About Danielle

I started playing the piano at age 7 and started writing music at age 16. I enjoy sitting down at the piano and just letting my fingers take off!

Composing Tip: 6/8 Timing Notation

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a music major so this post is for people like me who don’t know all the technicalities with music writing!

I recently learned a little about notating in 6/8 time. When writing out music in this time signature think about which notes are often being emphasized: 1 and 4. It has a feeling of 2 sets of triplets. So when writing out music, a half note is never used. If you did have 4 beats for one note you divide it by having a dotted quarter note tied to an eighth note if it is at the beginning of the measure, or an eighth note tied to a dotted quarter note if it was the last 4 beats of the measure–breaking it up 3 eighth notes by 3 eighth notes.

Here is an example from my “Have I Done Any Good?/Love One Another Medley”:

See how I have 4 beats but tied them together so the measure is divided by three beats? It helps for reading the music and counting out the rhythm. Think about it 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. You paused a little after the 3 didn’t you?

This is my new discovery. Hope this helps you too!

Have I Done Any Good?/Love One Another Medley

Of all the songs I’ve written, I really felt Heavenly Father wanted me to do this one. I was singing “Have I Done Any Good?” in my head. When I got to the end, I just started singing “Love One Another”. When I pulled out the music I was almost dumbfounded that both of these songs were in the same key, same time signature and the last note of “Have I Done Any Good?” is the same note as the first note in “Love One Another”. Therefore I would be able to easily transition between songs. When I did an online search I couldn’t believe someone hadn’t put these two songs together before!

I was further astonished when I found an if/then statement that connected the two songs. “Love One Another” ends with “…If ye have love…”. The chorus of “Have I Done Any Good?” starts with “Then wake up and do something more…” If we love as our Savior we would want to wake up and do something more. I was able to add this connection in my arrangement. Every time I get to these connected lines, I get goosebumps. I felt like this arrangement was complete revelation to me and I love the spirit these songs bring!

I have 3 voice options. The first does not have piano intro, the singer starts. I have learned some people don’t like that so the second option has a piano intro. The third voice option is made with primary children in mind. It is only “Have I Done Any Good?” and it follows the hymn book more closely.

Have I Done Any Good?/Love One Another (piano/violin)

Have I Done Any Good? Love One Another (violin)

Have I Done Any Good?/Love One Another (piano/voice)

Have I Done Any Good?/Love One Another with piano intro (piano/voice)

Have I Done Any Good?(piano/voice–easy to sing to)

A big thank you to the amazing violinist Rebecca Moench for wanting nothing but the best for this recording! Also to Kenny Amamcher for a great recording session. This is the first recording I have that I feel like maybe someone would want to listen to for fun and not just get an idea of what the song would sound like.

Have I Done Any Good?–Easy for Children to Follow

I’ve written a medley of Have I Done Any Good?/As I Have Loved You. I am currently waiting for permission to post it because of copyright on As I Have Loved You. There isn’t any copyright on Have I Done Any Good? So, I thought I would post this now.

This version of my arrangement is simplified for the singer (not the pianist). Until the end of the song, it can be sung just like the hymn book. I thought about even changing the end to follow the hymn book but I just loved how I wrote it for the other version so much I couldn’t change the end 🙂

Have I Done Any Good? (PDF)

Weary Not

I’m in the middle of writing a choir arrangement to this song. I decided to publish just the parts to this early because I’m thinking of entering it for the new Hymn book. If you like this melody and these parts, please suggest it to the church here. Feel free to copy and paste this in the second box for new hymn to be included: Weary Not/arranged by: Danielle Isaacson/www.alloverthepiano.com

This is one of President Monson’s favorite hymns. I heard him quote it in a general conference talk, so I looked it up. I love the lyrics but I thought the music could be updated, so, that’s what I did.

Just wait until the choir arrangement comes out! I think it is turning out beautiful so far.

Weary Not (SATB)

The Spirit Speaks to Me

I originally started writing this song intending it to be a primary song. However, the more I got into it, the more I felt like it was a youth song. I think it’s actually a tween song but no one really categorizes songs that way 🙂

After this last general conference, and noticing how much emphasis was on following the promptings of the spirit, I thought the timing of this song was perfect.

The Spirit Speaks to me (pdf)

Neighbor: Money for your space, Cheap Storage

I just had to put a little plug in for the startup my husband started working at: Neighbor.

My husband is a software engineer and we loved the idea of this company so much we left a great, growing company to join.

I love that everyone wins here. If you have extra space (garage, basement, RV pad) you can rent it out for money. Flip side: people looking for storage can get it for less. Everyone benefits!

Here’s a testimonial video:

We rented our 3rd car garage to someone who needed a place for their boat for the winter. It worked out great! A little extra money is always nice 🙂

www.neighbor.com

Homeward Bound

The timing of the composition of this piece is interesting. I actually arranged the first verse to it eight years ago. Because it was in the early days of my compositions I was still learning a lot. I like that I started it in the key of C because of the simpleness. I don’t think I would have done that today. Yet, it works because of the beautifully haunting sounds.

At the same time, I think it was good I finished it this year because of my experience. I was able to polish up the first verse and create a nice full sound for the second verse. Everything happens for a reason right? 🙂 I just feel grateful it happened that way.

I have always loved the Mormon Tabernacle Choir version of this song and I really wanted a piano arrangement. At the time I started arranging it, I couldn’t find one. Now there are a few but I’m grateful I was able to get my own spin on it. I hope this is an enjoyable arrangement for you piano players!

Sheet music: Homeward Bound

I’m Trying to be Like Jesus

For many months this song was my 2 year old (now 3 year old)’s request every night before bed. I felt inspired to write a piano arrangement in dedication to her. So Talia, here you go! Mommy loves you despite the buttons of mine you push 🙂 I have learned that the more I act like Christ would with you, the kinder you are. Truly following in the Savior’s steps makes everyone around us happier.

I’m Trying to be Like Jesus Piano Solo

Composing Tips: Print out the standard version

I’ve recently started something that has helped me in arranging songs. I’ll take the hymn or Children’s Songbook song I want to arrange and print it out in the key or keys I want it to be in. Since lds.org does the key changes for you, it makes it so much easier!

So, here’s what I do. I print it out and put it on the keyboard in front of me before I pull out my composing music paper. I play it through a few times adlibbing an arrangement. If I come up with a different melody for a phrase or chord to accompany the melody that sounds interesting, I write it on the sheet music I printed out. This gives me a few ideas for when I start to write it out.

Sometimes you’ll think of good ideas before you are writing out your music so this makes sure you get some of them down before you forget it. I have done this and it is a sad thing! It can be messy and crowded to do it this way but it has helped me 🙂