
posted by ovvl at 9:28 AM on September 9, 2018

How sweet!

Is she learning privately from a teacher or at school? Her teacher would know her level and what's developmentally appropriate for her at this time, and also if there are any songs that would fit your requirements that she could play, and where to find such a song (it might even be in whatever book she's learning from right now if she's learning from a book). If you have any song requests her teacher can probably write it out for her to play at her level (if so please offer or get her parents to offer some chocolate or something for their time).

Signing the register usually takes a bit longer than five minutes, and that might be a bit long for her to play (also many songs don't go for that long and most register signings need two songs/one long song/a continuously looping song to fully cover the time, especially if photographs happen after the signing). Will you be ok with her playing a little short song then silence for a few minutes after that? or get her to loop the same thing until you're done?
posted by womb of things to be and tomb of things that were at 10:08 AM on September 9, 2018

I hadn’t thought of that, womb of things to be... (great name btw). So far we’re liking the suggestion of Love Me Tender as it’s simple and sweet, but it’s short and I’m not sure that playing it on a loop would hold up for too long (for her or the listeners...) Maybe I’ll just have her do her little piece and then have something else play after that so she can come and be in some photos. She learns at school so l’ll ask my sister to mention it to the teacher and see what they suggest, and I’ll bribe them with send in some sweets, thanks.
posted by billiebee at 11:17 AM on September 9, 2018

I'm pretty sure Ode to Joy is in every beginner instrument book ever. It's technically religious, I guess, but so is a lot of classical music.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 12:59 PM on September 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

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