Teacher: “Billy, do you want to play any Christmas music this year?”
Billy: “Eh, no not really.”
Am I right when I say this is a phrase you rarely if ever hear from piano students? 🙂
I would suffice to say that Christmas is the time of year when many students get most passionate about what they want to play. Some have quite strong feelings about what favorite Christmas tunes they want to play and some just want to play as much as they possibly can.
Today I’m excited to share with you a new Christmas book that is unlike any other Christmas book for piano students.
I’m confident that you’ll not only find it to be completely unique, but incredibly versatile as well.
What is it?
It’s a book of 8 Christmas tunes to harmonize and play by ear including:
- I Saw Three Ships
- Away in a Manger
- Silent Night
- Up On the Housetop
- Go Tell it On the Mountain
- Jingle Bells
- Joy to the World
- The First Noel
Goals of this Book
The overarching goal of this book is to enable piano students to feel like they can sit down and play some of their favorite Christmas tunes anywhere and at any time without notation in front of them.
Many students find great joy in the annual musical feast that comes around each year making it a great opportunity for the development of life-long musicianship skills.
Students will be encouraged to discern between duple vs. triple meters and major vs. minor tonalities, learn to harmonize using chords, play in a variety of keys, use several accompaniment patterns, and more.
The format encourages the development of audiation, improvisation, and creativity skills by presenting multi-level steps/variations on playing each tune. Each song includes its own checklist so students can use and build on these sheets year after year as their skills progress.
Besides developing skills for playing by ear and playing tunes in a variety of ways, students are also gaining the valuable skill of learning how to play from a chord chart in any key.
Think of it kind of like “build-a-bear” – students are “building-a-book” of Christmas music! 🙂