Open Mic Adventures XX: “Sleepy Student’s Serenade”

Readers will know that I have been featuring pieces from my modern classical piano project, P​é​ch​é​s d​’​â​ge moyen, which I released on 4 March 2022.  I’ve finally begun a new, albeit amorphous, composing project, based on the kind of quirky premise you folks have come to expect from yours portly.

My school gives students little red tardy slips to bring to class, typically when they turn up late to the first period class.  My High School Music Ensemble meets in the morning, so it’s not unusual to have a few students—especially the ones that can drive—show up late.

I hit upon the idea of composing very short musical themes or motifs based on the tardy students’ personalities (at least loosely).

The very first such composition was all of two measures.  I’ve expanded them a bit since then, but they’re all fairly short—typically fewer than eight measures.  I love the piano miniature format (the flash fiction of music!), and it’s fun to jot these down, and then play them back to the amusement of the tardy student.

I finally did a video recording of one, which I’ve named “Sleepy Student’s Serenade” (in the video I call it “Sleepy Student’s Theme, but I decided to change the name after the fact to make it more alliterative):

Here is the original red tardy slip version, without any chords or repeats:

Sleepy Student's Serenade - Red Slip
The Red Tardy Slip Original, 18 January 2023

And here is the transcription, to which I added chords and repeats and the like on 1 February 2023, the day I recorded the piece.  Note that in measure three I have a Db major chord on beats 3 and 4 the first time through (that’s cut off in the image below, but you can hear it in the recording) and a C minor chord on the same beats the second time through.  That’s largely because I played it wrong in the video, but liked the slight harmonic contrast:

Sleepy Student's Serenade - Transcription
The Transcribed Version (with Doodle) – 19 January and 1 February 2023

The sleeping figure is a very rough (and unflattering, not because any student, but because of my own very poor drawing abilities) doodle of a student (but not the student) enjoying a snooze.

Here’s to another absurd, self-indulgent, and fun composing project!

Happy Listening!


Other Editions of Open Mic Adventures:


10 thoughts on “Open Mic Adventures XX: “Sleepy Student’s Serenade”

  1. That was pretty! What’s slower than a waltz? A dirge? I would have played (if I knew HOW to play) something very slow and in a very low baritone-like sound, lol. Sleep, right?

    Port – are you familiar with those electronic keyboards you just plug into a wall socket? ( Could a person teach themselves to play piano? It was on my retirement bucket list …

    Liked by 2 people

    • Youtube, Audre. Get a piano/keyboard, go onto Youtube and you’ll find all manner of tutorials, even songs you might wish to learn.

      The way I see it, you never stop learning until you’re dead. It doesn’t matter how old or, in your case, young you are.

      Tyler, if you ever get the opportunity, I have a piano piece I’d love to see played live. It’s an instrumental, entitled Pianissimo Epilogue from the Silent Hill 2 soundtrack. You’ll have to check it out on, yep, you guessed it, Youtube. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Audre,

      You can definitely teach yourself piano, but I would recommend springing for a keyboard with full-size keys. If you can, get one with 88 keys. 76 keys is fine, but you definitely want the full-size keys. You don’t want to learn a tiny keyboard with small keys and then try to move to a full-size keyboard or piano.

      This keyboard would be a reasonable compromise, as I believe it has full-size keys, but only 61 keys:

      Still, to learn, you don’t need 88 keys.

      And, as Ponty said, YouTube! I’ll also give you some pointers if I ever get down that way.

      Happy Playing!


      Liked by 2 people

  2. I pick the tricky stuff because I know you can play them. Plus, this tune is great. There are a few piano instrumentals on that soundtrack which are worth a listen.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That’s the track. There’s another piano piece on there that Tina loves – Promise. That shouldn’t be tricky at all. True is also a superb piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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