Jazzed about 4th of July- Book Review

Contest, Reviews

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 12.39.26 PM It’s hard to believe the 4th of July is just around the corner. With our Independence Day coming up, this is the perfect time to tell you about some music you and your students will really enjoy. Jazzed about 4th of July is filled with well known patriotic pieces arranged by Jerald M. Simon.

The arrangements are designed for the early intermediate/intermediate piano student. With the exception of the very last piece (America- A Patriotic Salute), each arrangement is in the key of C. Which allows the perfect opportunity to transpose these pieces in whatever key if desired.

As with all his books, Jerald includes an introduction at the beginning briefly reviewing theory that they will find in the arrangements. I really appreciate this tool. Because the arrangements are jazz, he also includes LH jazz patterns that will be found in the arrangements. Students can use examples as warmups and review before beginning a particular piece.

Jazzed about 4th of July begins with two pieces, America the Beautiful and My Country, ‘Tis of Thee. Both written in a smooth jazz style that were so relaxing I felt like I was in a fancy restaurant listening to someone play. In both of these pieces you will find lots of glissando’s. The Star Spangled Banner picks things up a little with a light swing and grace notes throughout. Yankee Doodle begins with a walking bass pattern in the left hand and then changes to a blues/rock pattern on the 2nd page. This is a fun piece to play.

Another crowd favorite is Battle Hymn of the Republic. Jerald recommends that it is played with a light swing but can be played straight as well. Rockin’ out to You’re a Grand Old Flag, this piece includes the left hand 5th/6th interval patterns occasionally moving to some 7th’s. I really enjoyed the creative style of When Johnny Comes Marching Home. The tempo description at the top says: “Stealthlike (as though you’re on a secret mission). I thought Anchors Aweigh and The Marine’s Hymn were appropriately arranged in a 50’s rock style. Each giving a unique sound and bass pattern. And now my favorite! The last piece of the book, America- A Patriotic Salute.

I could tell it meant something very special to Jerald as it was the piece that shined the most bright. This book was packed with popular jazz patterns for students to learn. Jazzed about 4th of July makes a fun supplemental book for students who would like to learn and play jazz style pieces. In addition, these pieces would make a perfect recital piece if you were having a patriotic recital or any recital! They lend themselves to good performances pieces that are enjoyable to learn. You can view sample pages in the book here.


  1. Kerry Drombosky

    This sounds like a collection that would be great not just for the 4th of July, but for national holidays throughout the year. It’s a shame there hasn’t been much in the way of interesting arrangements of patriotic tunes-so many are just the “same old ” thing!

  2. Jeannie Myers

    I have a couple of his books that I use especially for boys. Boys seem to respond to Jerald’s books really well. I particularly like his style and compositions.

  3. Melody Payne

    I would be very excited to have this collection. It sounds like the perfect set of pieces to carry students through the entire summer!

  4. mslorriesmusic

    I love Patriotic Music !
    Would love to add this to my library!

  5. Karen Cox

    I have a student who loves patriotic pieces and I’m always on the lookout for good ones. This sounds right up his alley. I’d love to be able to share this with him!

  6. Whitney P

    Love that these are in C!!!! Transposing can be such a great confidence boost!! Thanks for telling us about it.

  7. Karen Thompso

    I have a lot of students who like to play Patriotic music,

  8. Lori

    I would love to win one of these!

  9. Anna Fagan

    A perfectly-timed give-away, with July 4th being this next week! A senior resident at the retirement where I work had requested that I play “Anchors Away”, so I would love to see this version!

  10. Anita Byers

    I would love to have this collection. My students enjoy Jerald’s Cool Songs books.

  11. Bethany

    This sounds amazing. I may just have to buy it, but hopefully I’ll win!

  12. Geri Miller

    Sounds like a great book – especially for summer! I have several of Jerald’s books, and his music is fun to play and fun to listen to. I would really enjoy using this patriotic music with my students.

  13. Brenda

    Even though I am “Cana-jan,” these pieces are all well known, and I love Jerald”s style.

  14. Kelly Koch

    Would love to enter this contest! My students barely know any patriotic music because they don’t sing these songs in school anymore. What a wonderful resource! Thank you, Kelly Koch Gulf Breeze, FL

  15. Lisa kiernan

    Looks like a fun book!

  16. Christine

    Jerald is such an awesome composer and person!

  17. Tifany Hoecherl

    I love Patriotic music! I love playing it throughout the year. I would love to play these pieces!

  18. Joan

    Some of my students would love new arrangements to patriotic music. Count me in!

  19. Emily davidson

    This sounds like a wonderful collection…I have so many students who would love this!

  20. Miriam

    I would love to win these arrangements and get to know Jerald’s work

  21. Sheila

    What a generous offer! These sound like great arrangements!

  22. Terri Rasor

    Love the Cool Songs series that jerald has. Love to win this book.

  23. Orlia

    Mr. Simon’s pieces and arrangements are always solid, and there’s not that much variety in patriotic pieces for piano, so this collection is refreshing! Would love to add it to my studio library!

  24. Whitney

    Sounds like a really good book that would be great for the summer. What a neat idea!

  25. D'Ann Beck

    I think this is a wonderful idea! Kids always love to play patriotic music and there are not many good arrangements out there. Thanks!

  26. Betsy

    I just added two transfer students to my studio, brothers who are jazz fanatics…seems like most all my boys are inspired by jazz stylings and Jerald’s rock/pop settings have been a hit, too. Love the titles chosen for this collection!

  27. Dixie

    This sounds great for a boy student that I have. He would love these!

  28. Ginger

    Would love to own this volume! : )

  29. Dianne Chrestopoulos

    This sounds like just the thing I need for a couple of my kids who seem a bit unmotivated right now!

  30. Heidi Neal

    Sounds like a fun collection… a student pleaser like his cool songs series.

  31. Faye Colyar

    Thanks Jennifer for all you do to introduce us to good arrangements. I love all of these pieces and have just given a simple Your A Grand Old Flag, America, and When Johnny Comes Marching Home to students. I would love to win a copy and introduce this book to my students.

  32. Wendy M

    This book looks great. I have several students at this level who would love these pieces.

  33. Saundra

    This looks to be fun and interesting! Love finding new patriotic pieces!

  34. Jennifer

    Great arrangements! Super fun.

  35. Linda

    I always love new music to play, and patriotic music is so much fun!


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