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!

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.storewithneighbor.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 🙂

Finalist! LDS Music Competition 2017

This is the 6th year I’ve entered a song in the annual music competition. Every year I’ve gotten the same result:

Although your work, *such and such* was not among the recognized entries, we are gratified to find so many Latter-day Saints that are contributing their talents to the Church.

This year I entered my violin/piano arrangement of “When I Am Baptized.” It still was not a winner but for the first time I saw this new line:

Although your work, “When I Am Baptized,” was not among the recognized entries, we wanted you to know that it was among the finalists. This is an accomplishment worthy of note considering the quantity of submissions.

I was a finalist!

If you are entering and not winning…don’t give up hope! I’ve noticed myself improve in my skills every year. Looking back to my first entry, it was a wreck. I’ve learned a lot. Ask for editing from a musical friend. I’ve improved my knowledge a lot from doing that. Also, look at the songs that are winners. They will show you what the judges are looking for. Hopefully this is helpful for you who are also entering!

This is the 6th year I’ve entered a song in the annual music competition. Every year I’ve gotten the same result:

Although your work, *such and such* was not among the recognized entries, we are gratified to find so many Latter-day Saints that are contributing their talents to the Church.

This year I entered my violin/piano arrangement of “When I Am Baptized.” It still was not a winner but for the first time I saw a new line:

Although your work, “When I Am Baptized,” was not among the recognized entries, we wanted you to know that it was among the finalists. This is an accomplishment worthy of note considering the quantity of submissions. We are gratified to find so many Latter-day Saints that are contributing their talents to the Church.

I was a finalist! Maybe in 6 more years I’ll have a winner 🙂

I just wanted to post this to give those of you who also enter a little hope!

Stop Playing, Listen in your Head

I was trying to find a transition between two verses and what I was coming up with was pretty boring and frankly, not fitting right. So I played the arrangement up to that point and stopped as soon as the verse was over. I closed my eyes and started singing in my head what would sound good. I was able to come up with a beautiful sound the first time I tried this.

I’ve definitely heard music in my head before but this time it helped to stop at a part I was stuck on and try to get my brain instead of my fingers to figure it out.

When I Am Baptized

I have wanted to do an arrangement of this song for a long time but I was kind of waiting for inspiration to strike. Well, strike it did and just in time for my son’s baptism this year! I wrote the violin/piano version first and really wanted a voice option too. So, I modified the music and created that also.

You’ll notice I did my signature signature 🙂  Yep, I changed it from 3/4 to 6/8. I may love 6/8 a little too much!

I’m hoping to get recording with a real violin when my sister-in-law comes into town next. For now, this will do. I hope you love this version as much as I do (I sit down just to play this all the time)!

When I Am Baptized Piano/Violin
When I Am Baptized Violin
When I Am Baptized Piano/Voice

Piano/Violin:

Piano/Voice:

Composing Tip: Switching Up Rhythms

I’ve been working on a song in 6/8 time. Toward the end of the song I had a measure where the melody had 3 eighth notes then a dotted quarter. It didn’t sound right. I mean, it wasn’t a bad sound but it wasn’t interesting. When I switched that up and played the dotted quarter first then the 3 eighth notes, it not only sounded really good but it had a different feel than other parts of the song. It was just what that part of the song needed. Try out switching rhythms!