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January "Play" List To Keep You Inspired

After the winter break, it can be hard to get energized for the new semester. Many students find that January feels very dull, especially after all the excitement of holiday recitals and shows. However, you can keep your enthusiasm up by finding great new songs to play. This January "play" list will get you back into the swing of things by challenging your skills and inspiring your talents.

For the Violin

Something Wild by Lindsey Stirling—This hit from her Brave Enough album is 13 sheets of incomparable music. As a $6.50 download, this piece will challenge you, but learning it is truly worth the effort.

Star Wars Medley by John Williams, performed by Lindsey Stirling and Peter Hollens. This is another great piece to learn, just for the sheer power of the melody when it’s played on the violin. The D Major download costs $3.99.

Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury (Queen). This download is $3.25 and can be attempted by any level violinist. Although this classic rock song is written in common time, the massive range will definitely challenge and inspire you, breaking you out of the winter doldrums.

Beauty and the Beast Walt Disney. This violin solo features a range of C4-A5 and can be downloaded for a mere $2.99. It’s a great song for beginner musicians and has that nostalgic element that makes it a fun, lovely song to learn.

How Deep is Your Love by Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibbs (Bee Gees). Beautifully scored for the violin, this C Major Download will set you back $2.99.

Take My Breath Away theme from the movie Top Gun by Berlin. This is an excellent piece for the violin. The $2.99 download is especially suited to beginner violinists, and if you’ve never watched Tom Cruise in this 80’s blockbuster, you should.

Chariots of Fire by Vangelis. This is a very pretty violin solo in G Major and only costs $2.99. The rousing melody and dynamic variations will challenge and heighten your skills.

For the Double Bass

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. This download is $2.99 and sounds simply phenomenal on the double bass. Perfect for beginners, this “Rocky” theme song is very inspirational.

Just the Way You Are (Amazing) by Bruno Mars. This popular $3.99 download is arranged in F Major and written specifically for a bass solo.

Theme from Star Trek by Alexander Courage. This $2.99 download is fun for beginners to learn, and its recognizable melody will be a hit with audiences, especially Trek fans.

Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) by Chris Tomlin. This version of a beloved classic costs $3.25 and is scored in F Major.

Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake. The phrasing in this C Major piece can be a little tricky but you just need to take your time at first. Download this song for $3.25.

For the Cello

Thriller by Michael Jackson. This iconic pop song, of the album of the same name, remains the world’s best-selling record. You can transform the sound by playing it on your cello. As an instrument solo in E Minor, the music isn’t too advanced for beginners, so this $2.99 download is perfect for all players.

With or Without You by U2. This sheet music is arranged as the song is played by 2Cellos, so you’ll be able to play the melody or the rhythm part using this $6.99 download. Grab a buddy who is also learning cello so you can play the duet.

He’s A Pirate from the Black Pearl. This $2.99 cello solo will definitely challenge your skills, but the catchy tune makes it all worthwhile. Plus, you can use this piece to improve your execution.

Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. Another classic rock song, this $3.25 download sounds hauntingly beautiful when played on the cello. Learning this piece will most certainly help keep you inspired in January.

I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. Learning this rousing, rather emotional song will be a challenge for many beginners but don’t let that stop you. Download this award winner for only $3.25 and let it hone your skills as a musician.

Let It Be by The Beatles. This is an excellent piece for any level cellist. The A Minor cello solo is $2.99 to download and the familiar lyrics will help you get the timing right.

Yesterday by The Beatles. Another slow-tempo Beatles classic, this song is particularly suited for beginners. The common time, F Major arrangement will challenge your range, but it’s not out of reach for any student.

Don’t let January stagnation stall your progress. These fun songs will help inspire your practices over the next few months so that you’ll be able to attain new levels of playing excellence.

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